Bushnell is willing to pay $40,000 to settle a case with the Illinois Commerce Commission over a gas leak that led to a house explosion at 519 N. Washington in November 2009.
The ICC investigation determined a contractor damaged a gas line and a sewer line. That allowed natural gas to flow into the sewer and into the house. The resident reported the odor to the city. The natural gas ignited. No one was injured.
The ICC alleges the city did not respond properly. The commission cited the city for nine violations.
The latest demand from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will require Colchester to cap the wells that used to provide the city's drinking water. Since 2005 the city has been buying its water from Macomb.
Mayor Danny Bice said the five wells are in Troublesome Bottom.
He said, “Those wells are just sitting there, you know. We're not ever going to fire them back up. So the EPA came in two weeks ago and did an investigation and we've got to cap them permanent to be in compliance.”
Monmouth has hired a new police chief. He is Bill Feithen. Feithen has been with the DeKalb Police Department for 37 years. He served as the city's police chief for the last 11 years.
City Administrator Eric Hanson said Feithen distinguished himself during the evauations.
He said, “We had three chiefs of police that did an assessment of all the top candidates and provided a recommendation to us. And Chief Feithen was the unanimous recommendation by his peers as the right person to move our department forward.”
The Hancock County Economic Development Committee will host a county economic summit March 29th. It hopes the summit will be the first step to reduce decades-long trends of job, business and population losses.
Committee Chairman Jerry Bartell said the county was home to about 30,000 people at the beginning of the 20th century. He said the county population is down to about 19,000 people.
He said, “But another alarming figure that got my attention was the fact that we lost 20% of our sales tax-paying businesses since 2000.”