Connect with us

Community News

Benld citizen displays dissatisfaction with City Council

Published

on

Benld considered in Route 66 projects

Ferdinand Girardi insists to explain the band's rate to the council.

Ferdinand Girardi insists to explain the band’s rate to the council.

Tom Hubert, resident of Benld, displayed his dissatisfaction with the city council during a regular scheduled meeting on April 8, 2013. Hubert is a familiar face in the crowd during the council meetings and attends nearly every single meeting the council holds, but last month’s meeting urged Hubert to express his concerns with the council.

“I am really disappointed from the March meeting,” Hubert explained. He explained the council spent $16,000.00 on a lawyer fee with little discussion, $100 on a chamber fee, and then the council let a motion made by Peyton Bernot fall to give a donation to Post Prom. “It’s not for the school, it’s for the kids – it’s a great organization,” Hubert added. “Peyton Bernot made the motion, but could not get a second from anybody and I think that is a shame.”

Jim Kelly said he does not feel city money should be donated to everyone. “At some point, you have to say no,” Kelly explained. On the other hand, Kelly explained he did some research on the chamber and that was the worst move he has ever made. Gloria agreed, she too made the wrong move on the chamber donation. “Everyone agrees now,” Tom added. Gloria questioned where the line was drawn. “People go through catastrophic things in their family and come and ask for money,” Sidar continued. “I come to most meetings and no one has come with a family issue,” Tom replied.

Hubert went on to be blunt with the council saying “it’s because Peyton made the motion.” Multiple members said it has nothing to do with Bernot, but Tom said the council is split and it is highly visible from an outside perspective. “I hope this changes when new leaders take over,” Hubert closed. Sidar and Lynn Fraelle went on to add many council people have agreed with Bernot and voted in side with him, but Sidar said it isn’t a bad thing that the council is split. “Is it bad that we all don’t agree on every single item?”

Jim Kelly went on to add Rick Vertichio said he would have sued the council for 10% rather than the 6% his management fee pertained to. “I don’t feel like I am in the position to gamble with tax payer money,” Kelly added. “There was never any paperwork set up when the Atrazine settlement started, yes it should have been but there wasn’t.”

Route 66 Projects

William Kelly updated the council on two projects going on within the State of Illinois along Route 66. The first project includes a total of 362 bike racks along community highways. The rack will have a top header on the rack displaying numerous logos on the header with a QR code for users with smartphones to snap and find out more about the area they are in.

There will be three bike racks placed in Benld. “The first will be at the bike trail head, one by the tank, and one by the concession stand at the ballfield,” Kelly explained. “It will be up to you to finalize.” The racks won’t be delivered until this time next year and the racks are covered through a grant by the Federal Government, the Federal Highway Administration, and the State.

The second project involves interpretive structures or figures. “Structures are a way to communicate a story,” Kelly added. “People come from all over the world to learn about the story of Route 66.” Benld will be getting a set of structures along with a wayside displaying information about the city. All of the information will be approved by the council before fabrication.

Advertisement

Kelly went on to close with Route 66 is the second most popular tourist site behind the City of Chicago in Illinois for international travelers. Tens of thousands of people land in Chicago and head south. “We want to give travelers a reason to stop and learn, then spend some money.”

Issue with Tree Cutting

Lynn Fraelle brought up the issue multiple citizens have pertaining to the trees cut down in the Benld City Park. “I know you told us the trees were almost dead,” Fraelle said to Mayor Robinson. “They weren’t dead, but they were over 75% dead,” Robinson responded. He said these trees slowly die because he has the same trees in his yard. Other council members questioned who looked at the trees to inspect they were dead.

Robinson didn’t name anyone who inspected the trees, but explained the labor was free of charge and it did not cost the city any money. “I don’t know who looked at the trees last year,” Robinson added. “You could see buds on them, yes.” Fraelle went on to say there 8-9 trees cut down in the park and they costed $2,300 in 2009. Fraelle questioned what they should now; organizations need the trees for shade for summer events.

William Kelly advised the council of the two Route 66 projects Benld will be apart of.

William Kelly advised the council of the two Route 66 projects Benld will be apart of.

“The park looks sterile,” Gloria Sidar added. “It doesn’t look like a park.” Members of the council explained it is too hot to do anything at the park without shade. Gina Mendenhall asked if the mayor has the authority to cut the trees down without any other permission from the council. “A lot of people, 10-15 people, said there were buds on the trees being cut down,” Mendenhall said. “I can’t see why we cut them down unless they are being replaced.”

Robinson concluded the conversation saying he had over 20 people in the last 9 months as her term as mayor tell him the trees should go because “they don’t look good.” “Just because some people say they don’t look good give you the right to cut them down without talking to anyone,” Gina closed. Robinson concluded, “I apologize to the committee, I apologize to the council, and I apologize to the public.”

City Attorney Report

Gina explained the Vertichio office has received multiple bids for the demolition of the two Conlee properties. Both properties have a hearing slated for April 26 with leans from both the IRS and FNB. If there are no answers by April 26, demolition can begin on May 2 for both properties.

Bill Ranger & Sons came in with the lowest bid on the 100 N. 6th property with a bid of $9,848 and Green Track came in with the lowest bid on the 101 S. Main property with a bid of $5,360. The council approved both of the lowest bids.

Gina also explained the nuisance order has been filed for the Releford property on 105 & 106 N. 6th street with a hearing set for April 29 to answer. The council decided to leave this issue alone until hearing if Releford decides to answer any of the letters.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Mickey Robinson commended both Jim Savant and Jim Zirkelbach for having the streets cleared during the last two snow storms. “Not one complaint was given on either one of them. They should get compliments for going above and beyond,” Robinson added. Robinson also commended Ed Sarraco on getting the boxcars removed from the area.

Advertisement

Robinson explained to the council the cable company pays the council a franchise tax each year and amount received from 2012 totaled $3,789.18.

The mayor explained the council has set May 4 as the cleanup date for Benld. Dumpsters will be provided for one day only, but a committee has been assigned to add further rule and regulations for the date. More details will be released later.

New Business Request

A business request was filed with the Benld City Clerk. The new business was a gun shop inside someone’s home. The council had multiple issues with the request and did not approve. Lynn Fraelle went on to add she picked up a business permit for a salon owner opening her salon in Tim Loveless’ building across from Fema’s. “She has been in business for years and she comes with good references,” Lynn added.

Band Contract

As requested by the mayor, Gloria Sidar got together with the municipal band. Everyone agreed the band should play at the Memorial Day service and written contracts should be in order before the band plays so there is no misunderstanding with rates, dates, or any other details. Mr. Girardi brought copies from the band saying they will do services at the Memorial Day event at the cemetery totaling $1,080.

Jim Tilashalski questioned if the payment is based on the number of band members. Gloria then said the amount is to be paid following the performance. Ferdinand Girardi insisted to read the contract to the council, but Mayor Robinson ruled he was out of order. “I am just trying to read something; I am not twisting this thing down. I said I was going to read it because he had a question,” Girardi advised.

Tilashalski said he takes his question back. Ferdinand then asked for personal permission to read something to the council. The mayor left the decision up to the council, but no one said anything. “You are out of order,” Robinson said. “I asked for personal permission,” Ferdinand responded.  The council went on to approve the invoice total for the Memorial Day service by the municipal band.

Committee Reports

Jim Kelly reported to the council the building in the city park is finished. “It looks really good,” Kelly explained. Kelly also went on to say the council has been in contact with the postal office and he was in need of a motion to continue progress on the building to house the postal office.

“We have walls to build,” he added. The work needs to be done to make it accessible including a handicap accessible ramp. The post office will be manned 4-6 hours per day with a time clock on the front door from 8am-5pm for people who pick up their mail. All the equipment will be installed when they get it down to us. The council approved the work for the post office 4-1 with objection from Jim Tilashalski.

Advertisement

Lynn Fraelle explained the finance committee met with the topic of discussion pertaining to a bonus for city employees. Fraelle said the committee debated the topic quite a bit and decided on giving bonuses keeping money in mind. The committee decided to give bonuses to each full time employee $200, a part time employee $100, and minimal hour employees a pro-rate bonus. The council approved the bonuses 5-0 totaling $1,800 for the City of Benld.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

There are plenty of ways to keep up on BenGil news:

Sign up for our weekly email newsletter

Check out all of our pictures on our sister site, we are your personal photographer

Like us on Facebook for a slightly different take

Follow us on Twitter for the fastest score updates and breaking news updates

Advertisement
Share this story

Comments

comments

Community News

Progressive Club to celebrate 90th anniversary

Published

on

Benld Entreprise

The Wilsonville Progressive Club will celebrate and host a 90 year Anniversary Party on Saturday, May 11. The party will include a catered dinner, a live band, and fireworks.

Doors will open at 2 pm with a catered dinner being served at 4 pm.  The Shane Kessinger Experience (live band) will play at 5 pm, and a grand fireworks display will be held at dusk.

The Progressive Club was originally established in 1934 by the Progressive Miners and was located on the northwest side of Wilsonville’s main street. The Club moved to their new building in January of 1949 and today this is still the current location at 212 Wilson Street in Wilsonville.

Wilsonville was founded in 1917 when Superior Coal Co. Mine No. 4 was sunk and this was the most modern mine in the Superior field. At that time, the little settlement which grew up around the mine was called Wilson. One day a worker paused and asked, “What are we going to name this town?” President Wilson was in office, thus the town was then and there named Wilson until 1919 when it was incorporated and the name expanded to Wilsonville.

The Wilsonville Progressive Club is operated and maintained by an elected panel of trustees and loyal members.  The Club is open to the public and membership is always welcome.  The large outdoor covered pavilion and manicured grassy side lot offer an attractive and convenient venue for any event along with inside facilities. 

If you are interested in renting for any kind of event, call 217-835-3122 during open hours which are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 4 pm to close, and Sunday doors open at 2 pm.  Every Sunday afternoon at 4 pm is the Queen of Hearts drawing and the Club is on Facebook as well.

Advertisement
Share this story

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Community News

Gillespie Police Report: April 14-20, 2024

Published

on

SUNDAY, APRIL 14, 2024

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of East Oak Street in reference to a dog bite.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Abba Street to pick up a found item.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of East Maple Street in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of West Chestnut Street in reference to a burglary.

An officer was out in the 200 block of North Macoupin Street in reference to a motorist assist.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Schmidt Street in reference to a 911 call.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of South 1st Street in Benld in reference to a domestic dispute.

Advertisement

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of Broadway Street in reference to a medical call.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of South Illinois Street in Benld in reference to illegal burning.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of South 5th Street in Benld in reference to an animal complaint.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of Horizon Street in reference to a 911 call.

MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2024

An officer was dispatched to Gillespie Police Department to speak with a male in reference to a theft in the 100 block of South Main Street in Benld.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of West Osie Street in reference to a violation of an order of protection.

Nicholas O. Landolt, 36, of Gillespie was arrested on multiple warrants including one out of St. Clair County for possession for methamphetamine, a second one out of Montgomery County for failure to appear for driving while license was revoked, and a third out of Macoupin County for failure to appear for methamphetamine.

Advertisement

An officer was dispatched to East Walnut Street in reference to a suspicious noise.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Abba Street in reference to a juvenile issue.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of Broadway Street in reference to a medical alarm.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a theft in the 200 block of West Oak Street.

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to criminal damage to her property.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to identity theft.

An officer spoke with a female in the 100 block of North 7th Street in Benld in reference to a neighbor dispute.

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a violation of an order of protection.

Advertisement

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of Southern Street in reference to a suspicious person.

TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2024

An officer was dispatched to the 1100 block of South Macoupin Street in reference to criminal damage to property.

An officer was dispatched to the 900 block of South Macoupin Street in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of East Walnut Street in reference to criminal trespass to property.

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of North 7th Street in Benld in reference to criminal trespass to property. Melissa J. Hughes, 49, of Benld was arrested on a Montgomery County warrant for theft/larceny.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of East Maple Street in reference to criminal trespass to property.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of Francis Street in reference to a traffic crash.

Advertisement

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a civil issue in the 700 block of Rose Street in Benld.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of South 5th Street in Benld in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of East Pine Street to assist the Department of Children and Family Services.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of Broadway Street in reference to reckless driving.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of East Central Avenue in Benld in reference to a 911 call.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2024

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to fraud in the 200 block of South Macoupin.

An officer was dispatched to a business in the 500 block of East Elm Street in reference to criminal trespass to property.

Advertisement

An officer was dispatched to Route 4 and Staunton Road in reference to reckless driving.

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of Gillespie Street in reference to unwanted solicitors.

An officer was dispatched to High Street and Gillespie Street in reference to a suspicious noise.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of High Street in reference to unwanted solicitors.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a civil standby.

An officer was flagged down at Elm Street and Clinton Street and spoke with an individual in reference to a civil issue.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of Mt. Olive Road in Eagarville in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a suspicious circumstance.

Advertisement

THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2024

An officer was dispatched to a business in the 400 block of South Macoupin Street in reference to a panic alarm sounding.

An officer was dispatched to the 1300 block of South Second Street in reference to a civil standby.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of West Osie Street in reference to a dog bite.  Heather L. Kimberlin, 47, of Gillespie was issued a citation for dog at large.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of West Baker Street in reference to a juvenile issue.

An officer was out with a suspicious vehicle in the alley in the 500 block of Park Avenue.

An officer was dispatched to East Walnut and South Main Street in Benld in reference to reckless driving.

An officer was dispatched to the Veterans Memorial Park in Benld in reference to a suspicious vehicle that had been parked there for a couple of days.

Advertisement

Gillespie Police Department was requested for traffic control by the Gillespie Fire Department for a fire on Eagarville Road.

FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2024

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of East Walnut Street in reference to a traffic crash.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of South Street in Gillespie in reference to a juvenile issue.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Litchfield Road in East Gillespie in reference to a suspicious person at the storage units. Kathy J. Henderson, 49, of Sawyerville was arrested on a Macoupin County warrant for failure to appear for bad checks

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Maple Street and Macoupin Street. Kenny L. Fults, 18, of Belleville was issued a citation for possession of cannabis.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of Mt. Olive Road in Eagarville in reference to civil standby.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of West Burton Street in reference to an animal complaint.

Advertisement

SATURDAY, APRIL 20, 2024

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Abba Street in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of North 7th Street in Benld in reference to criminal trespassing. Timothy J. Dalpozzo, 57, of Benld was arrested for criminal trespassing to residence and a Macoupin County warrant for criminal trespassing to a residence.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at South Street and Chestnut Street and charges are pending crime lab results.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of East Maple Street in reference to reckless driving.

An officer was dispatched to Macoupin Street and Elm Street in reference to reckless driving.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of Osie Street in reference to a dog at large.

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of North 8th Street in Benld in reference to medical assist.

Advertisement

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of West Spruce Street in reference to a suspicious person.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of West Baker Street in reference to criminal trespass to property.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of Park Street in Benld in reference to a medical call.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to an ordinance issue.

All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Share this story

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Community News

HSHS St. Francis Hospital offers volunteer opportunities for feens

Published

on

LITCHFIELD, Ill. — HSHS St. Francis Hospital is offering service opportunities to area teens this summer through the 2024 Junior Volunteer Program. Applications are being accepted now through May 1.

Applicants must be high school students maintaining at least a “C” average, be a minimum of 14 years of age by June 1 and be willing to volunteer at least two hours per week during the summer program. Junior volunteers will perform a variety of duties in various hospital departments. 

Registration materials are available on the hospital’s website volunteer page at https://www.hshs.org/st-francis/community/volunteer.

All participants in the program will be required to present proof of immunizations for MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), and Varicella (chicken pox). An additional requirement includes attendance at a hospital orientation.

A limited number of positions will be available. For more information, contact HSHS St. Francis Hospital at 217-324-8200.

Share this story

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Trending

×

We need your support. If you value having timely, accurate news about your community, please become one of our subscribers. Subscribe