treatment plant must be upgraded to meet Illinois Environmental
Protection Agency (IEPA) requirements which go into effect in
September of 2001 and to allow for continued growth in the city,
according to Grant Eaton, plant manager. The IEPA reviews all new
sewer hookups and could refuse permission for such hookups in the
future if the treatment plant does not meet the new standards. The
plant, part of which was built in 1936, has not had a major
improvement since 1976, Eaton said.
exact cost of the project will not be determined until after the
preliminary design is completed, but Eaton estimated it at $8.5 to $9
million. EMC will bring final cost figures to the board sometime in
October, he said. A timetable submitted by EMC shows construction
beginning in the spring of 2001 and continuing through May of 2002.
upgrade would bring the capacity of the treatment plant to 5.12
million gallons per day, up from the current capacity of 3.35 million
gallons, according to EMC director of operations Carl Alsbach. EMC
currently operates the water treatment plant and maintains the city’s
said the city is applying for a $100,000 grant for design and a
$400,000 grant for construction of the plant from the Illinois
Department of Commerce and Community Affairs and is also seeking other
grants. Other financing will come from the State Revolving Loan Fund,
to be repaid over 20 years.
council also heard a proposal from Matthew R. Hortenstine of Spectrum
Energy Inc. asking the city to cooperate with the Logan County Board
and New Holland to build an electricity generating plant on five acres
on the east side of New Holland. Spectrum would like the city to
provide an Enterprise Zone and also to treat the wastewater from the
proposed plant’s cooling system.
generating plant would be a "peaker plant," providing energy
only during times of high demand to prevent brownouts or blackouts,
Hortenstine said. Spectrum, which has several similar facilities in
Illinois, would build the plant and then sell it to a utility company
to operate. The plant would use natural gas, a clean source of power,
instead of coal or nuclear power. It would operate from about the
first of June through mid-September, when air conditioners cause peak
power usage, and cannot operate more than 3,000 hours per year.
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asked the council to consider two ways in which the city could
cooperate in what he termed a "win-win" project. First,
Spectrum would like the city to create an extension of its Enterprise
Zone, a strip that would run from Lincoln’s west side to New
Holland, to take advantage of the 6.25 percent state sales tax waiver
on the purchase of equipment and materials.
he said, the company is not asking for a waiver of local taxes.
"We want to take advantage of the state sales tax an Enterprise
Zone allows us to avoid, but we are not asking for a local real estate
tax abatement," he told the council.
also said the company might dig a well in the New Holland area, give
it to the town, and become a customer and purchase the water.
city of Lincoln could also "win" by treating the wastewater
from the generator, Hortenstine explained. He said there would be no
toxic chemicals in the water – merely a concentration of the normal
minerals – because the wastewater would be "boiled down"
before being trucked to Lincoln for treatment. Although there are no
industrial additives, the IEPA mandates that the water be treated, he
city would be paid three cents a gallon for treatment and also a fee
for trucking the water to Lincoln. Eaton told the council three cents
was a good price and said there would not be a problem treating the
noted that there might be as many as 125 to 150 construction jobs
created in building the plant, and four to 10 permanent jobs for its
operation. The permanent jobs would be "high tech" –
electrical engineers, computer technicians and similar jobs – he
told the board.
invited the council to visit Spectrum’s other plants in the area,
and said the agreement he would like to make with the city would be
identical to the agreement Spectrum has with Effingham and St. Elmo.
proposal was referred to the ordinance committee for further study.
Griffin, who lives on Edgar Street, asked the council to consider
allowing some leaf burning in the city. She said there are 30 trees in
her neighborhood and disposing of fallen leaves was a problem.
suggested that for one season the city try a proposal that yard debris
could be burned three days a week, such as Tuesdays, Thursdays and
Saturdays. That would give people with respiratory ailments four days
a week to enjoy the outdoors. "To me this would be the perfect
compromise," she said.
Simonson and Scott Martin were awarded a bid of $9,600 to paint
hangers at the county airport. The bid also included the painting of
two grain bins at the county farm.
Construction of Mount Zion was awarded a bid of $94,619 for highway
work in Corwin Township.
Dick Hurley, chairman of the
building and grounds committee, recommended the board accept a bid of
$5,100 from B&W Tree Trimming of Delavan for work at Scully and
Latham parks. The vote failed to gather a two-thirds majority, which
was required according to the board's guidelines.
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then proposed the board accept B & W's bid for work at Latham Park
for $2,500. This portion of the work passed with a simple majority,
since it was below the guidelines for the two-thirds vote requirement.
sought bids from a Mount Pulaski firm and from B & W for work at
the two parks.
also learned that Spectrum Energy, the firm pursuing the construction
of three small "peeker plants" one-half mile east of New
Holland, had filed for a permit from the Illinois Environmental
would generate electricity during peak usage times, normally in the
summer when demand is greatest.
The agency will accept public
input until Sept. 7 regarding the permit.
Junior High and Lincoln Community High School students were asked to
stop by and sign a pledge sheet to remain drug and alcohol-free for
the 2000-01 school year. Ninety students made the pledge, including
two Lincoln High School football players who dropped by to make their
pledge during a break in practice. Students who signed the pledge were
given a T-shirt donated by Lincoln’s City Council.
HYPE organization was established in cooperation with the Logan Mason
Mental Health Department three years ago. Christy Simpson, the
department’s prevention specialist, is the group’s organizer.
Bo Wright, a member of HYPE, said, "I joined the group because it
was fun and because I get to help out a lot."
does community service activities throughout Lincoln. It has worked
with the Habitat for Humanity Project, helping to build homes for
people in need of affordable housing. Members have led food drives for
Lincoln’s food pantry, and they have participated in the
adopt-a-grandparent program at St. Clara’s Manor, a long-term care
center. They also perform prevention theatre puppet shows, according
Community High School has a similar program called Snowball. They also
do projects for the community. Both groups are open to all students,
and individuals may join at any time. There are 25 students in HYPE
and 30 in the Snowball program.
Koehne, 14, a Lincoln Community High School student, said, "I
joined the group because it was alcohol-free and because it did
community service projects like helping to do work at the former Odd
Fellows Day Care Center (site). I like helping people."
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to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the use of
alcohol or other drugs at an early age is an indicator of future
alcohol or drug problems. The report says that people who begin
drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop
alcoholism than those who begin at 21.
from a National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence publication
reports that 80 percent of high school seniors have used alcohol. In
comparison, 65 percent have smoked cigarettes, 50 percent have used
marijuana and 10 percent have used cocaine. The use of alcohol and
other drugs is associated with the leading causes of death and injury
(e.g., motor-vehicle crashes, homicides and suicides) among teenagers
and young adults. Junior/middle and senior high school students drink
35 percent of all wine coolers sold in the United States; they also
consume 1.1 billion cans of beer.
whose parents talk to them regularly about the dangers of drugs are 42
percent less likely to use drugs than those whose parents don’t, yet
only one in four teens reports having these conversations, according
to a Partnership for a Drug-Free America release.
HYPE group is financially sponsored by local businesses.
only approximately $67,500 will be realized from the tax levy this
year, the finance committee must prioritize the requests and decide
how much funding to recommend the County Board grant to each
organization. The .025 tax levy was approved at a March 21 referendum.
Donath, executive director of Oasis, asked the committee to consider
giving the organization a total of $80,956 – $29,826 for general
expenses of maintaining the center, such as utilities, upkeep and
insurance; $20,130 for programs and services; and $31,000 for a new
15-passenger van. The programs and services include hiring a part-time
secretary/bookkeeper and initiating new programs, a grandparents-raising-grandchildren support group, trained volunteers
to visit shut-ins, and Senior Olympics.
said the Oasis group, which at present has no tax-supported funding,
has had to dedicate most of its time to fund raising to support
itself. Much of the funding has been generated from bingo games at the
Recreation Center, staffed by the same group of volunteers, she said,
and the volunteers are getting tired of staffing these games.
would like to move forward to better serve senior citizens of Logan
County," she told the board.
also noted that the Oasis van is not used to take seniors to gambling
casinos. "Tri-State Tours brings a bus to the Oasis to take
seniors to Paradice," she said. "The casino pays the bus
company. The $5 the seniors pay is a fund-raiser and stays at
Poertner, executive director of CIEDC, and Mary Elston, deputy
director of Senior Services, asked for a total of $45,000 – $15,000
each for three programs: senior nutrition, transportation and adult
organization reported a deficit of $14,909 in its senior nutrition
program, which provides both home-delivered meals and meals at
congregate dining sites. Home-delivered meals go to Lincoln, Atlanta,
Lawndale, Mount Pulaski, Chestnut, Beason, Emden, San Jose, Latham,
New Holland and Middletown. Congregate dining sites serve Lincoln,
Mount Pulaski, Emden, Beason and Latham, with Beason and Latham
receiving meals only one day a week and the other sites five.
said the senior nutrition program served 42,815 meals last year in
Logan county, almost 30,000 of which were home delivered to "the
most frail and needy senior citizens."
told the committee CIEDC has a $17,962 deficit in the transportation
program, which provides seniors rides to hospitals, nursing homes,
medical appointments, congregate dining sites, Oasis, beauty and
barber shops, banks, Wal-Mart and employment-related activities. She
said 81 percent of the transportation services goes to seniors over
the age of 70.
adult day-care program, Elston said, has a deficit of $27,482. Ten
clients are enrolled, with four more referrals pending. Poertner said
if the day-care program, which is supported by state payments, private
payments and co-payments, had 24 participants it would be able to pay
Board Chairman Darrell Deverman asked Poertner if she could prioritize
the needs of her organization, but she said she would prefer not to
choose between programs. "I would not want to see you starve all
three programs," she told the committee.
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member Dick Hurley noted that CIEDC serves seniors in six counties,
and asked what part of the budget serves Logan County. Poertner said
the figures given the finance committee were for Logan County only.
She said 90 percent of the transportation furnished by CIEDC goes to
Logan and Mason counties, and 80 percent of the nutrition services go
to Logan County.
member Roger Bock asked if Oasis and CIEDC could work out an
arrangement to share a van. Poertner said she had been in negotiation
with Oasis, but said her facility uses the van during the day and
Oasis would only be able to use it evenings and weekends. Vans for
CIEDC are purchased with grants from the Illinois Department of
Eldredge of the Rural Health Partnership asked for $25,000 to help
offset the operating expenses of the Rural Health Van, a mobile unit
which serves rural communities in the county. She said the request was
"a possible one-time grant. We hope over the next three years to
establish an endowment fund to allow us to be totally self-sufficient.
We don’t anticipate asking for funds year after year," she
mobile unit performs approximately 750 functions per month, with 59 to
69 percent of its patients over age 65. Expenses this year were
$145,000 and revenue only $13,000, she told the committee. The Rural
Health Van is a new program, never attempted in the United States
before, and there were no precedents to help determine how much
revenue it would generate, Eldredge said.
members raised several questions, such as determining eligibility for
the funding and establishing priorities which best meet the criteria
stated in the referendum. Several members suggested that all three
organizations be funded at some level.
White, finance committee chairman, explained that the county
will probably levy only 75 percent of the tax this year. "The
reason we looked at not assessing the maximum rate is to keep the
funding level steady. Farmland assessment is going to start turning
down. If assessed valuation goes down, taxes collected will also go
committee member Clifford Sullivan pointed out another reason for
assessing only 75 percent of the tax. "If other organizations
request funds in the future, we wouldn’t have any dollars to fund
them. We would not want to cut funding levels for existing
organizations to fund new ones."
other Logan County organizations do wish to make requests, the finance
committee will hear them at two meetings next week, one Wednesday
starting at 8 a.m. and another Thursday starting at 1 p.m. The
committee will make a recommendation to the full County Board, which
will make the final funding decisions and has the authority to change
the finance committee’s recommendations, Sullivan said.
would like to fund all three organizations, and we’d love to fund
them at 100 percent of what they ask," Sullivan told the Lincoln
Daily News. "But if you’ve only got a five-pound bag, you
can’t put 10 pounds in it."