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Benld Council hires Plavonich as City Inspector

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Employs Gardner to read meters, starting immediately

Tom Hubert explains to the council that not everything can be discussed in executive session.

After a lengthy discussion in executive session during a regular board meeting on October 8, the Benld City Council motioned to hire Rich Plavonich as the city inspector. The motion came from Gloria Sidar with the understanding Rich goes to school and gets the certification. “The city would pay the certification fee. If he fails the class, he is required to reimburse the city that amount of money. If he passes, he is required to stay with the city until the city earns enough revenue back from inspections to pay the inspection certification,” Sidar explained. Plavonich was approved 4-2 by the council with objections from Bernot and Tilashalski.

Peyton Bernot, water chairman, also motioned to employ Dennis Gardner to read the meters in Benld. “The water committee has decided to employ Gardner at the rate of $600 per month,” Bernot explained. All rereads will be at no cost and are subjected to be performed at the city’s discretion. His one year contract is to start immediately, November 1. Gardner was approved 6-0.

In passing, Bernot ran into Terry Plovich. Plovich submitted a request to the council that all gas for city vehicles be purchased from TJ’s. “He would take $0.05 off per gallon for all Benld vehicles. An additional benefit, he would offer free coffee, fountain soda, and cappuccino to all on-duty city employees. He will also subtract all the taxes from the fuel prices,” Bernot explained. George Nepute explained it borders bribery and he opposes it. “No it does not, the city employees have no say so since it is your vote and not theirs,” Vertichio explained. The city spent $1,442 on fuel in September of 2012. The council would have saved $72.10 if they had a contract with TJ’s. The council decided to talk to Casey’s and see if they would make a better offer to the city.

In old business, the council updated the public on the post office and the property on 212 West Walnut Street. The council explained the post office has been halted. A reporter questioned why the progress was halted and the Mayor explained the meeting is between the “council, not you.” Other board members explained the public can ask questions. “It has been halted because the United States Postal Office is not satisfied with the interior,” Peyton Bernot explained. USPS requested nearly $16,000 of architectural changes.

The council was also updated on the 212 West Walnut Street. “The people that bought it for backed taxes were joined in the lawsuit. They filed a petition with the county once we notified them of the lawsuit,” Vertichio explained. The backed taxes are still outstanding. If the city does acquire the title to the property, they can make a request to abate the backed taxes. “The procedure is there to sell the house with current taxes,” Vertichio said. Rick went on to say the city should not spend a bunch of money without having a buyer lined up.

Mickey Robinson explains the Post Office from St. Louis directed where to put the mail dropoff box.

Miscellaneous Issues
The City of Benld adopted Halloween hours for 2012. The hours will be from 6-8pm on October 30 and 31. The council also approved to pay $50 to adopt-a-class. In other issues around town, the council would like to see a weight limit put on the 200 block of the North Main Street bridge. City Attorney explained the city could be getting a settlement from Atrazine. “You should be getting the check this calendar year and it should be anywhere between $5,000 and $15,000,” Rick Vertichio added.

Committee Reports
Peyton Bernot, ordinance officer, brought up an issue with his recent job description. According to Bernot, the mayor explained to him it is his job to both write the ordinances and enforce them. “Currently, we have an ordinance that states the police duty is to enforce them,” Bernot explained. “I do not think we need two people writing ordinance violations.” Council member George Nepute agreed with Bernot and explained it does not have to be that involved. Nepute suggested Bernot should just write the ordinances. “Apparently, he refuses to do the duties,” Mayor Robinson explained. The entire board explained to the mayor that was not the issue. City Attorney Rick Vertichio suggested Bernot just write the ordinances.

Public Recognition
Alma Cook addressed the council about the city inspection fee. “I am fine with the $75,” Cook explained. “I wish you would go back to the yearly fee. I have people move in and out in 3 months. I want to put more money into the house instead of paying inspection fees.” She went on to say that is both the City’s goal and her goal to make the houses look better for the city.

Mike Mendenhall questioned the council if it was alright if he could start working on getting the mailbox moved. “The Post Office in St. Louis, the lady in charge, put it in the best place,” Mayor Robinson explained. Mendenhall said he could start a petition to get it moved. “It is too dark and the street is not wide enough for it to be placed there.” City Attorney Rick Vertichio said the issue is with Mendenhall and the post office, not the city.

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Gina Mendenhall brought up an issue with the bike trail. At night, there is a lot of noise coming from the bike trail. “I just hear a bunch of yelling when they pull up and off they go down the trail,” Gina explained. She went on to add that she is getting mixed signals. Initially, she was told to contact the police when this occurs. She did, the police came, the police left, and the truck was still there. “I called back around 1am when they left and the dispatcher said the kids were fine, they were just drinking tea.” Mendenhall suggested there should be an ordinance added to prevent usage of the bike trail for certain hours of the night. “I am concerned about the activity on the bike trail,” Mendenhall closed. Her concern was directed to the police committee.

Cathy Petrak advised the council that Benld is having their second annual Senior Christmas Dinner. Petrak questioned if the city had money to split the dinner half and half with Build Benld. She explained they are planning on having the dinner for anyone aged 62 and older. Petrak estimated nearly $1,000 for the meal. Any donations for the event can be made to Build Benld.

Tom Hubert explained not “everything” has to go in executive session. “There are only 3 things you are allowed to discuss in executive session and I think a lot more is being discussed in private,” Hubert added. The council assured him not other issues were being taken care of in executive session.

City Attorney Report
Rick Vertichio questioned whether the council passed the noise ordinance last month or not because he was unable to make the meeting. “I don’t know if you adopted it, but I wrote an amendment to it if you did.” No one was able to remember if it was adopted or not, so the amendment to Ordinance 4-2-4 was approved.

Vertichio also noted that the council needs to approve Ken Snider’s business request or deny it. The council thought they did, but they did not. The council went on to approve the business request with a 6-0 vote.

Next Meeting: The next regular board meeting for the City of Benld will be on November 13 at 7pm due to the federal holiday.

 

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Progressive Club to celebrate 90th anniversary

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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.

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Gillespie Police Report: April 14-20, 2024

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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HSHS St. Francis Hospital offers volunteer opportunities for feens

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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.

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