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Current News: 10/15/14 (Click HERE for Archived News):
  • KC Trenton Education Center dedicated
  • Add-ons, inflation, and the unexpected conspire to swell price of new sewer plant
  • Time Marches On
  • Wolters - Obit
  • Schaefer - Obit

  • KC Trenton Education Center dedicated

    Kaskaskia College staff, administration, and trustees join members of the local steering committee to officially cut the ribbon and dedicate the expanded and renovated Trenton Education Center.

    About 150 people turned out on a windswept Saturday morning to officially dedicate the newly renovated and expanded Kaskaskia College Trenton Education Center.

    College president Dr. James Underwood and trustee Dr. Dee Boswell provided the keynote addresses to the crowd, college personnel provided tours of the facility, key members of the steering committee and others were recognized, and a luncheon was served.

    Trenton mayor Kyle Jones attended the event along with city clerk Karen Buzzard and councilman Dan Kohlbrecher, who is also president of Trenton's Chamber of Commerce.

    On Monday, Jones encouraged other city council members to visit the new facility. The city council is recognized for their contribution to the project, which included transferring the ownership of the building to the college, accounting for about half of the $1.1 million in local funds that were raised to combine with about $2.3 million in college funds to complete the $3.4 million project.

    "The project really turned out very nice," Jones said. "It's going to be a really attractive economic development tool to have here, and it was an honor for me to be there for the dedication and to be able to address the group."

    The facility opened for student attendance midway through the spring semester, but there have been several additions, including the ongoing construction of a hallway between the technical education space and nursing and science labs.

    A new lighted sign was recently installed, and the walls of the new facility are now adorned with a collection of nature photographs captured by local photographer Tom James; selected 'old-time baseball' prints from the catalog of the late artist Tim Reigle, a Trenton native whose works in a range of mediums is widely collected; several pieces donated by local potter Norm Wiggins; and a number of old Trenton photographs donated by former mayor Robert Koentz from his late father's collection.

    Local fundraising for the project began early in 2012, and included solicitations for donations along with a number of fundraising events.

    Add-ons, inflation, and the unexpected conspire to swell price of new sewer plant

    Trenton's city council will get answers in two weeks as to the reasons the price of a planned new wastewater treatment facility has swollen since the initial engineers' estimate for the project was tabulated about three years ago.

    Representatives from HMG Engineers will attend the council's work session on Monday, October 27 to explain why the estimated cost for the project will increase from about $4.3 million to about $4.9 million.

    The final cost for the plant will depend on bids that are submitted for the work.

    The anticipated cost hike affects the city's plan to pay the debt service for the plant, which has included a doubling of sewer rates in the past 18 months in anticipation of the project.

    The city council phased in the sewer rate increases in two pieces about a year apart, as part of a plan to retire some existing sewer debt before the bills start coming due for the new plant. As a result of that, city administrator Douglas Brimm said on Tuesday that he does not anticipate the city increasing rates again despite the increased costs. "The sewer fund will be able to handle the additional costs and still service the debt on the new plant," Brimm said.

    The city is, however, considering delaying the construction of the plant for a few months in order to take advantage of a new 30-year loan program expected to be offered by Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) this spring. The maximum term for IEPA loans is now 20 years.

    The cost increases generally are attributed to four factors, according to Brimm.

    City officials opted to install a new 'headworks' (where raw sewage initially enters the plant) rather than using the existing unit, according to city administrator Douglas Brimm. The new headworks is probably a necessity considering the large amount of stormwater that infiltrates Trenton sewage system during periods of heavy rain and the inability of the current unit to handle the influx.

    The city asked for increased garage capacity in the plant for vehicle and equipment storage. The city lost some capacity with the transfer of the former city maintenance shed to Kaskaskia College, and another shed near the existing treatment plant must be removed as part of the construction process.

    Soil on the site is of lower quality than anticipated, and will require additional concrete and foundation work.

    The fourth factor is simple inflation. The original estimate for equipment usage was based on a 2009-11 manual, and the new manual reflects inflation.

    In other business from Monday night's Trenton city council work session:

    The city's drainage systems seem to have held up reasonably during the past few days of severe rainfall, according to public works 'lead man' Brett Therion. Trenton's protocol during heavy rain involves mobilizing a system of pumps to relieve the pressure caused by stormwater infiltration into the city's sanitary sewers. Therion said the pumps were hardly used following systematic inspections of manholes around town. "Everything seemed to be flowing well for the most part," Therion said. "The plant's full, but we expect that. I don't know how much rain we had exactly, but it was a substantial amount. There were some areas where water stood in ditches for a little while, but thing held up well overall."

    As of Monday night, the city had not received complaints about either groundwater or sanitary sewer back-ups. "Our public works guys have been doing a lot of ditchwork and small drainage projects around town," said mayor Kyle Jones, "and those things have relieved a lot of the pressure on the system."

    Therion said culverts were noticeably clearer around town during the most recent event, which also helps the system considerably. "More people are making an effort to keep the culverts clear, and it helps tremendously. The citizens can really help matters a lot if they just take a few minutes to clear grass and weeds from in front of the culverts by their houses or remove a shovelful or two of debris. It makes a big difference on the overall system."

    Mayor Jones reported that the city is enjoying a year-to-date surplus of about $136,000, not including the second installment of property taxes which was received this month. The general fund had a surplus of about $12,000 in September, Jones said, and most other funds are operating in the black. "We're in a really good position financially," Jones said.

    The street resurfacing project in Northland Acres has been completed satisfactorily, aside from scattered complaints about debris remaining in curb gutters. City administrator Brimm noted that the debris will be cleaned up soon. "I was really pleased with the way the project turned out," Brimm said.

    The council is likely to consider an amendment to its property maintenance code to provide more flexibility in issuing nuisance abatement warnings. Under current code, only the police chief has the authority to issue letters calling for remediation, which start a five-day clock for property owners to come into compliance. Since city administrator Doug Brimm is typically charged with enforcing the city's codes, the proposed amendment would add his position and give both the administrator and police chief the authority to designate others to act on their behalf.

    Council members agreed to maintain city right-of-way on the stubbed in portion of South Locust, which leads to the railroad tracks on the south end of town. A resident requested the council abandon the right-of-way, in which case a portion of the property is deeded to each of the adjoining property owners. In this case, three property owners are involved, and there is the potential for denying access for one of the three. Additionally, attorney John Long of the city's attorneys, Bruckert, Gruenke, and Long of O'Fallon, noted there is always potential for disagreements between property owners in such cases. Long noted that people are parking on the street and using it to access property. "It may be a stubbed-in street, but it still seems as if it's being used as a street," Long said. "I think you'll have some potential complications if you abandon it."

    Time Marches On


    David Bryson and Miss Clara Specht were married in Belleville Saturday.

    Mrs. C.J. Steinmetz, Sr. aged 76, died at her home Oct. 21.

    Miss Alvina Schomber of this city and Edwin J. Spaeth of New Baden were married in St. George Church Wednesday morning.


    Harry Rable, well known farmer, died October 21 at the age of 50.

    The Clinton Co. I.O.O.F. Lodge celebrated its 50th birthday. Moritz Ginzel, Louis Riemann and John Bachman received their 50 year jewels.

    Miss Margaret Wellen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Wellen, died Friday at the age of 16.


    Miss Agnes Mersinger, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Mersinger of Lebanon, became the bride of Arthur Kuhn, son of Mrs. Julie Kuhn, Wednesday, October 24, at St. Joseph Church in Lebanon.

    A little son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Louis Zeisset last Friday.

    Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Heuer of Lebanon, mother of R.C. Heuer, died at her home Thursday morning at the age of 71.


    A farewell party was given at Emerald Mound Grange Hall in honor of Stanley Baer who is moving to Wisconsin.

    The Ranz Motor Co., who have occupied the Ford Garage building on South Main for several years, last week purchased it from Ed Henss.

    A.C. Brefeld last week sold his large residence to Mr. and Mrs. Harlan Glanzner.


    The new State Bank of Aviston will have open house on Oct. 31.

    Sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Brueggemann and to Mr. and Mrs. E.P. Hoffman. A daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Richard Shea (Jane Hanke) of Kirkwood.

    The candidates for VFW Halloween Queen are: Joan Holtgrave, Catherine Ann Huelsmann, Marilyn Koehler and Babs Lee.


    A son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Larry Hobbs and a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. John Ruppel.

    Robert Hoerchler, 17, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hoerchler of Breese, was fatally injured in a three-car crash on the Breese-Germantown Road Saturday.

    St. Francis Church in Aviston was the scene of the October 17 wedding of Miss Mary Mueller of Aviston and William Zeisset of Trenton.


    Mr. and Mrs. Ferd Mueller will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary on Oct. 27.

    William Dawson of the Lebanon area was jailed in Carlyle after admitting that he broke into the Wesclin School early Thursday morning. Tools were taken from the industrial arts shop.


    Candidates for Wesclin's Autumn Magic King are Pat Bair, Dave Brandmeyer, Bill Cooper, Dan Kehrer, Rich Krausz, Jeff Mueth, and Jim Vaninger. Queen candidates are Connie Bassler, Jenny Becherer, Mickey Cervenka, Sheila Lodes, Cindy Rose, Beth Sweet, and Lori Wright.

    Miss Cathy Rick became the bride of Blaine Cayson Saturday, Sept. 29 at St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland.


    Former St. Mary pastor, ecumenical pioneer, Father Clement Dirler, died Sunday at St. Joseph Hospital in Breese.

    James and Tracy (Harpstrite) Grayling of Beckemeyer announce the arrival of their first child, a son, Dakota Edward.

    Frank J "Junior" Haas, of Trenton, died Friday, October 7, at his home.

    Navy seaman recruit Jeffery S. Schutz, son of Donald and Gloria Schutz, of Trenton, recently completed basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois.


    Jared Jackson and Abby Sims were named king and queen of Wesclin's homecoming Saturday night.

    Pehg Zeller was honored by the Illinois Humanities Council as a recipient of the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award.

    Robert W. "Bob" Williams, 79, of Trenton, died Wednesday, Oct. 6 at Caring First Nursing Home in Breese.

    Wolters - Obit

    Otto Wolters

    Otto H. Wolters, 87, of Aviston, died Thursday, October 9, 2014 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Breese. He was born October 28, 1926 in Breese, son of Bernard and Anna Wolters, nee Rakers, and they preceded him. He married Dorothy M. Moss on May 3, 1950 at St. Francis Catholic Church in Aviston and she died July 9, 2009. Other precedents included his mother-in-law, Mary Moss; father-in-law, Joseph Moss; brothers and sisters Edward Wolters, Raymond Wolters, Edna Rosen, Bernard Wolters, Sally Barth, Sylvia Becker, Victor Wolters, Mary Ann Becker, Wilbert Wolters, and Henrietta Beckmann; and sisters- and brothers-in-law Trudy Wolters, Rose Ann Wolters, Edward Beckmann, August Barth, Otto Rosen, Alvin Moss, Arnold Moss, Ray Becker, and Albert Becker. He is survived by a daughter, Patricia (Allen) Foppe of Belleville; two grandchildren, Curt (Kei) Foppe of Yuma, Arizona, and Jill Foppe of Chicago; two great grandchildren, Luke Foppe and Hayden Foppe; sisters-in-law Shirley Moss of Aviston, Jean Wolters of Aviston, and Helen Wolters of Breese. Mr. Wolters worked at Scott Air Force Base in Transportation in the Motor Pool. He was a veteran of the United States Army, having served in World War II. He was a member of St. Francis Catholic Parish in Aviston, and Aviston American Legion Post 1239. The funeral was Tuesday from St. Francis Catholic Church in Aviston, the Reverend Dan Friedman officiating. Interment St. Francis Cemetery, Aviston. Memorials to St. Francis Catholic Church in Aviston will be received through Hempen-Nordike Funeral Home in Aviston.

    Condolences to

    Schaefer - Obit

    Ruth Schaefer

    Ruth M. Schaefer, 91, of Belleville, died Sunday, October 12, 2014 at St. Paul's Living Center in Belleville. She was born in Trenton on February 14, 1923, daughter of Walter and Irene Emig, nee Harpstrite, and they preceded her in death. She married Marcellus L. Schaefer on September 3, 1949 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Belleville, and he preceded her following 51 years of marriage. Other precedents included three sons, Jerome G., Allen P., and Stephen J. Schaefer; and two sisters, Wilma Pheiffer and Thelma Williams. Surviving are her son, Paul W. (Debbie) Schaefer of Kirkwood, Missouri; four grandchildren, Renee (Greg) Muehlfeld and Bradley Schaefer, both of Kirkwood, Missouri, Melissa Schaefer of O'Fallon, Missouri, and Bethany (Neil) Miller of High Ridge, Missouri; and three great grandchildren, Logan, Brennan, and Liliana. Mrs. Schaefer was a retired secretary from Belleville School District 118. She was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church, Belleville, and its ladies' sodality. She was a member of Daughters of Isabella Circle 329 and the Ladies of the Moose, Belleville Chapter 53. The funeral is Thursday, October 16 at 10 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church in Belleville. Interment Green Mount Catholic Cemetery, Belleville. Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville. There will be a prayer service at 4:15 followed by a Daughters of Isabella ritual at 4:30 p.m. Memorials to St. Paul's Living Center, St. Mary Catholic Church, or Daughters of Isabella Circle 329 will be received at the funeral home.

    Condolences to

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