Illinois

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.

Burned-out Restaurant is a Hazard

Jun 4, 2012

The Brickhouse Restaurant in Bushnell burned down in March of 2011.

Nothing has been done to the Main Street site since the fire. Debris remains in the alley behind it.

Mayor Steve Russell says the building is an eyesore and a safety hazard.

He says, “A lot of people say, 'You know, how much longer do we have to look at this mess? Can't we get it cleaned up? And, of course, if we condemn the property and the city goes in and does it it's going to cost several thousands of dollars.”

South Morgan Acres Permit is Approved

May 30, 2012

The Illinois Department of Agriculture has approved the permit for South Morgan Acres to be built in the northwest part of McDonough County.

The farm will be the home for up to 18,000 hogs. About 6,000 would be adults. The rest would be suckling pigs, many weighing less than 15 pounds.

Barbara Adams and her husband live less than 3,000 feet from the site. She says they already have one large hog farm about a mile away. She opposed construction of South Morgan Acres. The news the permit was approved made her “sick to her stomach.”

Bushnell Lands New Dentist

May 29, 2012

Bushnell will soon have a new dental practice to fill the office that has been vacant since the retirement of the city's only dentist, Dr. David Jameson.

Dr. Paige McCord came from Arizona. She expects to open her practice in mid-June.

The city initiated an active recruiting effort in March.  McCord says she heard about the opportunity at a high school reunion.

She will open a general dentistry practice and offer cosmetic dentistry. She has practiced for seven years.

McCord hopes many of Jameson's former patients will become part of her practice.

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.

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