August 2001.
  Alumni |   Home |  Editorial |   Events |  About |  Schools |  News |  History |   Email |   Photos |   Maps

August 2001 news

August 5

State Representative Keith Sommer addressed the Minonk City Council at its normal Monday night meeting. Mr. Sommer emphasized that nobody gets anything done by themselves. He said he came to Minonk to become better acquainted with members of the community and to learn how to work with the community to accomplish our needs. He indicated that he wants to keep the lines of communication open and wants the public to know that he wants to hear from them and to become aware of their goals and concerns.

Earlier, Sommer met with the public at an open house between 3 - 5:30 p.m. at The Woodford.

At its regularly scheduled council meeting Monday night Mayor Mark Spencer announced that the city has hired Trent Smith as the new city administrator. Smith's appointment is effective August 20. The council unaminously approved his appointment.

Mr. Smith will be moving to Minonk from Wabasca, Alberta, Canada where he was Director of Administration and Assistant Manager for the municipal district in that area which serves eight small communities. He has been working in city government since 1986.

Mr. Smith will be looking to purchase a home in Minonk as soon as possible. He is married and has a daughter who is attending college and a son who will be in the seventh grade this year.

Mayor Spencer expressed his appreciation to City Clerk Bobbie Evans, Alderman Dean Barth, Eldon Folkerts and the city council for their support in helping him conduct city business while searching for a new city administrator.

Ragan Communication appeared before the Minonk City Council to appeal to the council to consider ordering up-to-date radio equipment. A representative from the company indicated that the radio equipment used by the Department of Public Works and by the city for making emergency and police calls to the Woodford County dispatch office in Eureka is obselete.

The problem with the 15 year old radio equipment is that it works intermittently and is not dependable. Ragan has loaned a new radio to the city to verify that it will improve the communications with Woodford County. A list of equipment options with the associated costs were presented to the council for their review and consideration.

The council heard that Alderman Dean Barth and Dave Uphoff, members of the Westside Park Pavilion Committee, met with Farnsworth and Wiley representatives on Friday, August 3, to review the design specifications for the proposed pavilion. Farnsworth will prepare an estimate for preparing blueprints for the struction. The committee will meet on August 20 at 6:00 p.m. at the Westside Park to review the proposal.

In other news, the council gave final approval to removing the restriction that requires an owner of a liquor license to be a Minonk resident. Alerman Dean Barth voted against removing the restriction.

Agreed to change the September 3 council meeting which is Labor Day to be on Tuesday September 4.

Amended an ordinance that resulted in lowering the speed limit between First Street and Seventh Street on Chestnut Street to 25 mph.

Authorized the extension of a loan for the Carolyn Development to June 2002.

Approved the estimate of $160 submitted by Spring Green to inject insecticide for eliminating borers from the Ash and Linden trees along the north parking lot of Chestnut Street.

Finalized a sign to be put on the doors of the Public Works Department vehicles.

August 12

Lindley Mechanical Service is opening for business on Monday August 13th with a grand opening sometime in September. The new business is owned by Kevin Lindley and is located at 111 East Fourth Street in the old Durre's building across from F.S. Mechanical work can be done on all makes of automobiles, light trucks, medium duty trucks and motor homes.

Mr. Lindley has worked as a mechanic for 18 years and took some time off to drive over the road. He is a certified master technician in automotive and medium and heavy duty truck repair through A.S.E. Hours will be Monday through Friday 8-5 and Saturdays by appointment. Appointments can be made by calling 309-432-3739 or by stopping by.

August 19

Alderman Bill Koos took Farnsworth & Wylie to the woodshed at the Minonk City Council Council meeting Monday night, August 20. Koos questioned the engineering firm as to why the Eighth Street sewer project took so long and why there isn't a finish grade at the site. Farnsworth & Wylie representative Doug Melton admitted that some of the grade is still rough at the site.

Koos complained that there was water standing at the corner of Mary Street and also at the corner of Maple. He also questioned why culverts weren't put under the driveways. Melton responded that it was because the project was specified to leave the street in the same condition as before the project. Koos replied that he felt that Farnsworth should provide specifications in future projects that will improve the infrastructure and not just keep it the same.

Koos mentioned that most of the backfill was clay rather than dirt. Alderman Dean Barth said that most of the black dirt was hauled out to a site west of Minonk. Koos also questioned why Farnsworth did not inform the council before the project was started about the plan to remove trees along the street. Koos complained that rather than having the council decide on whether the trees should be removed that Farnsworth instead contacted a council member for approval a day before the trees were cut down. Koos also asked Melton why Farnsworth was not at the site more often to do inspection of the project. Melton replied that the city has to pre-arrange with Farnsworth on how closely projects are to be monitored.

Alderman Kathy Mckay asked Melton if the Eighth Street project was done and Melton replied that it was. The council members felt otherwise and are to meet with Farnsworth & Wylie representatives on August 28 at 5:45 and go the Eighth Street site to discuss what needs to be done to complete the project to the council's satisfaction.

Farensworth representative Doug Melton indicated that the firm is ready to start the railroad right-of-way sewer separation project. The sewer line is to help remove rain water from the sewer system. The sewer is to start at the corner of Maple and Eighth and go south to Seventh and then west to the Illinos Central railroad right-of-way and then travel south to First Street.
In another spirited discussion at Monday night's city council meeting, the council voted not to pay Meadow Equipment a $7148 invoice for disinfecting well #3 last spring. Public Works Supervisor Charlie McGuire complained that Meadow did not follow contract specifications when it decided to dump all of the chlorine disinfectant at the bottom of the well rather than injecting the disinfectant at 20 foot intervals through the tremmy pipe.

Meadow stated that the procedure they followed adequately treated the well and was approved by Farnsworth & Wylie representative Bob Kohlhase. Kohlhase stated that they had already started the treatment when they called him and he agreed to it. Kohlkase did think that Meadow should reduce the invoice amount to the city because Meadow did perform a shortcut method.

McGuire stated that the well still has a low level of bacteria in response to Meadow's claim that their treatment was satisfactory.

The council voted to not pay the invoice amount to Meadow with Alderman Sean Cunningham being the lone dissenter. A Meadow representative then offered to reduce the invoice amount by half. The council then voted to pay Meadow $3574 instead.

Farnsworth & Wylie representative Bob Kohlhase told the city council that it is time for the city to start planning for drilling a new well. Kohlhase said that the EPA requires the city to be able to have one of its well shut down and still be able to meet its water needs. That is presently not the case. If a well is shut down now, there would not be an adequate water supply to run the sewage treatment plant. Public Works Supervisor Charlie McGuire said that he has received verbal acknowledgement from the EPA that the City of Minonk will be on restrictions in its development until a new well can be drilled to meet EPA standards for water capacity for the city.

Kohlhase said that the city can drill just about anywhere since the aquifer is very widespread. He recommended that the city drill in the Westside Park which sits across from the water works on Washington Street and could tap into a water main that runs into the water treatment plant. Some of the council members thought that it was not a good idea to put a well in the park.

Farnsworth representative Doug Melton said that the city could apply for an EPA low cost loan of 2.68% for twenty years to help pay the estimated $400,000 to drill the new well. Melton said that the city could raise its water rates to help pay off the loan. He indicated that property taxes would not have to be raised to pay off the loan.

It would take about two months to drill the well according to Kohlhase. Farnsworth representatives will come to Minonk on August 28 to meet with city council members and help determine an appropriate site for the new well.

Melton said they can be ready for sending out bid specs in a month. Farnsworth personnel is coming to Minonk on August 28 to meet with council members to plan the project and get it ready for bidding.

In other news, the council voted to pay Jim Brown, owner of the old Ford Garage building at Chestnut and Fourth Streets, $25 a month to store the city float. The offer is contigent on Brown's ability to show proof of insurance.

The Westside Park Committee met at the park at 6:00 p.m. Monday night, August 20, to finalize the location of the proposed park pavilion. It was decided to locate the structure at the north end of the park about 80 feet from Fifth Street equidistant between Jefferson and Washington Streets. The committee also reviewed the blueprint proposal prepared by Farnsworth & Wylie. The next meeting will be September 4 at 6:00 p.m. at the Westside Park.

The council approved the payment of $19,000 to a pump service company for pulling and installing a new pump at Well #1 in July.

Mayor Mark Spencer welcomed new city administrator Trent Smith at the council meeting. Smith expressed his thanks to the council for his appointment and said that he hopes to have a long stay in Minonk.

Anna Woessner has been hired as the new choral and band instructor at Fieldcrest High School. Ms. Woessner graduated from the University of Illinois in 2001 and was a member of the Marching Illini for four years.

In addition to leading the Fieldcrest band Woessner is planning a fall and Christmas concert and possibly organizing a jazz choir for a spring show. The band's first performance will be at half-time August 31 at the football game with Heyworth in Minonk. After playing in their street clothes for the past eight years the Fieldcrest band will play in their new uniforms.

Woessner, who is from Peoria, did student-teaching at Morton High School this past semester. She stays active by playing clarinet in the Peoria Municipal band and the Prairie Wind Ensemble.

Jennifer Hakes of Dana was hired as Fieldcrest volleyball coach. She graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in psychology. She also played volleyball at Monmouth College where she earned all-Midwest Conference honors.

August 26

Amidst wheel chairs, walkers, children and toys, 97 residents from El Paso Health Care, Minonk Heritage, Toluca Asta Care, South Haven Apts., aids, volunteers and guests gathered Friday, August 17, at the Don Ludwig farm, rural Minonk, for their annual "Lunch on the Farm". Food was plentiful and the hot dogs were roasted just right!

Don and Helen encouraged their guests to enjoy the freedom of the farm, with a walk to the barn to see the ducks, pot-bellied pig named Tofe, the guineas, dogs and cats and "OB" the peacock. Several walked out on the wooden dock to feed and watch the koi and goldfish swimming in the pond. The array of sunflowers towered over the water, making for a delightful backdrop.

Old and young mingle together, enjoying good food and fellowship. One of the guests, Ms. Thelma, was reunited with Marsha Stolt, a volunteer. Many years ago Ms. Thelma was a babysitter for the Stolt children.

A highlight of the day was when Ms. Ruth, one of Helen's former clients (Maple Lawn TLC), arrived with her granddaughter Suzi and family to share in the day. Door prizes were given, hugs exchanged, and finally the guests bid farewell to their hosts.

Many hands made for a beautiful day; one to be long remembered by all. A special thanks to all those who volunteered, helped with food donations, serving and providing transportation. To Chris Hill for providing the tent covering and tables and also the MFD for the chairs.

The Fieldcrest Knights were crushed by the Lexington Minutemen 40 to 7 in the season opener for both teams at Lexington Friday night. Eric Bird ran for three touchdowns to lead Lexington to a convincing defeat of Fieldcrest which was ranked number 8 in the preseason Class 2A state poll while Lexington had been unranked.

Fieldcrest's only touchdown came on a one yard run by Andy Swenson in the fourth quarter. Fieldcrest quarterback Shaun Manning completed 6 of 13 passes for 44 yards while Drew Glowacki ran for 23 yards on 14 carries.

Fieldcrest coach Judy McNamara was granted an acquittal on a felony conviction she received from a Woodford County jury on July 25 in which she was accused of slapping a girl during half-time of a basketball game. A post-trial hearing was held Tuesday, August 28. Defense attorney Paul Welch argued that the incident did not take place in a public place. Judge Robert Freitag agreed that a girls locker room was not a public place and granted the acquittal.

McNamara is still convicted of a misdemeanor battery and will be sentenced next Tuesday, September 4. She could receive up to 364 days in prison and a fine of $2,500.

McNamara teaches physical education but it is not yet determined if she will coach.

The Fieldcrest Knights beat Heyworth 20-13 in the home opener Friday night. Andy Swenson led the Knights with 85 yards rushing and 17 tackles.

Swenson scored a touchdown in the first quarter on a 31 yard carry and Ryne Haag caught a 50 yard pass from Shaun Manning also in the first quarter. Drew Glowacki completed the scoring in the third period with a one yard plunge.

Fieldcrest is now 1-1.

Previous month       Next month