Connect with us

Community News

Benld Council enacts ordinance against water meter tampering

Published

on

Benld resident Katie Jenkins appeared before the council to ask that the city consider establishing a three-way stop at the intersection of Illinois and Dorsey Streets. She said the intersection is a school bus stop and traffic often drives through the area at high speeds, endangering children who are present.

The Benld City Council on Monday night voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance establishing a fine of $500 against the property owner when an incident of water meter tampering is discovered. The ordinance is aimed at deterring property owners or tenants from reconnecting water services that have been disconnected for non-payment.

In other action, the council voted to eliminate the deadline from its agreement to sell the former site of First National Bank to Derek Tiburzi for redevelopment as a business location.

City Attorney Rick Verticchio told the council last month that persons who reconnect water services after they are shut off for nonpayment are technically “stealing” water. The Macoupin County State’s Attorney has been reluctant to prosecute such cases as a criminal matter, however, because it is not possible to prove who reconnected the service beyond a reasonable doubt. The ordinance relieves the city from proving who tampered with the water meter by making the property owner responsible for an ordinance violation rather than a criminal charge.

Under the new ordinance, the property owner will be held responsible whether they or a tenant actually tampered with the meter. Moreover, the ordinance allows the city to add the fine to the water bill associated with the property if it hasn’t been paid within 30 days, and require it to be paid before reconnecting the service. While water service accounts are supposed to be in the tenant’s name, Verticchio said existing ordinances make the property owner ultimately responsible for unpaid water bills.

In a somewhat related matter, the council voted specifically to shut off water service to a home where the owner moved out and allowed a tenant to move in without having a property inspection done and without reassigning the water service account to the new tenant.

“Shut the water off,” Verticchio said after being advised of the situation. “I’ll write you a note saying it’s okay if you want me to.”

Council member John Balzraine moved to shut off water service to the residence in order to have the consensus of the council on record. His motion was approved by a unanimous vote.

The council very briefly discussed measures to enforce the city’s ordinance that requires a housing inspection before allowing new tenants to move in. Verticchio said the city already has an ordinance establishing a fine for evading the home inspection requirement. Under the ordinance, property owners are required to provide the city with the names of tenants or persons buying properties contract for deed. Additionally, property owners are required to have a home inspection done by the city housing inspector and to pay for that inspection to be performed. Failure to comply with any of those requirements is subject to a fine.

Advertisement

“You already have all that,” Verticchio advised.

WATER RATE INCREASE

The council voted unanimously to increase water rates for Benld customers in response to a recent increase imposed by the City of Gillespie, which provides treated water for the Benld system.

“We are getting an increase from Gillespie,” Mayor Jim Kelly said. “Like it or not, we’re going to have to raise our rates. Even with this increase, we still have the second cheapest rate in Macoupin County.”

City Clerk Terri Koyne said a home using 5,000 gallons for water per month will still their bill increase from $76 to $82.50 for water and sewer. The minimum bill for water and sewer will increase to $22.50.

In a related matter, Koyne said the city is still experiencing problems with the U.S. Postal Service delivering water bills, with bills often being lost or delayed in the St. Louis postal hub. She said residents who have not received a bill by the first of the month should call City Hall to find out what they owe.

TIBURZI SALES AGREEMENT

On a motion by Balzraine, seconded by Mickey Robinson, the council voted unanimously to accept Mayor Kelly’s recommendation to eliminate a deadline from an agreement to sell the former site of First National Bank in the 200 block of East Central Avenue to Derek Tiburzi. Tiburzi was the high bidder to purchase the property from the city in April 2022 after the city condemned the property and razed the deteriorating two-story brick building. Tiburzi agreed to pay $6,000 down plus monthly payments of $1,000 for 24 months for a total purchase price of $30,000.

The original agreement required Tiburzi to erect a permanent building for business enterprise within three years.

Last month, Tiburzi and members of his family appeared before the council to ask for an indefinite extension on the deadline because contractors had advised them the soil was improperly compacted to support a building.

Advertisement

Mayor Kelly said the city’s action eliminates the deadline, allowing Tiburzi to continue to make monthly payments after which he is expected to build a business building as soon as feasible. The only restriction remaining is that Tiburzi build a business facility rather than housing or some other building.

DEMOLITION PERMITS

The council took no formal action, but briefly discussed and directed Verticchio to write a draft ordinance regarding permits for demolition projects. The discussion followed an incident last week during which the city was required to bring in a private contractor to finish knocking down a brick building across the street after it became unstable in the midst of workers attempting to raze the structure by hand.

“We have no permit for demolition,” Mayor Kelly told the council. The initial proposal includes a $250 fee for the permit, plus a requirement that the property owner post a $1,000 bond.

Ald. Dustin Fletcher suggested requiring the demolition site to have adequate fencing for safety considerations, and a system to notify the city when workers are on site. If the building on Central Avenue had collapsed, he said, the city would have no way of knowing if workers were trapped under the debris. Emergency workers could have wasted time and effort searching for people who might not even be there.

Fletcher also said exposed basements should be inspected before contractors fill them in to ensure they are not improperly backfilled with construction debris.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Following a 20-minute executive session, the council voted unanimously to declare as public nuisances the following properties: 209 North Illinois, 111 South Sixth, 111 South Main, and 304 North Fourth.

STOP SIGN REQUEST

Benld resident Katie Jenkins appeared before the council to ask that the city consider establishing a three-way stop at the intersection of Illinois and Dorsey Streets. She said the intersection is a school bus stop and traffic often drives through the area at high speeds, endangering children who are present.

Mayor Kelly referred the matter to committee and noted that making the intersection a three-way stop would require a new ordinance.

Advertisement

In the meantime, Ald. Fletcher said he would ask the Police Department to patrol the area during times when school buses are picking up and discharging children.

BACKHOE RENTAL

In other action, the council agreed to rent a backhoe from Equipment Share, St. Louis, for 1,584 for one week.

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