MACOMB — Committee co-chairs gave a presentation Monday to the city council on the upcoming Heritage Days community festival. "There are some changes," said Rachel Lenz. She said the event has been expanded to include the downtown square as it had in earlier years.
The other co-chair, John Armstrong, said a new "concert quality" stage would debut in Chandler Park. The former stage will be moved to the courthouse circle. Lenz said that, in honor of the Illinois Bicentennial, craftmaking will be done on the McDonough County Courthouse lawn. Armstrong added that an Abraham Lincoln impersonator would march in the Heritage Days Parade and give a speech at the courthouse Saturday.
Lenz announced that the parade has been renamed the Bob Anstine Memorial Heritage Days Parade to honor the former mayor and festival founder, who died earlier this year. Anstine colleague and noted statewide historian John Hallwas will serve as parade grand marshal.
Carnival arm band nights will be held each night of the festival, Thursday through Saturday, June 21-23. The carnival will open at 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
The city council voted to adopt an ordinance creating a liquor license for the planned Wash 'N' Win laundromat and video gaming facility at 103 South Dudley Street. The vote was 5-1 with Alderman Don Wynn dissenting. Alderman Gayle Carper was absent. Wynn said he supports most of the expansion plans of Niemann Foods for its city block bordered by South Dudley, East Jackson, South Madison, and East Washington streets but felt he had to vote against the liquor license because of complaints received.
Community Development Coordinator Ray Heitner said Niemann Foods would pay to plant and maintain a landscape buffer of 33 trees, which would initially be four to six feet high but could grow to a height of 40 feet. Aldermen voted to amend the ordinance to include the landscaping requirement. Charles Weston, who lives on East Washington Street, called the proposed buffer zone a significant development. Marietta Weston, his wife, said she hopes for revitalization of the neighborhood with the Niemann plan though she still has concerns about the video gaming.
Nancy Hansen, a resident of Dudley Street, asked if the food chain could eventually expand the size of the gaming parlor and its bar. Mayor Mike Inman, who serves as city liquor commissioner, said the city council would be required to vote on any future expansion.
The city council voted to approve a $5,800 to $6,000 agreement with Maurer-Stutz Engineering of Peoria to design pedestrian improvements along West Grant Street for young people crossing that street to attend Macomb Junior-Senior High School. Aldermen also voted to adopt an ordinance vacating city right of way on West Carroll Street near the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad tracks, and to adopt a resolution for the annexation of Lowderman's 7th Addition into the city.
The council voted to accept with regret the resignation of Linda Miller from the Macomb Historic Preservation Commission, and to concur with Mayor Inman's reappointment of Rich Wallen to the Macomb Zoning Board of Appeals.
Inman announced a 7 p.m. concert on the Macomb City Hall lawn Thursday by the Macomb Municipal Band, and an 8:30 p.m. concert Friday at Western Illinois University's Hanson Field by the Phantom Regiment, a drum and bugle corps that has been practicing at WIU for three weeks. He also reported that 932 people have gone to the Glenwood Park Swimming Pool during the eight days that it's been open.

Reach Patrick Stout by email at pstout@mcdonoughvoice.com