Current News: 03/05/14 (Click HERE for Archived News):
Farm Bill updates available through U of I Ext.
Are you interested in learning the details of the 2014 Farm Bill so that you can determine how it will impact your farm operation? The University of Illinois Extension will host an informative webinar led by Jonathan Coppess, Clinical Assistant Professor of Law and Policy, University of Illinois. This webinar will discuss the commodity program choices available in Title I of the 2014 Farm Bill.
The Farm Bill Update will be offered as a statewide webinar on Thursday, March 13 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Locally the webinar will be hosted by the University of Illinois Extension Office in Marion County, at the Marion County Extension Office, 1404 E. Main, Salem and in Clinton County at the Clinton County Extension Office at 1163 North 4th Street, Breese.
Producers are asked to review the current updates that have been posted on the U of I FarmDoc website. These articles will give a background in the 2014 Farm Bill information. FarmDoc is located at: http://farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/
To register for the Farm Bill Update call the University of Illinois Extension at 618/548-1446 (Salem) or 618/526-4551 (Breese) or online at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/bcjmw/.
There is no charge to attend but pre-registration is preferred.
Renovated KC-Trenton ed. center re-opens this month
Fundraisers still seek $49k in private donations to complete $3 million project
by Mike Conley, Chairman
Kaskaskia College Trenton
When the Kaskaskia College Trenton Education Center opens for business later this month, it will be an important moment for Clinton County, and a joyous one for those of us who have worked the past couple of years trying to raise the necessary private investment to make the facility a reality.
Unfortunately, our work won't be over even once the gleaming new educational building opens. We still have about $49,000 to raise in cash and pledges before we can declare our mission complete.
So far, Clinton County individuals, businesses, organizations, and units of government have raised nearly $1.2 million for the project, including a building and land valued at more than $600,000 and transferred from the citizens of Trenton to the Kaskaskia College district along with $582,000 in cash and pledges.
The local fundraising committee profoundly thanks each and every donor, from the smallest to the largest, for recognizing the value of this educational facility to our community.
By providing better access and affordability for local students seeking postsecondary education, we build strength in our communities in ways that go well beyond any direct impact the expanded Trenton center might provide.
Some Kaskaskia College students are preparing for transfers to four-year institutions; others are directly training for their careers in nursing, welding, electrical trades, and HVAC; still more are re-training for mid-life career changes or simply taking courses to enrich their lives. The key to their success is the convenient availability of an institution that can meet all those needs. The key to our success as a region is in developing a well-trained and well-paid work force who will contribute to our economic future.
I visited the newly renovated facility last week. A new addition to the west of the building provides space for four classrooms and a new computer lab. The four classrooms are separated by movable dividers that can be opened and converted into a large meeting space.
The existing building has been reconfigured to include ample office space, an open access computer area, and three business incubators designed to help fledgling and start-up companies transition to more permanent space. A new science lab along with a nursing and emergency medicine lab have been carved out of the existing space as well.
The southern portion of the building has not been renovated at this point, but the open-span area will be used immediately for industrial education applications like welding and a new residential wiring program.
As the upgrades near completion, the Trenton Center truly looks like it was designed to be an institution of higher learning, rather than simply a building where higher learning takes place. It's going to be a facility of which we can all be proud.
Kaskaskia College has proven itself to be a flexible and responsive educational partner for our area. The college has provided free dual-credit courses to high school students for years, allowing them to get a jump start on their postsecondary education and saving local families hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition fees. KC provides 60 hours of free tuition for graduates of its General Equivalency Diploma (GED) program. The college partners with local business and industry to tailor job training to the private sector's specific needs. And the institution's board of trustees has voted to contribute $1.67 million to the new Trenton Education Center project that will serve Clinton County students.
We need your help to close the $49,000 gap on what will be a nearly $3 million facility when completed. If you haven't made a contribution yet, please consider doing so in whatever amount you are able. There are a number of programs available to make your donation both meaningful and affordable.
If you have questions or would like to discuss the project further, please contact me at my home (224-7232) or office (224-9422); or call KC's director of institutional advancement, Suzanne Christ, at 545-3069.
New Baden board clears the way for Love's
Village will pay for needed infrastructure through future TIF, business district revenue
New Baden's village board on Monday finalized a series of agreements with national truck stop chain Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores, Inc. that will pave the way for the company to locate a new store near Interstate 64 at the village's western edge.
The documents represent Tax Increment Finance (TIF) and Business District agreements by which the village will re-pay Love's for a portion of public infrastructure costs, along with a dedication of right-of-way by Love's to the village representing public improvements, including Richter School Road and the site of future sidewalk improvements.
Although Love's has not established a specific timetable for beginning construction, New Baden zoning and code enforcement official Jerry Green said he expects the company to start work sooner rather than later.
"They are champing at the bit," Green said. "I was on the phone with their representative this morning. He said if this is approved tonight, the building permit will be sent tomorrow."
It's expected that construction on the project will begin this summer.
TIF financing works by leveraging future property tax revenues to provide incentives for development in the present. Once a TIF district is established, a baseline property value is established. In future tax years, the taxes derived from any increases in property value--the 'increment'--is directed into a special account controlled by the municipality and eligible for use as development incentives, repair blight in the district, and improve public infrastructure.
Business Districts work similarly, but utilize an additional one percent sales tax to create the pool of incentive money.
New Baden's Interstate 64 TIF is relatively new and does not have a pool of available money for the infrastructure improvements--water and sewer extensions--necessary for Love's to begin building. Love's has agreed to pay the roughly $1 million upfront cost of constructing the water and sewer extensions, with a plan for the village to repay them from future TIF and Business District revenues.
About $200,000 of the utility extension costs are due to 'enhancements' requested by the village, including larger lines that will enable New Baden to serve other customers along the route. These items do not benefit Love's directly, so the village will repay 100 percent of those costs from Business District revenues. New Baden village attorney Doug Gruenke estimated the payback on that portion of the project at around four years.
The village will repay Love's 60 percent of the balance of the project costs through TIF funds. The village will pay Love's 75 percent of the increment created through the development each year until 60 percent of the baseline project costs are repaid. A special trigger related to a state biodiesel tax holiday could push that repayment to 100 percent of project costs.
The state of Illinois has temporarily suspended a biodiesel tax that had been levied against fuel retailers, and legislators will decide in 2018 whether or not to continue the abatement or reinstate the tax. Gruenke said the village has every reason to believe the state will not reinstate the tax, but if it does, the village will use business district funds to repay the balance of the infrastructure project costs.
The village will be responsible for coordinating construction of the lines through HMG Engineers, Carlyle. The board approved an agreement with the firm on Monday that will pay a maximum of $15,000 for construction guidance and a maximum of $80,000 for resident project representation. Trustees also approved bid-letting for the utility extension project.
New Baden's next police vehicle will be a pick-up
The last two times New Baden has purchased police vehicles, trustees have opted to spend more money upfront on Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV) with the expectation of lower maintenance costs and higher resale value on the back end.
This time, trustees opted to adopt a similar strategy with a different vehicle. New Baden's board on Monday voted to purchase a four-door Ford F-150 pick-up truck as its newest police vehicle at an equipped cost of $39,375 from Breese Motors.
The base price of the vehicle is $28,425, with upfitting including emergency lights, radio, partition, weapons rack, spot light, computer mount, siren, radar, and other police equipment driving the price to nearly $40,000. The lowest bid for a similar vehicle was $39,090 from Dave Sinclair Ford in St. Louis, but trustees opted to suspend bid requirements and pay the slightly higher price to keep the sale relatively local.
New Baden police sergeant Scott Meinhardt said local Chevrolet dealer Reno-Guthrie elected not to bid because of the nominal profit margin involved. The village also priced Chevrolet Tahoes and Ford Explorers. The Explorer costs slightly less than the F-150, but police perceive benefits to having a pick-up truck in service for the department.
The police department budgeted $30,000 for the vehicle purchase for this fiscal year, along with an additional $10,000 for equipment, of which only a small amount has been expended. Village administrator Jimmy Morani told trustees that the police department is operating under budget for the fiscal year and the expense can be shared between the two line items.
Meinhardt offered some anecdotal evidence to support the theory that the SUV's and potentially pick-up trucks will hold better value than the sedans typically used for police vehicles. The sergeant said Carlyle had recently sold the first SUV to rotate out of its department since it began purchasing them for a price of $6,900. Police sedans typically fetch less than $2,000 when they are taken out of service.
Public safety committee chair Mike Mavrogeorge said purchasing the better vehicles upfront and rotating them in a timely manner "will help us sustain our fleet over the long-term."
Property tax relief available for countians
Qualifying senior citizens in Clinton County can qualify for property tax relief by applying for the Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze along with the Senior Homestead Exemption.
The homestead exeption is available to senior citizens for the 2014 tax year (payable in 2015) for those who have owned the property during the taxable year, and are liable for paymet of real estate taxes. The homestead exemption reduces the assessed valuation of the property by $5,000.
Seniors who meet those requirements and also lived at the property as of January 1, 2013 and January 1, 2014 and have a total household income of $55,000 or less may also qualify for an assessment freeze that prevents any increase due to inflation.
Property tax exemptions are also available for disabled veterans, returning veterans, and disabled persons. For information or to apply, contact the Clinton County Assessment Office at 594-6610.
YMCA pool management could be financial plus for New Baden, some questions still linger
New Baden village trustees are expected to decide later this month whether or not to turn over operations and management of the village swimming pool to the YMCA of Southwest Illinois in exchange for all the direct revenues associated with its operation, including pool pass income, daily fees, concessions, and special contracts.
The village will still be responsible for preparing the pool for opening day and for repairs and some maintenance activities. The YMCA will pay for the chemicals to treat the pool water throughout the summer, which is one of the major expenses in the pool fund at about $10,000 per year.
In addition to labor and equipment costs that might be incurred, the village will be responsible for the utilities, including the water costs to fill the pool. Based on the current budget year, the village can expect to incur $6,000 to $8,000 in expense for the year, which will be offset by a portion of the village's telecommunications tax which is dedicated to pool expenses. This year, the village has received about $8,800 in expenses ten months into the fiscal year, which should grow to a little more than $10,000 by year's end, which would give the village a small fund balance increase if projections hold true.
The village has lost about $4,000 so far this year on pool operations.
Morani said Monday night that ceding management to the YMCA will also save village personnel considerable time and angst related to payroll responsibilities and management turnover. "I'd like to try it for a year and see how it works out," Morani said.
Trustee Bob Oster raised a concern that the YMCA will bus in non-residents to use the pool in order to boost gate receipts. "I've heard on the street that in other communities they've bused in a bunch of people from out of town," he said. "If they're going to do that, I won't vote for it."
The item first appeared on the village board's agenda at last month's 'committee of the whole' work session. On Monday, the board voted to continue its voting meeting so it can take action on the matter at this month's work session. In the meantime, Morani will contact the YMCA to provide more specificity as to the rights and responsibilities of both parties.
Time Marches On
Jacob Vaninger this week purchased the Philip Gildig farm of 40 acres southeast of town for $90 per acre.
The abandoning of the West mine leaves this community without a mine, therefore no Trenton coal will be mined until such time as there will be another mine put down.
Mike Hetzel, a prominent farmer of the Cracker Neck district, has purchased the Mollet place on Ninth Street.
Rev. Felix Ferbers, pastor of St. Mary Church since last August 24, died unexpectedly Friday night. His predecessor, Father Bonsel, died last August 8.
An eight pound girl was born to Mr. and Mrs. S.L. Lanahan of Detroit last Friday. Mrs. Lanahan is the former Myrtle Tschudy.
Mrs. Maria Mueller, nee Schwartztrauber, died March 13, at the age of 69.
S. Weber of Lebanon and Miss Frances Laundauer of Summerfield were united in marriage at the home of her sister, Mrs. O. Hartmann, in this city Monday afternoon.
The following item was handed to us Monday. Yes, we have a little daughter since March 15, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Lohman, Aviston.
A daughter was born to Rev. and Mrs. F.L. Strobel at the Breese Hospital Saturday.
Robert Joseph, infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Bendorf of Flora, died at the Highland Hospital Monday morning following an operation.
August Stuemky, aged about 62 years, died suddenly at his home Tuesday.
The eighth grade debate was won by Ada Kraemer and Leland Louden.
Drifts of snow blocked Highway 50 for several hours Sunday morning and over 100 cars and trucks were tied up.
Peter Dirks died March 19, at the Aviston Hospital at the age of 65.
Miss Virginia Lee, daughter of Mrs. Lizzie Lee of this city, was united in marriage at Mattoon last Sunday to Cletus Reed.
Henry H. Peters, aged 65 years, died suddenly Tuesday night while at work at the mill.
Hugo N. Rule died at his home in East St. Louis March 21, at the age of 46.
Cpl. Vincent Dulle of Albers is reported as having been killed or captured in action with the U.S. Rangers in Italy.
Oscar Ginzel passed away at the Highland Hospital March 18, at the age of 86 years.
If 18-years-olds are permitted to vote, 949 additional voters would be eligible to go to the polls in Clinton County.
Pvt. Howard Harpstrite will graduate from the 10-week diesel engine repair course at Fort Belvoir, VA.
A son was born to Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Schiff (Bernice Dermody) in Evansville, IN and a daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Klasing on March 23 at the Highland Hospital.
William Dermody was admitted to the St. Joseph's College of Phi Eta Sigma, national honors society for underclassmen.
Rev. Richard Neumann of Maplewood, MO., grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Otto Neumann, was ordained to the priesthood Saturday in St. Louis Cathedral.
Mrs. Fred Weier of Germantown died at her home Wednesday at the age of 62.
Walter Buehler was given a 20-year Federal Service Award pin at Scott AFB.
The Clinton County Advisory Board of St. Joseph Hospital, Breese, held its organizational meeting. Lee Guenzburger was elected president, Bernard Korte vice president and Dan Krechnyak secretary.
John Calvert, son of Dr. and Mrs. John H. Calvert, Jr., R.R.1, Trenton has been awarded a President's Scholarship to attend Nebraska Wesleyan University.
It was decided to promote the Western Homecoming by having the men grow beards or buy shaving permits. The ladies will wear western style clothing or buy dress permits.
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Woodcock celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary March 17.
Appearing in the Looking Glass Playhouse at Lebanon in "South Pacific" will be these Trentonians: Mary Dermody, Kathy Emig, Mary Wilcox, Betty Kauffman, Alison Carlisle, J.C. Blair, Jim Jones, John Calvert and Kathy Pennell.
Army Pfc. Brett Therion, son of Joseph and Ann Therion of Trenton, has arrived for duty in Eschborn, West Germany.
Charlene Layne, Wesclin High School senior, has been selected to compete in the Olympia National Scholastic Typing Contest.
Anna Mersinger, 100, of Lebanon, died Tuesday, February 28. She was born March 8, 1883, the daughter of Mathias and Christine Rithmann, nee Stamm.
Mrs. Bertha Fuhler, 81, of Aviston died Friday, March 2. She was born August 4, 1902, the daughter of John and Wilhelmina Stoff, nee Venhaus.
Edward H. "Jack" Ribbing, 76, of Highland died Tuesday, February 28. He was born in Germantown, the son of Herman and Anna Ribbing, nee Toeben.
Mrs. Elizabeth Lockwood, 65, of Caulfield, MO, and formerly of Trenton, died Tuesday, March 6. She was born June 18, 1918, the daughter of Henry and Margaret Weisenfeld, nee Horstmann.
Don Oller of Trenton was one of three employees of the Illinois Department of Transportation's Collinsville District who received the Administrator's Public Service Award from the Federal Highway Administration.
A former Trenton resident Michael Brown was recognized with a Special Act award from the U.S. Army Aviation and Troop Command in St. Louis. It recognized his success in reducing costs, improving delivery leadtimes, and increasing small business competition opportunities.
Marine Pfc. Jason M. Schrage, son of Alex and Judy Schrage of Trenton, recently completed the Field Radio Operator's Course.
The Southwestern Illinois Law Enforcement Commission presented the 1994 Distinguished Service Award to Breese police officer Bob Fix and Clinton County Sheriff's Department officers Sgt. Mike Kreke and Capt. Jim Hummert.
Stanley E. and Mary O. Williams celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on March 19.
Iditarod Musher Dewy Halverson visited St. Mary Elementary School and explained what life in Alaska is like and provided an informational background of the world famous dog sled race.
Nicole L. Wobbe and Justin D. Hodgson were married on December 27, at St. George Church in New Baden.
The owners of "A Touch of Class," Duane and Judy Kapp, donated three firefighter prints to the Sugar Creek Township Fire Protection District to display at the firehouse.
Jackie Smith, former receiver for the St. Louis Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys visited Jailhouse Rock and sang happy birthday to local Sharron Pirtle.
Exxon Mobil Corporation received final approval for its plan to reclaim the former Monterey coal mine site near Albers.
Wuebbels - Obit
Clara A. Wuebbels, 89, of Damiansville, died Saturday, March 1, 2014 at St. Joseph Hospital in Breese. She was born December 21, 1924 in Breese, daughter of John C. and Helena (Schulte) Kuhl, nee Schulte, and they preceded her in death. She married Joseph H. Wuebbels August 16, 1944 in Albers and he died November 24, 1989. She is survived by her children, grandchildren, siblings, in-laws, nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. Mrs. Wuebbels was a homemaker. She was a member of St. Damian Parish and Altar Sodality in Damiansville and the American Legion Post 1026 Auxiliary in Albers. The funeral will be Thursday, March 6, 2014, 10 a.m., at St. Damian Catholic Church in Damiansville. Interment Memorials to the St. Joseph Hospital Bereavement Fund, for Masses, or to the charity of the donor's choice will be received through Hempen Funeral Home.
For full obituary and condolences, hempenfuneralhome.com
Tebbe - Obit
Dennis H. Tebbe, 58, of Waxahachie, Texas and formerly of St. Rose, died Thursday, February 27, 2014. He was born September 25, 1955 in Highland, son of Walter and Gladys Tebbe, nee Knebel, and his mother survives in St. Rose. He married Norma Voss on November 23, 1979 at St. Dominic Catholic Church in Breese, and she survives at home. Children, siblings, in-laws, other relatives and friends also survive. Mr. Tebbe was a correctional officer for the Ellis County, Texas Sheriff's Department. He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and Knights of Columbus in Waxahachie. The funeral will be Thursday, March 6, 2014, 2 p.m. from St. Rose Catholic Church. Interment St. Rose Cemetery. Memorials to the Tebbe family's wishes will be received through Moss Funeral Home in Breese.
For full obituary and condolences, mossfuneralhome.com
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