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School board raises Drivers Education Fee to $75

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Demolition of Benld School anticipated to start in the fall

During a regular scheduled board meeting on May 21, 2012, the school board raised the driver’s education fee from $50 to $75 after minimal discussion. Assistant Superintendent Joe Tieman asked the board if they could increase the fee to attempt to offset the expenses.

Superintendent Paul Skeans added that the school board held a public hearing on May 21 to discuss the increase in cost. The hearing was mandatory for the change to be adopted. According to Mark Hayes, the board can raise the fee to the $250 maximum. “We are still one of the lowest districts in Macoupin County and this is just to try to decrease our cost,” Mark Hayes explained. The board went on to approve the raise with no objections.

District Architect Tom Hyde explained to the board that he is working with DNR to finalize the Intergovernmental Agreement for the grant for the demolition of the existing school in Benld. “It is not finalized yet,” Hyde noted, “We are still working on estimates. They go off the estimate.” According to Hyde, the work can begin once everyone is in agreement on the cost.

“DNR reimburses the district on a monthly basis,” Hyde added. The funds are coming federal funds that the state receives for mine work. He noted that the demolition would begin in the fall and would be complete around spring. “You used to be able to tear a building down and throw it somewhere, but you don’t do that anymore. There is a lot of sorting of materials.”

He even went on to add that he working with DNR about polymerizing the concrete into gravel. The gravel would then be used at the new school. “If it doesn’t work for that, we can use it for someone else.” The site will be able to smoothed out in spring of 2013.

Hyde then moved on to the new elementary school. He explained that the mine grouting contract with Hayward Baker will be closed out in the next board meeting as the board is still receiving final waivers and other necessary final documents. He then went on to note that construction has been delayed for 2 weeks over the last 30 days due to heavy rains.

Mark Hayes noted that the maximum amount the board can raise the drivers education fee to is $250.

The foundation work is 80% complete and all of the foundation work will be completed by June 1. The structural steel framework has been fabricated and 30% has been erected. According to Hyde, the steel frame erection is anticipated to be complete by June 15.

Finally under bid package 3, underground plumbing work has been underway and is following behind the foundation work. “Site grading is scheduled to start this week,” Hyde added. The masonry work at the north wing will begin the first or second week of June as the site become available.

Skeans then asked the board to re-evaluate the electrical service to the new school after the school board objected the $53,107 change order in the April board meeting. Skeans urged the board to pass the order to “beautify” the property. The change order would move all the electrical wiring underground.

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“You can make it fully overhead, fully underground, or partially overhead and partially underground,” Skeans brought up again. He went on to say that he found out some additional information that “was not available last month.” Skeans attempted to persuade the board by explaining that the district could add lights to the baseball field later down the road because the poll box will be underground.

Tom Hyde and Skeans had a meeting on May 22 to “gather additional information.” After no board member bought on the persuasion, he explained that he will keep it on the agenda for the next month and the following month or until the board makes their second decision.

Dave Griffel brought up that he would like to have partial wiring underground and partial above ground. “I say we put all the wiring underground that is on our property,” Griffel started, “I don’t want to put underground power on property that is not even ours.” The change order would approve underground wiring 400 feet on someone else’s property. According to Griffel, 20% of the cost would be on property that the school does not even own. The board agreed to discuss the issue at the next board meeting.

Under personnel, the board appointment Jarrod Herron as high school scholar bowl coach for FSY 2013. They also hired Penny Feeley with Janice Hammann as back up for the summer school food service position. Lastly, the board accepted the resignation of Diane Van Winkle who serves as an elementary title reading teacher.

Superintendent Skeans updated the board on the Miner loyalty cards from United Community Bank. He thanked Jenni Alepra for starting the program three years ago. From April 2011 through March 2012, the debit cards have raised $1,954.46 for CUSD #7. “It is a direct donation from United Community Bank,” Skeans added. Right now, there are 194 Miner debit cards in use.

Joe Tieman then reported on the Civil Rights Audit that took place on May 10 on campus with focus on the high school and vocational education program. “The audit only found two minor citations,” Tieman noted. The citations were for notice of non-discrimination to be sent to the newspapers once a year and the second was about the student handbook. It needs to have a grievance policy contained.

District administers then updated the board on happenings in the campus buildings. Dennis Tiburzi, high school principal, noted that the final report cards were distributed on May 21. Summer school is scheduled to begin on May 29 and run through June 13 or 25 depending on the class. Tiburzi then highlighted that the Class of 2012 received scholarships in excess to $450,000. “Congratulations to them,” Tiburzi added.

In high school athletics, he congratulated the softball team on their regional championship; the track team for their Prairie State Conference championship, county track championship, and sectional championship; the boys track team on winning the Gillespie invitational and their second place finish in conference. Lastly, he congratulated Tateum Rosentreter on her 8th place finish at State.

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Principal of the middle school, Lori Emmons, noted that the middle school promoted 110 students to high school. She congratulated Stephen DeMartini and Emily Harszy after they both won gold status at the State Science Fair. She then highlighted that Jill Rosentreter, 8th grade science teacher, was awarded the Dr. Lyell J. Thomas Award at the IJAS State Exposition. Lastly, Emmons noted that 20 students gave vocal performances or performed skits at the talent show held on May 17.

Emmons congratulated track athletes: Amanda Schmidt on her 5th place 400m dash finish and her 8th place 100m hurdlers finish at state. She then noted that Abby Eccles finished 8th in pole vault at state and Dyllon Penzotti finished 2nd in discus at state. “Congratulations on a successful track season,” Emmons closed.

Lastly, elementary principal Angela Turcol updated the board on grades K-5. She noted that 80 students got to go on lunch with the principal on May 11. They had a subway sandwich, chips, cookies, and drink. Turcol then told the board that the selections have been made for the Pre-K classes for the 2012-2013 school year. “We have approximately 25-30 students on the waiting list,” Turcol closed.

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Macoupin County man arrested on child pornography charges

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Attorney General Kwame Raoul charged a Macoupin County man with dissemination and possession of child pornography. The case is part of Raoul’s ongoing work, in collaboration with federal law enforcement agencies and local law enforcement officials throughout Illinois, to apprehend offenders who download and trade child pornography online.

The Attorney General’s office charged David Crane, 34 of Brighton, in Macoupin County Circuit Court with one count of dissemination of child pornography of a victim under 13 years old, a Class X felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison; and 10 counts of possession of child pornography, Class 2 felonies, each count punishable by up to seven years in prison. Sentences must be served consecutively and are ultimately determined by the court. Crane is currently detained at the Macoupin County Jail. His next court appearance is July 9.

“Children who survive exploitation can face a lifetime of trauma, which is why we must help them receive justice by holding the offenders who commit these horrific crimes accountable,” Raoul said. “I will continue to work with state and local authorities to ensure these individuals are unable to victimize other innocent children.”

Raoul’s investigators, along with officers from the Brighton Police Department, Macoupin County Sheriff’s Office and the Illinois State Police (ISP) South Central Illinois Drug Task Force conducted a search of Crane’s residence in the 600 block of Brown Street in Brighton on June 13. Crane was arrested when investigators discovered evidence of child pornography.

“Illinois State Police special agents continuously investigate cases where there is evidence of child sexual abuse, and we will do everything in our power to arrest predators and protect our children and youth,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly.

Raoul’s office is co-prosecuting this case with the Macoupin County State’s Attorney’s office.

The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Raoul’s office, with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, runs the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force that investigates child exploitation crimes and trains law enforcement agencies. The task force receives CyberTips, or online reports of child pornography, from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Over the last several years, CyberTipline reports have steadily increased. In 2023, reports to the ICAC increased by 46% over 2022.

Illinois’ ICAC Task Force is one of 61 ICAC task forces throughout the country and is comprised of a network of more than 185 local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Since 2019, the Attorney General’s ICAC Task Force has received more than 46,150 CyberTips and has been involved in more than 755 arrests of sexual predators. Since 2006, the Attorney General’s ICAC Task Force has been involved in more than 2,145 arrests of sexual predators. The task force also has provided internet safety training and education to tens of thousands of parents, teachers, students and law enforcement professionals.

Attorney General Raoul is reminding the public that child sexual exploitation can be reported online at cybertipline.com and child abuse at dcfsonlinereporting.dcfs.illinois.gov. In addition, local child advocacy centers can be found at childrensadvocacycentersofillinois.org.

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Assistant Attorney General Jenifer Peck is prosecuting the case for Raoul’s High Tech Crimes Bureau.

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Gillespie Police Report: June 2-8, 2024

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SUNDAY, JUNE 2, 2024

An officer was dispatched to a business in the 100 block of North Macoupin Street in reference to an aggravated battery.

An officer was dispatched to an accident at Springfield Road and Elm Street in East Gillespie. Gregory A. Ferrel, 55, of Bethalto was arrested for driving under the influence and improper lane usage.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of 8th Street in Benld in reference to a theft.

An officer was dispatched to Farley Lane at Gillespie Lake in reference to a battery.

An officer was dispatched to a business at the 900 block of North Hard Road in Mt. Clare in reference to an alarm sounding.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of East Walnut Street in reference to an animal complaint.

An officer was dispatched to Charles Street and Staunton Road in reference to a well-being check.

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An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of North Kentucky Street in Benld in reference to an ordinance issue of illegal burning.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of Cahokia Street in Benld in reference to juvenile issues.

An officer was dispatched to Route 4 and Pingolt Road to assist the Macoupin County Sheriff Department with a well-being check.

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to harassment.

MONDAY, JUNE 3, 2024

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a theft in the 700 block of Western Street.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of East Maple Street in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to Springfield Road and Elm Street in East Gillespie in reference to a traffic crash.

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An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of North Lincoln Avenue in Eagarville in reference to a 911 call.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of Central Avenue in Benld in reference to a suspicious person.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of South Main Street in Benld in reference to a 911 call.

TUESDAY, JUNE 4, 2024

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of Charles Street in reference to criminal damage to a property and domestic dispute.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Springfield Road and Illinois Avenue in East Gillespie. Kaleb N. Beck, 24, of Benld was arrested for violation of an order of protection.

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of North 7th Street in Benld in reference to a battery. Merrill L. Vanvleck, 49, of Benld was arrested for battery and aggravated assault.

An officer was dispatched to the 800 block of Madison Street in reference to a domestic dispute.

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An officer was dispatched to a business in the 100 block of the South Hard Road in Mt. Clare in reference to criminal trespassing.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of Park Street in Benld in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of North 7th Street in Benld in reference to a civil stand-by.

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

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5, 2024

An officer was dispatched to North Main and Willow in Benld in reference to an item found in the creek.

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

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of Broadway Street in reference to illegal parking.

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An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of West Baker in reference to an animal complaint. Heather L. Kimberlin, 48, of Gillespie was issued a citation for dog at large.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of East Central Avenue in Benld in reference to criminal damage to property.

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

THURSDAY, JUNE 6, 2024

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Central Avenue and 4th Street in Benld. Roger C. Conlee Jr. 52, of Gillespie was issued a citation for suspended registration and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

An officer was dispatched to Gillespie Police Department to speak with a female in reference to identity theft.

Ashley N. Goth, 39, of Highland was arrested on a Macoupin County warrant for failure to appear for a traffic offense.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of South Kentucky Street in Benld in reference to a domestic dispute.

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An officer initiated a traffic stop at Springfield Road and Illinois Avenue in East Gillespie. Michael A. Gagnon, 46, of Edwardsville was issued a citation for speeding.

An officer was dispatched to Springfield Road in East Gillespie in reference to a controlled burn.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of South 8th Street in Benld in reference to a suspicious person.

An officer was dispatched to Eagarville Road and the railroad track in reference to juvenile issues.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of East Pine in reference to an animal complaint.

An officer was dispatched to Baker and Abba Street in reference to an animal complaint.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Springfield Road and Illinois Avenue in East Gillespie. Amanda K. Ewin, 33, of Mt. Clare was issued a citation for speeding.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of Fulton Street in reference to juvenile issues.

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An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of Shelby Street in reference to a noise complaint.

FRIDAY, JUNE 7, 2024

An officer was dispatched to Route 138 South of Ameren in Mt. Clare to assist with an injured animal in the roadway.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Adams Street in reference to a battery.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of South 4th Street in Benld in reference to criminal trespass to property.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of East Maple Street in reference to illegal burning.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of West Maple Street in reference to a suspicious person.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to an alarm in the 200 block of North 2nd Street in Benld.

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An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Spring Street in reference to a noise complaint.

An officer was dispatched to Central Avenue and 5th Street in Benld in reference to reckless driving.

SATURDAY, JUNE 8, 2024

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of South 2nd Street in Benld in reference to a domestic battery. Douglas C. Blodgett, 39, of Benld was arrested for domestic battery.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of East Walnut in reference to an animal complaint. Angela M. Waugh, 52, of Gillespie was issued a citation for dog running at large.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Sawyerville Hills Road and Route 138 in Mt. Clare. Brittany N. Stinnett, 33 of Bethalto was arrested for driving while her license was suspended and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Macoupin Street and Pine Street. Dylan M. Swank, 21, of Gillespie was issued a citation for operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

An officer was dispatched to Park Street and 2nd Street in Benld in reference to juvenile issues.

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An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of Osie Street in reference to a medical assist.

An officer was dispatched to the North Hard Road in Mt. Clare in reference to reckless driving.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Central Avenue and Main Street in Benld. Liberty D. King, 22, of Gillespie was issued a citation for operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

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

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Gillespie Council approves $17.1 million appropriation ordinance

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Members of the Gillespie City Council on Monday night approved the appropriation ordinance for fiscal 2025, rescinded a housing inspection ordinance approved last month, and took steps toward condemning a former commercial building in downtown Gillespie.

The newly approved appropriation ordinance authorizes expenditures of up to $17,130,799 during the fiscal year that began May 1. Unanimous approval of the ordinance came after a 10-minute public hearing held immediately prior to the council’s regular monthly meeting.

The appropriation sets spending ceilings for expenditures from specific line item funds, Treasurer Dan Fisher told the council, but it is not an indication the city will spend anywhere near the total appropriation amount. While this year’s appropriation is in excess of $17 million, Fisher pointed out, actual annual expenditures for the city are expected to hover around $3 million to $4 million.

“The appropriation is the first step in a three-part process to allocate expenditures,” Fisher said. “The best way to think of the appropriation is, ‘What would be the most we would spend on any line item if we found the money?’  It doesn’t mean we are going to spend that much.”

Once appropriated, Fisher said the funds cannot be expended until the council approves individual expenditures during the course of the fiscal year. A final step in the three-part process comes when the council formally approves payment to projects and programs previously approved by the council.

“Appropriation, authorization, and payment,” Fisher said. “This is just the first step.”

Ald. Dave Link questioned a line item authorizing up to $350,000 for a new building.

“What new building?” he asked.

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Fisher said the appropriation was included in the event the council moves on building a new Street Department building or remodels existing space at the Civic Center to house the Police Department. Neither project is a certainty, he said.

“We try to think of things we might do if we have the money,” Fisher said. “That’s what this is.”

The fiscal 2025 appropriation ordinance exceeds last year’s appropriations of about $14.7 million by more than $2 million. Part of that increase is accounted for by $4.5 million appropriated for the city’s ambitious Streetscape Program and $1.3 million Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) grant the city will receive but immediately parcel out to other agencies. Excluding the appropriations for the Streetscape Program and CEJA grant, the lion’s share of the new appropriation is devoted to the Water Department and Police Department, followed by General Administration, Street Department and Sewer Department, all of which have appropriations exceeding $1 million.

The Water Department appropriation totals $2,845,700, down from last year’s appropriation of $3,391.500, which was inflated by the injection of grant and loan funds for the city’s water infrastructure replacement project.  A total of $2,316,000 is appropriated for the Police Department, compared with $1,281,000 last year. The appropriation for General Administration Expenses totals $1,356,500, compared with $1,341,500 last year. Funds appropriated for the Street Department total $1,281,500, compared with $1,120,500 a year ago.

The new ordinance appropriates $846,000 for Recreation and Parks, compared with $553,300 last year. Up to $600,000 in expenditures are authorized from the Motor Fuel Tax Fund, compared with $500,000 last year. Expenditures of up to $280,000 are authorized from the Tax Increment Financing Fund (TIFF), compared with $270,000 last year. A total of $200,000 is appropriated for Parks and Recreation Areas, compared with $190,000 last year. 

The ordinance sets a spending limit of $220,000 for the Administrative Building, compared with $210,100 last year; $160,000 for FICA, compared with $150,000 a year ago; and $42,020 for Elected and Appointed City Officials’ Salaries.

The ordinance sets spending ceilings of $65,000 for Liability Insurance, $40,670 for the Public Library, and $33,900 for Emergency Services and Disaster Administration—all of which are unchanged from the previous year.

INSPECTION ORDINANCE RESCINDED

On a motion by Ald. Bob Fritz, seconded by Ald. Bill Hayes, the council unanimously voted to rescind an ordinance approved last month which would have required annual housing inspections for all rental properties in the city. Mayor John Hicks called for the vote before proceeding with the regular order of business. Several rental property owners who attended the meeting and asked to publicly address the council, left the council chambers immediately after the vote.

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Hicks said council members did not realize the city already had an ordinance governing housing inspections when it voted 7-1 to approve a new ordinance last month. The existing ordinance calls for an inspection before a new tenant moves in after a former tenant moves out.

“If you have a good renter and they stay for several years, we don’t need to have an inspection,” Hicks said. 

The council apparently approved the rescinded ordinance in an effort to make inspection requirements for long-term rental properties the same as those recently approved for short-term rental properties.

Later in the meeting, Tim Loveless, a local landlord, questioned why the council doesn’t announce proposed ordinances before acting on them. That practice, he said, would give residents an opportunity to voice concerns before an ordinance is actually ratified by the council.

City Attorney Rick Verticchio said municipalities used to place ordinances on a “first reading” before taking formal action the following month. Ordinances approved by the council, however, do not take effect for 30 days, Verticchio said, which essentially gives interested persons time to object or comment before the ordinance is enforced.

NUISANCE PROPERTY DESIGNATION

Council members voted unanimously to declare a property at 118 West Chestnut Street as a public nuisance after hearing a complaint from Christine Blank, Macoupin County Public Health Department Administrator. Blank said MCPHD owns a neighboring property at 112 West Chestnut Street, which the department currently is offering for sale.

“We have some major problems with the property next door, which attaches directly to ours,” Bland said.

“We’ve been watching it closely for the last two years.”

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Blank said the owner of the neighboring property established a fenced-in area for storage, essentially closing off an alleyway between the two buildings. Within the fenced-in area, the owner placed a storage unit but more recently has allowed trash to accumulate inside the fenced area. Because of the accumulation of trash and junk, she said, the area has become infested with rodents. Moreover, she said, there are indications that one or more homeless persons are “squatting” in the area. Additionally, trees that have been allowed to grow up in the alleyway, encroaching on the foundation of the MCPHD’s building and allowing water to enter the agency’s building.

Blank said the building itself is open to the elements and there is evidence animals are living inside.

Blank said at least one person has expressed interest in buying the MCPHD building as well as the neighboring property but the neighboring property owner has been uncooperative.

Ald. Bill Hayes said he sent the property owner an ordinance violation notification, demanding that he owner clean up the property.

“All an ordinance does is impose a fine,” Verticchio said. “If he’s not taking care of the property, he’s not going to pay the fine.”

Verticchio recommended declaring the building a public nuisance with an eye toward eventually getting permission from the court to raze the building and clean up the site.

“Declare it a nuisance,” he said, “and give them 30 days to fix it. They won’t do that. They can’t do that. It can’t be fixed, so the court will give the city permission to tear it down. The problem with that, of course, is that it’s expensive.”

Since MCPHD has an interested buyer for both properties, Verticchio said the city might be able to get a court order to take possession of the nuisance property and sell it to a new owner with the provision that the new owner will tear down the old building.

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“Someone else might be interested in that property,” said Ald. Dave Link.

“No problem,” Verticchio replied. “We can advertise it for bids.”

Blank also complained about the deteriorating condition of the sidewalk in front of the MCPHD property. Fisher said the sidewalk already is scheduled for replacement and bids will be let next month.

IMRF ISSUES

Without taking formal action, the council gave Fisher permission to negotiate with city employees to come up with a way to make retroactive payments of the employees’ shares into the Illinois Municipal Retirement System. City employee participation in IMRF became effective March 1, but the city was not immediately notified, according to Fisher. As a result, six pay periods went by with no IMRF payments being made into the system.

Fisher said the amount owed will be about $650 to $700 per employee. In addition, the retirement system is owed the city’s share for the same period.

“I would recommend that we come up with a method for us to pay the employees’ share and for them to pay us back,” Fisher said. Even such a straight-forward solution could become complicated, however. Fisher said that if employees draw on their deferred compensation funds to repay the loan, the payments would be taxable. Deducting a repayment plan from future paychecks will avoid the tax issue but will result in complicating bookkeeping procedures.

“We need direction from the council on how you want us to do this,” Fisher said. “It’s not going to be easy from a bookkeeping standpoint. Once we’re caught up, it will be much easier.”

Fisher said the issue may be further complicated by the fact the nearest pay period started on March 3—two days after IMRF membership became effective. He said he is trying to find out now if IMRF is going to demand a prorated contribution for two days. 

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Council members generally agreed the city should cover the back payments for employees and give the employees the option of determining how they wish to pay back the funds.

“This is not the employees’ fault,” Fisher noted, “but I don’t feel it’s our fault either.”

CEJA GRANT

Fisher informed the council that an application for a federal CEJA grant has been awarded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the agency responsible for administering the program. Gillespie was the lead agency among 16 area units of government that collectively applied for the award. Fisher said the total grant amounts to $1.1 million, of which Gillespie will retain $70, 248.57.

Under terms of the grant, the City of Gillespie will receive the entire grant, then be responsible for disbursing funds to other participating units. 

Other participants that will receive funding include: Village of East Gillespie, $51,654.72; City of Benld, $58,721.50; Village of Eagarville, $50,684.28; City of Staunton, $80,929.61; Gillespie Public Library, $70,248.57; Benld Public Library, $58,721.50; Gillespie Township, $73,458.48; Cahokia Township, $69,004.42; Community Unit School District 7, $98,167.33; North Mac CUSD 34, $98,584.12; Gillespie-Benld Ambulance Service, $133,202.60; Village of Royal Lakes, $51,038.87; City of Bunker Hill, $60,102.51; Village of Mount Clare, $51,878.67; and Brushy Mound Township, $53,919.08.

The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act is a federal program to mitigate against economic conditions that result as the nation moves away from fossil fuels to embrace renewable, “green” energy sources. The local grant award is related to job losses resulting from the idling of Shay Mine No. 1, formerly Monterey Mine No., 1. Each entity was awarded $50,000 plus additional funds based on “job loss” and “revenue loss” factors.

Fisher said he planned to meet with representatives of the other applicants on Tuesday night. In the meantime, he recommended council members think about how the city will use its share of the grant money. He said there had been previous discussion about using it for park improvements, but he also recommended setting aside three percent for administrative costs, including the cost of additional auditing services. Macoupin County, which also is receiving a CEJA grant, plans to use its award for economic development, and Fisher recommended that the city also use at least 10 percent of the award for economic development purposes.

OTHER ACTION

  • Declared a pumper truck used by the Street Department as surplus property and voted to offer it for sale to the highest qualified bidder. While the truck is operable, the water tank is rusted out and incapable of being repaired.
  • Donated $100 to the GHS cross-country program.
  • Approved allowing the CeeJo’s tavern and grill to offer bingo gaming to its patrons.
  • Gave the mayor power to act on either repairing a broken beer tap appliance at the Civic Center, or buying a new one at a cost of $2,184 if the old one cannot be repaired.
  • Learned that the local Masonic Lodge recently donated $3,000 to the city to be used for park improvements. 

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