Thursday, Dec. 2

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Road work planned, GIS progression, comprehensive county plan

[DEC. 2, 2004] 

Road work approved

A bid of $10,400 was accepted from Ozyurt and Stone for engineering services. The work is to be done in Chester Road District. A double box culvert needs to be installed.

Elkhart Hill Road, which received a temporary patch and seal this past summer, will be receiving more extensive rehabilitation next year. The project will be funded with $100,000 in motor fuel tax. Logan County's assistant engineer, Brett Aukamp, will design the project in-house this winter. When completed this road should last 10 years or more.

The lowest bid of $20,060 was awarded for construction on a section of road in Lake Fork Township.

Motor fuel tax funds, in the amount of $187,000, will also be used for improvements at the intersection of County Highway 10 and 800th Avenue (Coal Haul Road). Due to the special needs of this intersection, the engineering will be contracted out. A fee not to exceed $17,500 was approved for design services from Cummins Engineering Corp.

GIS progression

Last spring, pictures were taken of the entire county, using digital cameras mounted over a window in the bottom of a plane attached to a computer and the Global Positioning System.

Out of that flight the county now has a more accurate and updated map of the entire county. That map will be the basis of many layers of information useful for a multitude of purposes. It will aid the county in identifying properties for land use and taxing. Most currently, local officials are looking forward to the map to aid in economic development.

The next step the Logan County map will go through is what is referred to as parcel mapping. Engineers use software and information to fill in details such as roads and property boundaries.

The geographic information system development is a state-mandated project. Every county in the state is required to do a county survey using GIS. The state keeps extending the date of completion. It is now to be completed by 2006.

The county has received 80 percent reimbursement from the state of Illinois for $30,000 for aerial work that was performed. An increase in recording fees supplies the county's share in the expense.

When completed, the project will probably be put online for access by anyone. Some layers could contain sensitive information that certain county departments need to access. In that case the information would be protected by an access code.

Furry friends

Homeless animals will be kept warm this winter. Pluth Heating and Cooling is installing a new furnace at a cost of $6,240 at the animal control facility.

The animal shelter continues to collect aluminum cans to help offset feeding their charges. The cans raised $217 last month.

There were 65 animals to start October. Then 64 cats or dogs were added, 11 were reclaimed, 21 adopted, 19 euthanized, five died, and 13 transferred. The month ended with 60 cats and dogs in holding, looking for good homes.

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County planning and improvements

Work on a new comprehensive county plan has begun. Regional Planning Commission members began the process by simply floating ideas at their first meeting.

The plan was last updated in 1978, nearly 20 years ago, and is 250 pages long. The push to do the new update was made in recognition that many parties -- city, county, economic development partnership -- are ready and willing to work together to market our area. Current and accurate information is needed to do this.

Video machines licensed

Liquor license holders must purchase a license for every amusement device they have in their establishment. This is a new regulation that will be enforced soon.

Snow removal

A bid of $435 to remove snow from county properties was accepted from the second-lowest bidder. Larson's was awarded the bid. A bid of $390 was received from Triple S Construction, located outside Logan County, but Vicky Hasprey and Terry Werth said they would prefer the job done by someone within the county.

Ten letters of violation were sent out to residents with junk vehicles sitting on their property. County zoning officer Budd Miller ran a campaign to get properties cleaned up in unincorporated areas of the county, following a number of complaints.

Recycling electronics

Electronics recycling hits it big in Logan County. Patrick O'Neill reported that 3.25 tons of TVs, 2.25 tons of computers and a total of 17 tons of electronics were turned in at the October recycling.

Recycling for Illinois thanked the county for their participation in what they deemed "a very successful event." They look forward to coming back.

The recycling reduces hazardous waste in landfills.

Tires

The Oct. 2 tire collection resulted in 5,074 tires, with 33 percent from agricultural use.

Tires were sent to the tire shredders and from there to ADM in Decatur. At ADM the material is either burned for energy or turned into crumb that is used for street curbs. It has excellent expansion and contraction properties.

County board chair Dale Voyles thanked Dr. David Hepler and his family for his years of service and their sacrifice of time.

Voyles did not seek re-election and comes to his end of term as well. He is a candidate for mayor of Lincoln.

Newly elected board members will be sworn in at 9 a.m. on Monday at the Logan County Courthouse.

[Jan Youngquist]

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