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Gillespie accepts Power Savings Solution proposal

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Accepted Settlement with Syngenta

Clint Newingham shows Alderman Jim Alderson how to read the results from the data logger.

Clint Newingham from Power Savings Solution returned to the Gillespie City Council during a regular scheduled board meeting on Monday, June 11. Newingham returned to propose another offer to the City after multiple board members questioned whether Power Savings Solution’s capacitors really save money at the well site.

“I can do a 6 month free trial of the product to show the savings,” Newingham offered. “You will see an immediate savings on the power bill, so that is what we propose.” The installation is free of charge. At the end of the 6 months, the City is obligated to buy the product at the proposed price if the savings is there.

Newingham will also do a data reading before and after the product is installed. It will show the kilowatt hours being saved with the product. “It will show the difference with and without the unit,” Newingham said.

Mayor Hicks questioned if the product still fell under the grant from Ameren. Newingham said he already applied for the grants and Carrolton received the full amount from the grant. The 6 month free trial will take place at the water plant.

The data recordings will read at 15 minute intervals as the meter does. “I am doing it because I love to prove people wrong and this is what I will be doing here,” Newingham added. City Attorney Kevin Polo added, ‘on terms previous last illustrated.’ Polo also added that the City would compare the month’s power bill compared to the previous year’s power bill. From the figures, the City would be able to compare how much is actually being saved.

Newingham also said he will return to the water plant to run an additional test to make sure he has the right equipment. As he stated, he will install his data logger and let it run for whatever duration the city deems appropriate with it reading every 15 minutes. Then, he will let the data logger run after the capacitors are installed and let the council review the results.

The city accepted Power Savings Solution’s proposal without any objections. Newingham added that he could have the product made and installed by the middle of next week at the raw water pump at the lake that runs 24/7 according to Don.

The City of Gillespie then accepted the settlement with Syngenta. The settlement, which has been filed in federal court and is public record, is a settlement for past cost for treating atrazine. The Atrazine settlement will resolve a 2010 class action lawsuit, entitled City of Greenville v. Syngenta Crop Protection, which claims Syngenta knew Atrazine would enter drinking water supplies and asked that Syngenta pay the cost to remove it.

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Syngenta denies any wrongdoing and any risk to public health from the herbicide, but has agreed to create a $105 million class action lawsuit settlement fund to be divided among all Class Members after paying court-approved attorneys’ fees and costs and expenses.

The City of Gillespie cannot file against Syngenta for the next 10 years and agreed to settle with the company without any obligations.

The city then transferred lake lot #2 Western Lane to Walter Threbold. The residence is a permanent residence at the lake. The tanks have just been replaced, according to Frank Barrett. The small residence will be occupied by just one person.

Jared DePoppe brought the council’s attention to the May police report. The department collected $1,250 in ordinance violations and $800 in impound fees. He also reported the department had 29 ordinance issues in the month of May while only 3 were not officer initiated.

While DePoppe was in the spotlight, he answered Dave Tucker’s question about the numerous seat belt tickets being issued. “It definitely is not a head hunting operation, but it comes up once a year,” DePoppe answered. “May is click-it or ticket month, so the seatbelt numbers increase in May and September.” Basically, it is just a promotional idea. The City receives less than $20 after the court and state take their fees, so he noted that the department would write ordinance violations to earn extra money.

Mayor Hicks then opened the sealed bids for the retired police cars in front of DePoppe. The council voted to accept a bid from B&B Auto Sales in Imperial, Missouri for $1,750 for the 2004 blue Crown Victoria and $1,250 for 2004 black and white Crown Victoria. The council then accepted a bid from Chuck Fellin for the amount of $310.00 to install the new water plant door.

The council later voted to allow gambling in taverns. According to Kevin Polo, the city could capture some of the revenue. The machines have to pay out at least 80% of the money that is taken in and 30%  of the net earnings go to the State of Illinois and the state sends the local municipality 1/6 of the 30% share.

In new business, the council adopted the prevailing wage ordinance and decided to donate the amount they donated last year to the firework show at the Coal Country Sports Complex. The council then said they were not notified of the recent power shut-off as Ameren said they were. Doliger then noted that the police department was notified, but failed to announce it on the fire radio. He added that he was notified during Black Diamond Days that about 750 people would be affected during the outage.

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Court News

Macoupin County Courthouse News

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Cases filed during July 7 through July 13. Visit the “Court News” category under the “Community News” tab for other editions.

FELONIES

Timothy D. Conlee, 29 of Gillespie, is charged with aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer, driving on a suspended license, and reckless driving in connection with a July 6 incident.

Dylan J. Arview, 25 of Benld, is charged with driving under the influence while license revoked or suspending, DUI, driving on a suspended license and driving 15-20 mph above the limit in connection with a July 5 incident.

Bobby L. Walker, 35 of Sorento, is charged with driving revoked/suspended with a DUI, driving on revoked license, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, displayed registration plate, and expired registration in connection with a June 27 incident.

Dustin W. Gooch, 34 of Beecher City, is charged with aggravated fleeing/bodily injury, unlawful display of a title, improper use of registration/title, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, and registration light in connection with a June 17 incident.

MISDEMEANORS

Jordan A. Black, 24 of Gillespie, is charged with battery/causing bodily harm in connection with a July 8 incident.

Dustin R. Stieglitz, 37 of Shipman, is charged with aggravated assault/use of a deadly weapon in connection to a June 29 incident.

Steven A. Kroll, 33 of Eagarville, is charged with resisting a peace officer, fire fighter, or corrections employee in connection with a June 26 incident.

TRAFFIC

David B. Brown, 58 of Virden, is charged with cancelled/revoked/suspended registration in connection with a July 3 incident.

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Jennifer L. Roberts, 47 of Worden, is charged with driving on a suspended license and operating an uninsured motor vehicle in connection with July 5 incident.

Andrew L. Connoyer, 31 of Bethalto, is charged with improper use of registration, driving 15-20 mph above the limit, and no valid registration in connection with July 7 incident.

Megan E. Bertoldi, 37 of Gillespie, is charged with leaving the scene in connection with July 11 incident.

DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE FILED

  • Tasha McQuay versus David McQuay

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Community News

School board disciplines staff member; hires AD and Student Services Coordinator

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In a relatively brief meeting Monday night, the Community Unit School District 7 Board of Education approved a “resolution of remedial warning” against an unidentified district teacher, and hired a new Student Services Coordinator and Athletic Director.

The actions followed an 80-minute executive session during which board members presumably primarily discussed personnel issues. The regular monthly meeting of the board was moved up by one week to fill key positions, such as the Athletic Director and Student Services Coordinator, prior to the start of the school year next month. The district was taken by surprise when former Student Services Coordinator Stephanie Bray and Athletic Director Mike Bertagnolli both announced their retirements within days of each other.

Supt. Shane Owsley said the resolution of remedial warning is a disciplinary action representing “a second strike, so to speak.” Neither the teacher or the nature of the infraction was disclosed in open session.

In other action, the board, voted unanimously to hire Shelsie Timmermeier as the district’s Student Services Coordinator for the 2024-25 school year, stepping into the vacancy created by Bray’s retirement, pending confirmation of certification and a background check. In a separate action, the board also appointed Timmermeier as an assistant high school women’s volleyball coach.

Jeremy Smith was hired, also by a unanimous vote, as the district’s Athletic Director for the 2024-25 school year. In a related matter, Smith’s resignation as middle school head baseball coach was accepted. Additionally, the board posted the coaching position as vacant for the coming school year.

On a motion by Weye Schmidt, seconded by Dennis Tiburzi, the board hired Alex Jasper as a high school social science teacher for the coming school year. The board also voted unanimously to hire Tate Wargo as a first-year, non-tenured physical education instructor, pending confirmation of certification. Both positions were vacated as a result of the sudden resignation of Dalton Barnes in April as head football coach, physical education teacher and social science teacher. 

In related matters, the board also hired Wargo Monday night as an eighth grade boy’s basketball coach, and accepted Jasper’s resignation as a district paraprofessional and posted the position as vacant.

In other personnel action, the board:

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  • Hired Amanda Ewin as a one-on-one aide.
  • Hired Anthony Kravanya as a freshman men’s basketball coach.
  • Appointed Melissa Heigert as a volunteer assistant high school softball coach.

In other action, the board gave routine approval to a list of policies provided by the Illinois State Board of Education. 

Supt. Owsley also provided a brief update on the progress being made on safety projects expected to be completed before the start of the school year, including installation of a new intercom system, a card-reader entry system and shatter-proof protective film on exterior windows.

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Community News

Gillespie Library, United Community Bank to host Fraud and Scam Prevention seminar on July 22

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Gillespie Public Library (Photo by Gillespie Public Library)

Friends of the Gillespie Public Library and United Community Bank are hosting a joint “Fraud and Scam Prevention” seminar at on Monday, July 22 starting at 6 p.m. at the Gillespie Public Library.

The seminar will focus on today’s common scams and frauds, which includes imposter and check scams, money mule fraud and those that target seniors. Presenters will be Jenni Alepra of Gillespie UCB and Kennen Bertolis of Carlinville UCB.

The seminar is open to the public and is free of charge. For additional questions, call the Gillespie Public Library at 217-839-3614.

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