Carthage

New Illini West High School Site Chosen

Aug 1, 2012

The Illini West School Board spent a year evaluating potential sites for a new high school.  It chose a location next door.  It is just east of the current high school's parking lot.

The 40-acre site is farmland that is currently covered by tall,  green and brown corn plants.

Those who were hoping for a central location will be disappointed.

But Superintendent Kim Schilson says such a location would come with some expensive problems to solve.

Carthage Starts Water Conservation

Jul 26, 2012

Carthage is being pro-active by encouraging water conservation by a combination of mandatory and voluntary measures.

Businesses are required to stop watering their lawns.

Second-ward Alderman Gary Smith says the city is concerned since the level at the city's lake has fallen by five feet recently.

He expects businesses will honor the ban. Smith says, “We've had good luck in the past and I think we'll probably not have any problem this time.”Businesses that ignore the order could be subject to fines.

Carthage will take some extra measures to make sure festivities this week don't become “too hot.”

The city is expecting larger than usual crowds for the Independence Day celebration. This year the city is also marking the 175th anniversary of its founding.

Temperatures will peak in the 90s for the rest of the week.

Carol Carr is a member of the celebration committee.  It will provide sites where people can escape the heat.

City Turns to Aeration to Solve Water Woes

Jul 2, 2012

Carthage is trying a new solution to a persistent problem last year-water discoloration. The city's drinking water was never unsafe, just unsavory. It was frequently a dull green. The city liberally applied chemicals to the water with little effect.

Second-ward Alderman Gary Smith says the three aerators will bubble air through the lake. The action will thoroughly mix the layers of water and reduce algae formation.

He says, “This is kind of an ongoing process. It might take a year to get the lake rehabilitated.”

City Will Soon Pay Less for Electricity

Jun 27, 2012

Carthage will pay less for electricity for city operations beginning next month. The city has signed a three-year contract with Ameren Energy Marketing at a bit more than 4.3 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Mayor Jim Nightingale says the city council solicited bids from several energy companies.  He says the response was overwhelming and frustrating.

He says, “Once a company contacts us their sales people just hound you to death.”

Carthage Residents Will Hear from City

Jun 18, 2012

Carthage residents will soon get a call from city hall. A new phone message system is being set up by city employees.

Second-ward Alderman Gary Smith says the system has been very easy to set up. He says the contact numbers for water service customers are being used for the initial test.

He says, “If we have a number that isn't one that they want called they can let us know. We're going to let residents use up to three numbers that they can have called. So a cell phone or home phone or whatever they want.”

Sewer System Might Lead to High Speed Internet

Jun 14, 2012

Carthage's route to high-speed Internet service might run underground. The city has been approached by multi-national company  I3 America. It says patented technology allows it to place fiber-optic cable in sewer lines.

The city and the company have agreed on a study by the company to be completed September 12th. Second-ward Alderman Gary Smith says the company has taken an initial look at the city's sewer system.

He says, “They're very interested. I think that they'll progress-that things will progress.”

Carthage Park Needs Modernization

May 29, 2012

The World of Wonder Park has provided outdoor fun for children in Carthage for nearly 20 years. It's started to show  its age. The board for the private park wants to give it a facelift.

Board Chair Natalie Cole says the park's wooden structures require a lot of maintenance and a lot of volunteers to provide it. There aren't enough people to do the work to keep up the park's appearance.

Carthage Water Pressure Will Increase

May 15, 2012

Carthage residents will see a significant increase in water pressure by October. It's the result of a number of upgrades to the water system. They cost about $1 million.

Second-ward Alderman Gary Smith is recommending residents who are concerned about their pipes and water heaters to have them checked.

He said, “It'd give you a little time to save a couple of bucks. Maybe have a plumber come check things out if you're worried.”

Carthage Will Rehabilitate Six Homes

Apr 30, 2012

Carthage will receive a $252,000 federal Community Development Block Grant to rehabilitate up to six homes.

Mayor Jim Nightingale said, ”It's a good program if the house is not in too bad a shape. You
just can't take a really old run-down house. There's not enough funds to fix those up.”  

The repairs can be fairly extensive. They can include electrical upgrades, plumbing, and weatherization.

The homes have not been selected.

The Western Illinois Regional Council will supervise the process.

The homes have not been selected.

Carthage Hopes to find Landfill Solution

Apr 25, 2012

Carthage is hopeful a switch of contractors will lead to the end of its responsibility for the old municipal landfill.

Indianapolis-based American Environment will take over monitoring the site. The company was the low bidder at $43,000 per year. It will also try to find a way to bring groundwater pollution levels into compliance with federal EPA regulations

Mayor Jim Nightingale hopes the firm brings " some new ideas out there that down the road we can present them to the EPA and get us out of the landfill business.”

Carthage Budget Might Require Cuts

Apr 17, 2012

Carthage Mayor Jim Nightingale said budget projections for the general fund next fiscal year are lower than he would like.

He said, “That's something that we will have to address and present to the council. I think there's some items we're going to have to reduce the expenditures.”

Nightingale likes to see between $250,000 and $300,000 in the general fund. The projections are closer to $260,000.

He said the overall budget will be $1.2 million.

Carthage Considers Warning System

Apr 11, 2012

Carthage residents might soon depend on a high-tech warning system during emergencies.

Fire Chief Gary Smith is proposing the city purchase a phone messaging system, primarily for use during emergencies. He says it would come at a “nominal cost.”

He said, “It would allow us to make one phone call that would go out to all the residents of Carthage, up to three different phone numbers for each residence.”

Fire Fees will Go Up May 1st

Mar 28, 2012

Carthage will raise the fees it charges for fire response calls outside the city limits.

The city currently charges $450 per hour for the first hour and $400 for each additional hour.

The new fee will be a straight $600 per hour.

Mayor Jim Nightingale calls the increase “justifiable” and will help the city pay for upkeep on the fire department's vehicles.

He said, “The problem is they (trucks) set. They don't run them a lot and we have to keep them up.” He called that cost “unbelievable.”

The city will spend $58,000 to refurbish one truck.

Carthage is Planning a Big Birthday Bash

Mar 23, 2012

Carthage will celebrate its 175th birthday in conjunction with the annual Fourth of July celebration. The celebration will last the entire week.

Community Development Director Bob Livingston said the community has enthusiastically embraced the celebration. Dozens of volunteer committees are shaping the event. The committees are looking to the past to find a symbol for the celebration.

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