authorizes airport golf course feasibility study
22, 2001] The
Logan County Board in its meeting Tuesday night voted to spend up to
$9,500 to determine the economic feasibility of a golf course at the
airport. THK Associates was hired to investigate whether the
community can support a nine-hole public golf course built on the
grounds of Logan County Airport.
Committee chairman Roger Bock said the study could be completed in
30 to 45 days. After that, if the projection is favorable, a
developer would have to be found and a layout planned. Bock
acknowledged that some holes might have to be short to work around
Griffin, Dick Logan and Dale Voyles voted against the resolution,
which passed 8-3 with the full board present. Clarence Barney,
representing the Lincoln Park District, said that once the course is
built the park district would probably be interested in running it
and hiring the firm that maintains it.
collection of historical documents no longer in use by the county
clerk’s office will be loaned to the Lincoln College Museum for
archival preparation and cataloging. Paul Gleason explained that he
and museum curator Ron Keller will open the documents, some of which
have been folded since the 1860s, place them in acid-free folders,
catalog and return them.
Clerk Sally Letterly said the collection contains no Lincoln
documents but some materials from his era, including warrants for
payments to Civil War volunteers. Cataloging will make access to
these materials much easier. Gleason estimated that the project will
take two years.
other business the board voted to:
Accept the $10,000 bid of Mark Gates to complete sidewalk repair at
Hire Industrial Appraisal Co. to reappraise all county equipment and
buildings at a cost of $6,375.
Authorize a $40 fee to be applied to each tax sale. The fee is to
pay interest and costs when the price paid in a tax sale must be
refunded. County Treasurer Mary Bruns said at Thursday’s committee
of the whole meeting that state law authorizes counties to charge up
to $60 as a tax-sale-in-error fee. Jim Griffin was the lone
Approve a holiday schedule of 12 days off for county employees. Dick
Logan voted no.
Approve 12 fund-raising raffles for county organizations.
[to top of second column in
chairman Dick Logan appointed a committee to negotiate a salary
agreement with sheriff’s deputies. Members of the committee are
Doug Dutz as chairman, Lloyd Hellman and Dale Voyles, with Logan as
called a special meeting of the board for Monday, July 27, to
interview candidates for the unexpired board term of Phil Mahler and
to select a replacement.
chairman Rod White reported that in budget hearings the combined
total of requests for senior citizen funds exceeds the maximum levy
by 17 percent. The maximum is $93,000, with $67,500 being allotted
in 2001. The Oasis has requested $53,300, CIEDC $46,900 and Rural
Health Partnership $10,000.
requests so far include $35,000 for economic development and
$385,900 for State’s Attorney Tim Huyett. Lincoln/Logan County
Chamber of Commerce and Explore Logan County, neither of which
received funds in 2001, have asked for $1,500 and $1,000
respectively. Budget hearings will continue on Wednesday and
said that the predicted decline of 10 percent in assessed valuation
of county farmland in each of the next two years is expected to be
offset by a slight rise in non-farm values. Non-farm assessed
valuations have risen an average of 5 percent for the past few
years, and that pattern is expected to continue.
chairman Dale Voyles said insurance carrier Roger Garrett verbally
assured him that workers appointed or approved through the board
will receive health insurance coverage like other county employees.
In particular, Garrett affirmed that the Regional Planning
Commission director, though appointed by the commission rather than
the county board, is included. In response to a question from White,
Voyles quoted Garrett, "The county board determines who is
covered," and therefore should vote to approve employees hired
by other agencies if it wants them included in the insurance plan.
traffic routes in effect
for balloon fest parking
22, 2001] A
new one-way traffic route will be in effect for those who wish to
enter the fairgrounds for the balloon fest this weekend. Traffic
will be routed south on Jefferson Street, which will be one way,
then west on Short 11th, which will also be one way. Vehicles can
enter at the south gate or turn north on Postville Road and enter at
the west or northwest gates. Traffic coming north on Lincoln Parkway
(Old 66) can turn at Postville Drive to enter the fairgrounds at the
northwest gate. Traffic southbound on Lincoln Parkway will not be
allowed to enter Postville Drive at the fairgrounds but will have to
enter at Fifth Street. Click
here for a Lincoln map. For a close-up map of the fairgrounds
here for more information on the Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival
Aug. 24, 25, 26.
overrides planning commission, OKs Casey rezoning request
21, 2001] "I
feel for both sides, but I cannot sit here and say ‘no’ to
business in this town," was the way Lincoln Alderman Steve
Fuhrer put it.
other aldermen agreed with him, one more than the number required to
override the recommendation of the city’s planning commission,
which Thursday evening voted 6-3 to deny rezoning the property at
314 S. Jefferson St. from residential to commercial so a Casey
General Store could be built on the lot.
with Alderman Fuhrer, Aldermen Benny Huskins, David Armbrust, Pat
Madigan, Verl Prather, George Mitchell, Bill Melton and Joe Stone
voted "yes." The two "no" votes came from Glenn
Shelton and Michael Montcalm.
said he feels for the people who go out of business because of
competition, but he was elected to make decisions for the entire
town, not just one neighborhood. "When I ran, I wanted to see
Lincoln grow. We’ve lost a lot of business already. We already
have an eyesore by Kroger’s —
purple and gold buildings."
referring to the site where an auto parts store once considered
building. After protests from neighbors, the company withdrew its
offer for the property, and the property owners subsequently painted
the empty buildings in vivid colors.
the vote was taken, several of the aldermen spoke to explain their
stand to the audience that filled the council chambers. Joe Stone
spoke eloquently for the zoning change.
greatly disturbed. We have made it increasingly difficult for any
developer to come in here and bring jobs and bring money.
are looking at a piece of real estate that’s a 10-foot-high mound
of dirt. Anything you would put on that piece of ground would look
better than what’s there now."
listed the businesses presently along Fifth Street, from the
Postville Courthouse west to Lincoln Parkway, an area Mayor Beth
Davis wants to see become a historic preservation district.
a box factory, an abandoned gas station, a couple of other gas
stations, an excavating company, a convenience store, beauty shops,
a bank, a real estate office, empty stores. I say to Casey’s that
if you want to come in here, I’ll vote ‘yes.’"
are legitimate arguments on both sides," Prather said. "I
understand McCumber. I’m sure Graue Pharmacy didn’t like
Walgreen’s coming in, either."
McCumber, who with his mother owns the Fifth Street Food Mart two
blocks away from the proposed Casey store, had spoken to protest big
corporations that come in and put small local merchants out of
Prather, too, noted that the vacant lot has always been an eyesore.
Replying to comments from those who opposed the Casey store next to
the Postville Courthouse, he asked, "How long did that vacant
lot sit there next to a historic site? This is an improvement."
Shelton, however, said he was surprised by the aldermen’s
comments, as he thought the council’s priority should be with
businesses already in the city. "Make sure they are going well
and strong," he said. "Casey’s can only hurt established
Montcalm echoed the comments of City Attorney Bill Bates, who
reminded the council that the vote should be regarded as a zoning
issue and not a choice of one business over another.
a zoning issue, and we got a recommendation from the zoning
committee. That’s the way I’m looking at this."
[to top of second column in
the vote, a Casey representative and several Lincoln residents
outlined their positions.
Ahern, Casey representative, said the Casey store would benefit the
city, hiring 12 to 14 people with a $9,000 to $10,000 payroll every
month and paying sales tax on an estimated $1,000,000 yearly.
said the company has been looking for an appropriate site in Lincoln
for three years, a desirable site was not easy to find, and if this
site was not approved Casey’s would probably not locate in
also said she had not heard about the proposed historic preservation
district until a week and a half ago. Because the site is in close
proximity to other commercial properties and not a desirable home
site, she said the company believed it had the potential for a
zoning change to commercial use.
Tucker spoke for residents in the neighborhood. "I don’t want
a Casey’s in my neighborhood. Do you want Casey’s? Do you want
to sit on your deck and look at it? To me it’s that simple. It’s
my neighborhood. Represent us, the people That’s what you’re
here for," she told the council.
also submitted a letter to the council signed by herself and seven
others in the area.
Street Lincoln coordinator Wendy Bell, Jan Schumacher of the Looking
for Lincoln steering committee, and Dale Bassi spoke to support the
plan for making the area a historic preservation district.
said that Main Street Lincoln is not anti-business and that a
historic preservation district does not need to hinder growth. She
read a letter from the director of the Illinois Historic
Preservation Agency which said that "intense commercial use
would be incompatible with the Postville Courthouse" and would
have a negative impact on tourism there.
said tourism is also a way to bring economic growth to Lincoln, and
the Postville Courthouse is a vital part of the tourism program.
said that last year the state of Illinois spent more than $400,000
on improvements to the Postville Courthouse. Heritage tourism does
bring people in off the highway, he said, and when the new Lincoln
library opens in Springfield in two or three years, tourism in the
Lincoln area could increase.
is some momentum going on. Casey’s would hinder rather than
enhance the momentum we have gained."
Harris, who owns two lots across the street, spoke in support of
Casey’s. He objected to the idea that Casey’s doesn’t conform
to the use in the neighborhood, citing a junkyard and an abandoned
said if the city wants to use the property at 314 S. Jefferson for a
parking lot for visitors to the Postville Courthouse, a suggestion
made by Mayor Davis, they should make an offer and buy it.
problem in Lincoln is too little traffic and too many parking
lots," he said.
Now the Casey corporation
needs to get a variance for a setback requirement from the Zoning
Board of Appeals, which will hear the request Aug. 23 at 6:30 p.m.
If that approval is granted, the company would be free to begin
a friend about
staff offers more than 25 years of experience in the
the corner of Woodlawn and Business 55
It's FREE! --
line to Campus View homes
must wait for funding
21, 2001] Residents
who live on Campus View Drive may get a chance to hook onto a city
sewer line, but not in the immediate future. The Lincoln City
Council voted 8-2 to put in a sewer line when funding becomes
View Drive is a dead-end street that curves behind Lincoln Christian
College. Homes on the street are in the city, but the street belongs
to the college. Twelve homes at the far end of the street presently
have septic systems, which create problems of flooding and sewer
backup for some residents.
present the council does not have the money to extend the sewer
lines to the 12 homes, according to Grant Eaton, sewer plant
manager. Putting in a new line and a lift station could cost as much
as $350,000, he said. A possible alternative, using a lift station
belonging to LCC, would cost the city only $150,000 but would
require some or all homeowners to put in ejector pumps, which could
cost the homeowners as much as $6,000.
city uses the college’s lift station, they might also be asked to
maintain it, Eaton said. That would still be much less costly to the
city than any alternate proposal. Eaton said he is pursuing grants
and other funding sources, which are also needed for the mandatory
sewer plant upgrade.
Melton, chairman of the sewer and drainage committee, said he
believed the homeowners were entitled to have city sewer service,
but pointed out that the council would have the authority to reject
any specific funding allocation for the sewer line in the future.
The vote in favor of extending sewer service was 8-2, with Aldermen
Glenn Shelton and David Armbrust voting "no."
Bateman, one of the 12 homeowners, said he was happy with the way
the city voted. "It was a good-faith vote to put sewers there,
to show us homeowners we have not been forgotten," he said.
and another homeowner, Mike Robbins, have been attending council
meetings recently to ask for help with the problems they are having
with their septic systems, which are backing up into yards and into
the lower level of Bateman’s home.
other business, the council deferred the request by Logan County for
a fiber optic right of way on city property until the next regular
meeting Sept. 4, so the city attorney can redraft the ordinance to
reflect the final changes. The new agreement will run for 10 years
at a nominal cost of $1 a year, and the county will provide the city
with two drops which the city can connect to if it wishes. The
county will maintain the lines.
council also agreed to vacate an alley between Adams and Monroe
streets, on property owned by Claude Brinner and being used as a
trailer court. Brinner owns the property on both sides of the alley,
which has not been used as an alley for at least 25 years. No city
utilities, in fact no utilities of any kind, are located in the
alley, according to city engineer Mark Mathon. Brinner has paid all
expenses of the survey.
Fire Chief Robert "Bucky"
Washam announced that the fire department will host an open house on
Monday, Sept. 3. Parents and children are invited to come and tour
the firehouse from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
fair, car show, walking tour, souvenirs and class highlight history
18, 2001] At
Wednesday night’s meeting of the Looking for Lincoln Committee,
Thressia Usherwood, executive director of the local tourism bureau,
informed the committee of an 1800s craft fair planned in cooperation
with the Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival.
craft fair is scheduled at the Postville Courthouse from 10 a.m. to
4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 26. Entertainment will include Lee Slider as
Professor Phineas Fairhead, practical phrenologist. A Civil
War-period dance demonstration will be from noon to 3 p.m. There
will also be traditional and folk music at various times.
crafts will be demonstrated, such as flax to linen, "Great
Wheel," cabinetmaking, quilting, blacksmithing, basket making,
bobbin lace making and rope making. Admission is free and
refreshments are available. If you need additional information, call
Aug. 25, the Lincoln Trail Porsche Club Charity Car Show will also
be in progress at the Postville Courthouse, 914 Fifth St. The public
is invited to come and see vintage Porsches from the 356 to current
Schumacher of the Looking for Lincoln Committee distributed copies
of the folder "Walking on the Path of Abraham Lincoln — A
Walking Tour of Historic Lincoln, Illinois." The folder has
been distributed to many businesses in the county. Copies may be
picked up at Main Street Lincoln, 303 S. Kickapoo St. The folder was
produced by J.R. Glenn and Angie Couch, Lincoln Community High
School students, and Ruth Sloot, instructor. The committee was very
pleased with the work they produced.
[to top of second column in
Churchill, owner of the Mustard Moon, showed the committee a sample
of glass sun- catchers picturing Postville Courthouse. She ordered
blue, green, amber and other colors. Of the purchase price, 20
percent will go to the Postville Courthouse. The Mustard Moon is at
1314 Fifth St.
Beaver, historian, reminded the committee members that Lincoln
College offers a semester course "Life of Lincoln and the Civil
War." The class meets from 6:30 to 9 p.m. once a week. Lincoln
College also publishes a Lincoln Newsletter four times a year.
Anyone interested should contact the Lincoln Museum for more
next meeting of the Looking for Lincoln Committee is Wednesday,
Sept. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Union Planters Bank conference room.
turns down Casey rezoning
17, 2001] By
a 6-3 vote, the Lincoln Planning Commission turned down a request to
change the zoning on property at 314 S. Jefferson St., across from
the Postville Courthouse, from R-2 (residential) to C-2 (commercial)
use. The zoning change was requested by the property owner, Larry
Riva, so a Casey General Store could be built on the site.
in favor of denying the zoning change were commission members Ron
Fox, Scott Cooper, Bob Wood, Leon (Micky) Martin, Dave Klug and
Mayor Beth Davis. Voting not to deny the change were Don Miller,
Mike Miller and commission chair Betty Gehlbach. The Casey
corporation cannot build on that site without the zoning change.
commission’s recommendation will now go to the Lincoln City
Council. City Attorney William Bates, who was present at the
meeting, said it would be his guess the council will bring up the
issue at its next meeting on Monday, Aug. 20, even though it is not
on the agenda.
said the council would probably want to decide if they wished to let
the commission’s decision stand, because the issue is scheduled to
come before the Zoning Board of Appeals on Aug. 22. The Casey
corporation would need a variance in the setback requirements which
only the zoning appeals board can grant. If the council chooses not
to change the commission’s decision, the board of appeals meeting
will be canceled.
taking the vote, the commission heard from about a dozen members of
the crowd that packed the council chamber. Some spoke in favor of
the zoning change and others spoke against it, and not always for
the same reasons.
Ahern, representative of the Casey company, told the commission that
the company would modify the appearance of the store to be more
compatible with the historic Postville Courthouse. However, the
company would not make a complete change in the store’s look
because its appearance identifies it to customers.
said Mayor Beth Davis, who wants a historic corridor along Fifth
Street from the Postville Courthouse to Postville Drive, had
approached her about making the building look like an old-time
Casey store would employ 12 to 14 people and probably pay a sales
tax of about $1,000 a month, Ahern said.
said Casey’s has been looking for a site in Lincoln for three
years, and if this one is not approved, the company will probably
not look for another location here.
Harris, who owns property in the area, spoke in favor of the
rezoning and allowing Casey’s to build.
seems to be going out of its way to discourage business," he
said. He objected to making Casey’s conform to a historic pattern
because "There’s a mix of stores down here that don’t
conform to anything."
also pointed out that the Postville Courthouse is a replica and
therefore is not truly historic.
McCumber, who with his mother Judy McCumber owns the 5th Street Food
Mart, a convenience store at 1302 Fifth St., objected to
"corporate USA coming in and taking over our towns.
businesses care about their communities. If the Little League comes
to me they will get a contribution. If they come to corporate
America they will get all sorts of red tape. I’ll cash people’s
checks. Corporate America won’t."
[to top of second column in
said the Casey store would not pay good wages and would not really
bring new business to town but would take business away from
everyone else. "It’s like a pie. The more people you bring
in, the smaller the pieces."
am here in support of our local convenience store, Cliff and his
family," Pete Fredericks of Pete’s Hardware told the
committee. "I think we as citizens of Lincoln should support
and lean on one another. I think we can have economic development,
but I don’t think Casey’s is the answer."
Goodman of V. Goodman Transfer and Excavating and former owner of
Riva’s lot, spoke to support bringing in the Casey store.
trying to get the property back into production. It’s not like we’re
bringing in some sleaze store. This is a quality business. I don’t
see many other people willing to spend $750,000 [to develop the
property]. The jobs may be low-income jobs, but they’re better
Suella Tucker, who lives at 403 S. Madison, said she would like to
see business in Lincoln but did not want Casey’s to go into that
area. "I know it’s selfish, but I don’t want extra traffic,
extra lights and extra music."
Schumacher, a member of the Looking for Lincoln steering committee,
spoke to support the historic corridor. She passed out brochures for
the Postville Courthouse to commission members "as a reminder
of the important part tourism plays. Tourism brings economic
development. Other small towns are capitalizing on tourism and we
need to do this, too."
said Postville is open more days now that volunteers have been
recruited to help staff it. "It had 21 visitors yesterday.
Casey’s is not a complementary building. If you look out Postville
windows and see gas pumps, that’s not historic."
the vote, Bates reminded the commission that they were there simply
to vote on the matter of rezoning, not for any specific business. If
the zoning is changed to C-2, any business permitted under the C-2
designation would be allowed on the site, he said.
the requested change of zoning in keeping with the comprehensive
plan of this community?" he asked.
members called for maps to check zoning in the area. Riva’s lot
has R-2 zoning on the north, east and west sides, and C-2 zoning
running west to Lincoln Parkway.
commissioners said they had mixed feelings about the rezoning.
really torn on this issue," Mike Miller said before the vote.
"I really think it should be commercial."
"I’m on the other
side of that," Klug said. "I’m for economic development,
and in a sense this tears me up. But I’m voting for my neighbors
discusses revenue, health coverage and golf course feasibility
17, 2001] Anticipated
decline in assessed valuation of land, clarification of who receives
health coverage and a feasibility study for an airport golf course
drew the most discussion at Thursday night’s work session of the
Logan County Board.
Chairman Rod White said next year’s budget will be affected by a
significant drop in the assessed valuation of farmland. "The
farmland in this county will go down by a full 10 percent," he
said. "What I can’t tell you is what is happening to the rest
of the economy, the other 50 percent. We’re fortunate that we have
other sources of revenue," such as the sales tax, to take up
proposal to extend health insurance coverage "to employees and
those eligible participants employed by entities created by county
resolution" was closely analyzed. The goal is to be sure that
Phil Mahler, new director of the Regional Planning Commission,
receives the same coverage as his predecessor. Mahler has recently
been determined not to be a county employee. White said he feared
excluding employees of bodies such as Job Training Partnership Act,
which were not created by board resolution. "We’re trying to
get somebody in but we may be excluding somebody," he said.
Committee Chairman Dale Voyles said he would meet with insurance
carrier Roger Garrett and State’s Attorney Tim Huyett to clarify
wording and inclusiveness.
Committee Chairman Roger Bock presented a rough draft for an 18-hole
golf course at Logan County Airport, showing hole holes on property
not currently owned by the county. Bock acknowledged that a
nine-hole or executive course is more feasible. "In
reality," he said, "it’s probably going to be an
executive course. This is the biggest thing that would fit [assuming
land purchase]. It sucks up too much land."
recommended proceeding with a $9,350 economic study to see whether
an airport golf course could be supported by the county. The board
has already set aside $9,000 for such a study. Federal Aviation
Administration approval has not been applied for, but Bock noted
that the FAA has approved other airport golf courses.
said the Airport Committee is considering purchasing a credit
card-operated gas pump for use when no attendant is present. Though
the $2.55 price of aviation gas is lower than in surrounding cities,
especially Peoria, sales have dropped as hours have been cut back
[to top of second column in
County Treasurer Mary Ellen Bruns asked for a tax-sale-in-error fee
of $40 to be assessed for every parcel sold in tax sales. State law
allows a fee up to $60 to cover costs incurred when tax sale
proceeds are refunded after a judge decides an anomaly has occurred.
Bruns said, "It’s advisable to have this so that we’re not
taking money away from the county" for expenses such as postage
and publication. She said larger counties have such a fee, and
smaller counties with few tax sales do not. Logan County had 141 tax
sales in 2000.
Logan asked anyone seeking the board seat vacated by the resignation
of Phil Mahler to contact him by Monday, Aug. 20.
reported that budget hearings begin Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. Requests from
senior citizens groups will be heard at 9:15, with all three who
received funds last year expected to be represented: Central
Illinois Economic Development Council, Healthy Partnership and
Senior Citizens of Logan County.
and Bridges Chairman Rod White reported that the work on Nicholson
Road will be completed within a week. At the request of residents,
the speed limit in the Oakwood West subdivision off Fifth Street
Road is being reduced to 25 mph.
member Clifford Sullivan spoke in favor of erecting a marker along
Interstate 55 to astronaut Scott Altman, a Lincoln native. He cited
Altman’s many accomplishments, including stunt flying for the
movie "Top Gun."
Smith, director of economic development, urged those attending the
Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival to visit the hospitality chalet,
which is being used as a promotional tool to showcase Logan County.
"So far the response has been phenomenal," he said.
estate taxes come due
Logan County treasurer’s office announces the following dates:
5 — Final day to pay the second installment of real estate taxes
without a penalty.
6 — A penalty of 1˝ percent will be charged on any unpaid second
installment of taxes. A penalty of 4˝ percent will be charged on
any unpaid first installment of taxes.
20 — Warning letters for any unpaid taxes will be mailed.
4 — Certified letters will be mailed.
15 — Listings of any unpaid tax will be published.
Logan County treasurer’s office has been notified that E-Pay, the
credit card option established by the state treasurer’s office for
public fund treasurers, will not be available until Jan. 1, 2002.
The local office had hoped this option would be available in time
for the second installment; however, due to legislative action, the
effective date was changed. The Logan County treasurer’s office
has, however, installed a debit card scanner for all debit cards and
[to top of second column in
Aug. 17, the county treasurer’s office will be able to accept the
Discover card. The Discover card company has a program for county
treasurers that has been in place in larger counties for some time.
County treasurers collect a user free from taxpayers who use the
Discover card to pay their taxes, thereby creating no additional
expense for the county.
in the past, the county treasurer’s office is asking that banks do
not collect any real estate tax after their close of business on
Sept. 5. The banks will again collect taxes for the 2002 fiscal year
tax cycle as they have every year.
Taxpayers are reminded of the
drop box in the city parking lot on North Kickapoo Street.
having any questions are asked to call 732-3761 between 8:30 a.m.
and 4:30 p.m.
County Board sets budget review
Logan County Board started its FY 2002 budget review hearings Friday
morning, Aug. 17. Sessions will continue
Wednesday, Aug. 22, from 8 a.m. to noon; Thursday, Aug. 23, from 1
to 4 p.m.; and Friday, Aug. 24, possibly beginning at 8:30 a.m.
all hearings are completed, the information will be assembled for
analysis. After that the auditors will schedule and make a
presentation to the full board.
meetings are in the third-floor jury room at the Logan County
Courthouse and are open to the public.
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