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Gillespie Council eyes indoor batting cages for Welfare Park

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Ageless questions council about Farmer’s Market

Alderman Frank Barrett pushes for a batting cage facility to be erected at Welfare Park.

Alderman Frank Barrett pushes for a batting cage facility to be erected at Welfare Park.

During a regular scheduled meeting on February 11, Mayor Hicks explained the city deposited the money from the Atrazine settlement into a general city fund. Hicks proposed the funds be transferred over into a water improvement development fund to be used for future water projects since the settlement money was a water issue. “We need new water lines and this will help us in the future,” Hicks said.

Alderman Frank Barrett had different ideas. Barrett explained he has been trying to propose indoor batting cages for 10 years now and the project “keeps getting kicked down the road.” Barrett wanted some of the money to go toward an indoor batting facility measuring 60×80 feet with a price tag of $87,500 before concrete. Concrete would cost $14,394 with labor donated. The building would contain 2 handicap accessible bathrooms and a concession stand for the big diamond.

CISL girls’ commissioner John Byers and coach Jay Ronald supported Barrett’s idea. Ronald cited over 30 CISL use Welfare Fields, plus middle school baseball, high school softball, and traveling teams. He explained the city should try to help revamp some of the other fields to help alleviate the pressure off of Welfare. Two diamonds can be used at Big Brick while a field at the Old Gillespie Lake can be used as well, but bases are in the grass because the infields are so small.

“Three nets would be able to be hung from the trusses even though the inside is not finished,” Barrett explained. He added it could take up to 5 years for the inside to be completely finished, but teams could start hitting as soon as the building is finished. “Three different teams could be hitting at one time.” Barrett explained the project is a great idea for the council to be involved in.

Barrett said most of the council members are 60 years old and getting to be complacent. “To keep younger people in the community, we need to have things for kids to do,” Barrett explained. “I would like to see something like this for my grandkids. I could have had 50 parents here if I wanted to. We need this facility.” The council decided to table the decision to move the Atrazine settlement money into a separate fund. Many council members obliged and said the money should be moved and the batting cage project should be funded by different means. “We will work to see where the money can come from without touching money that is already earmarked,” Hicks closed.

Ageless Farmer’s Market
Pete Visintin, representing Ageless, questioned the city what is needed to formulate a Farmer’s Market in Gillespie. The Ageless Farmer’s Market would be ran May, June, and July on Thursday evenings only from 5-8pm. Any home grower could rent a spot for one month, two months, or the full three months. The “farmers” can only sell home grown items or home craft items to not be in competition with any local businesses.

Pete Visintin represents Ageless and advises the council of Ageless' plans for a Farmer's Market.

Pete Visintin represents Ageless and advises the council of Ageless’ plans for a Farmer’s Market.

“We just want to know what we have to do to move forward,” Visintin questioned. Mayor Hicks said the biggest thing would be a vendor license. Any vendor selling items in the City of Gillespie has to pay a per day fee, so the council would have to look into a way to look through this. “We tried to do this a while ago, but there are a lot of hoops to jump through with Public Health,” Hicks added. “That’s where you should start.”

The council agreed it was a great idea and talked about revising the ordinance to group the vendor licenses’ together so it would not cost more than it is worth. “Helping Ageless out is better than the city being in charge of it and running it,” Tucker added. “I agree, I think we should do whatever we can to help them out. They bring so much business into the community,” John Ronald closed.

New Business
The City of Gillespie hired John Ulery as a new water plant employee. John is well qualified for the position, Dave Tucker explained. Ulery is licensed in both Illinois and Missouri in both waste water and water.

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Hicks explained the company is planning on relining the sewers near the new BenGil Elementary toward the end of February or early March, weather depending. The 4 day job will only leave users without a sewer for 5-6 hours at the most. “They will be working in sections and have everything tied back up by 5pm on each work day,” Hicks explained.

Old Business
Warren Thacker returned to the council questioning the phone reimbursement. “Basic service went up and we still receive the same amount,” Thacker said. He went on to add the city workers are on call 24/7 and the phone reimbursement has not changed for the 12 years he has been working. Agreements were made in the labor’s contract, so Thacker wanted more advice. Mayor Hicks explained his basic service is $27.80 compared to the $39.99 Thacker stated. “You are actually getting more than basic service,” Hicks explained. The council agreed they would review the proposal and make a decision at a later date.

Mayor Hicks had one last item to fix and that was a water bill to adjust on 205 West Charles Street. The leak underneath the house has since been repaired. The normal bill is around $34 and the January bill was $133. The council decided to reduce the bill by one third, like the council has done in the past.

Public Recognition
Steve Joyce from the library returned to the council dealing with pole banners for the city. Joyce explained the double sided banner would cost $45 and the library has 12 brackets. More brackets would need to be purchased for more pole banners. Joyce explained he recommends finding a sponsor to sponsor the banner to breakeven on the banners. Although, he explained the brackets would need to be purchased. The council agreed it would be a good idea, but advised Joyce to further investigate how many sponsors he could gather before moving forward.

Jess Barker questioned if downtown Gillespie was included in the TIF district. “I was wondering if we would qualify for tax increment financing,” Barker asked. Kevin Polo said Barker possibly could, but the TIF is usually used to finance or refinance development. Polo explained the council would just need to see a plan and how many years of payments would be made. “We just need to see what you are proposing,” Polo said.

Chief of Police Jared DePoppe explained the police department brought is $1,500 in fees from January while the court fines were unavailable for January. DePoppe explained the computer systems are still in the process of being updated.

Committee Reports
Frank Barrett reported the lake has raised 1.5” and he is going to go ahead and order boat stickers for this year.

Jerry Doliger reported the sewers by TwinnCo on both sides of the street are infiltrating and will need to be relined. Hicks told Doliger to get a bid on the project.

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Next Meeting: The City of Gillespie will meet next for regular scheduled board meeting on March 11 at 6:00pm.

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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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