Illinois

Mayor Seeks Water Meter for Fire Department

Aug 3, 2012

Colchester Mayor Danny Bice would like to get a clearer picture of the city's water consumption.

One step he would like to take is to install a water meter at the Colchester Fire protection District building.

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.

Hunziker Storage Building Gets Reprieve

Jul 23, 2012

A storage building owned by Chad Hunziker will be spared destruction. The Macomb City Council removed it from a list of buildings slated for demolition.

Alderman-at-large Don Wynn says Hunziker  has made a lot of improvements to the building.

He says, “I went out and looked at that building. And it's, from the outside of it, it's pretty secure. I mean, it's got a new roof on it  (It) does have some problems.”

Fifth-ward Alderman Dave Dorsett says the progress must continue.

Residents Vent at Public Meeting

Jul 10, 2012

Colchester residents say they won't be able to afford sewer rates of $50 per month.  That's the maximum amount the city would have to charge if it has to finance the entire $4.2 million dollar cost of a sewer repair project that is being mandated by the federal EPA.

The city held a public hearing as part of the grant application process. The city is hoping to qualify for at least $1.1 million from the USDA's Rural Development program. The application must be completed by July 15th.

City to Hold Public Hearing on Sewer Rates

Jul 5, 2012

Residents of Colchester will get a chance to make their voices heard on sewer rate increases. The public hearing is Monday, July 9th, at 7 p.m. in city hall.

They face sewer rates of between $40 and $50 per month to pay for repairs to the city's sanitary sewer system. The hikes are needed to bring the city into compliance with federal EPA regulations.

Mayor Danny Bice hopes for a large turnout at the hearing.

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.”

A proposed administrative position in the Beardstown Police Department remains in limbo.

The item was not on the last city council agenda. The city's Fire, Police and Ambulance Committee will try to find a resolution.

The city council and police union agree on the need for a second shift supervisor. The parties disagree on the standing of the position.

The city considers the position administrative and, hence, non-union. The police union wants the position covered under its contract with the city.

Monmouth Lifts Ban on Video Gambling

Jun 18, 2012

Monmouth allowed the use of video gaming for “amusement purposes” only. That did not include gambling although the ordinance was difficult to enforce.

The discussion was prompted by changes to state law that will allow video gaming this year. The proceeds will help pay for capital improvements.

City Administrator Eric Hanson says the city council discussed keeping the ban in place.

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.”

Beardstown Police Position is in Limbo

Jun 12, 2012

Beardstown and its police union agree the department needs a second-shift supervisor. However, they disagree on the standing of the position. The union wants to see the position covered under its union contract with the city.

Mayor Bob Walters disagrees.

He says, “If it's filled, that person would not be allowed to patrol like a regular patrolman. I personally feel that it's a management position and not a union position.”

This week the city's police, fire and ambulance committees met together in an effort to find a solution. Instead they tabled the issue.

Future of Gardner Museum Remains in Doubt

Jun 11, 2012

A recent public hearing demonstrates support for re-opening the Gardner Museum of Architecture and Design It's not clear if the community will come through with the necessary funding.

The museum's board dissolved the non-profit corporation in March. It turned the building and assets over to the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County at that time.

The society's Executive Director Reg Ankrom says it's a valuable resource. He also says the society cannot maintain it for very long.

Colchester Water Main Fix Might Cost $70,000

Jun 7, 2012

The six-inch water main that supplies residents in a subdivision north of Colchester and others near Lake Argyle is in need of repair. It lays across the supporting structure under a bridge on North Coal Street. The line is sagging 14 inches at two different joints, one of which is leaking.

The city will pay $7,000 for a short-term fix. Tharp Brothers of Oquawka will shore up the line within the next 10 days.

The city won't know the condition of the line until that work is completed. The location makes inspection difficult. The pipe is also covered in insulation.

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