1-25-2007


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INCREASED WAITING LISTS FOR PUBLIC HOUSING

A new report by the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights of Chicago says that the demand for public housing in Illinois is much greater than the supply. Therefore, housing authorities throughout the state are dealing with increased waiting lists for government housing.  According to the report over 63,000 families currently live in government housing in Illinois, with more than 65,000 on waiting lists.  Locally, Cathy Eller with the Public Housing Authority in Bond County says they have 53 families on their waiting list, which could mean a six-month to one-year wait for most people.  The current housing in Bond County consists of 48 family units with one to four bedrooms and 108 one-bedroom units for seniors and disabled individuals.

Eller said that the size of the waiting list has remained the same for the last few years, however, the numbers are still higher than even ten years ago. The waiting lists are even higher in the larger counties for housing, as most applicants will wait years.  A few reasons for the difference between supply and demand in Illinois, according to the report, includes increased rent and decreased funding.

Eller also commented on the need for emergency housing for people who needed a place to live yesterday, but have to be on a list for months.  And since all of the funds received by the Public Housing Authority has to go back into low-income units, the idea of emergency housing or shelters is almost impossible.


PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD ON IEPA SEPTIC TANK RULES STILL OPEN

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a rule that would require inspections on surface-runoff septic systems in Illinois.  The agency cites the federal Clean Water Act as giving them the authority to implement the new rules without a legislative vote.  WGEL spoke with Tom Melvin from the Bond County Health Department about the proposal who said it would affect the sewage disposal systems that treat waste for individual homes where the treated waster water is allowed to travel to the surface. This includes septic tanks followed by sand filters and the aerobic treatment units.  Homeowners would be required to have the system serviced twice a year on a schedule determined by the IEPA.   Melvin says he expects that cost to be somewhere between $300 to $500 per year for the homeowner.

Residents wishing to comment on the IEPA proposed rule change have until February 13 to do so, according to Senator Frank Watson, who believes that these rule changes are far more stringent than what other states, in compliance with the act, are doing.  If you wish to comment on the proposed rule change, written statements should be sent to Hearing Officer Thomas Andryk, #21 IEPA 1021 North Grand Avenue East, P.O. Box 19276, Springfield, IL 62794 or at Thomas.Andryk@Illinois.gov.


DO IT YOURSELF CLASSES AT HABITAT HOUSE

As the fourth Habitat for Humanity House gets underway in Bond County, on-site classes will be offered in regards to the construction of a home. Roger Marcoot told WGEL that as they progress through this fourth house in Bond County, they will be offering training classes for basic skills.  Pat Harris, the on-site construction manager, will be leading the classes.

The first class will be February 10 on basic electrical wiring.  The class size is limited to 15 people with a minimum donation of $30 that will go back into funding for the house.  Marcoot also said that they will be offering other classes as they get further along with the house.  Topics to be covered include how to lay tile, vinyl siding work and drywall repair.

Marcoot commented that Habitat for Humanity thanks the community for their support in this project.  For more information or to sign up for a class, call Pat Harris at 664-9205.


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RUSH FOR PASSPORTS IS ON AT CIRCUIT CLERK'S OFFICE

As of Tuesday, air travelers wishing to return to the United States from anywhere outside the country will have to show a passport.  A new federal law requires any U.S. Citizen or Green Card holder re-entering the country, via airplane, to present a valid passport.  Previously, passports were not required of travelers returning from Mexico, the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama or Canada.  People leaving the country by car or cruise ship can still get by for now without a passport.  However, as early as January 1, 2008, all persons traveling by land or sea (including ferries) between the U.S. and any other country, that is not a U.S. territory, may be required to present a valid passport.

Bond County Circuit Clerk John King said his office has seen a significant increase in passport applications in the last few months. The cost for an adult passport is $97.00 and expires every ten years.  If you wish to apply for a passport, you can visit the Bond County Circuit Clerk's Office between 8am and 4:30 Monday through Friday.  You must bring a valid photo ID, a birth certificate certified by the county clerk and two passport photos. King reminds people that it could take at least eight weeks to receive a passport, after you have applied for it.


TOURISM COMMITTEE PREVIEW

The City of Greenville Tourism Committee will meet tonight at 7PM at the Municipal Building.  Topics on the agenda are the budget and old and new business.



THURSDAY SPORTS

HS GIRLS BASKETBALL
The Lady Comets will be hosting their own Regional Monday February 5 through Thursday February 8.  Greenville plays on the opening night at 7:30pm versus Brownstown.  Other teams in the Regional are Carlyle, Alton Marquette, and Vandalia.


 

OBITUARIES

WALTER DEAN SCHUSTER

Walter Dean Schuster, 77 of Pocahontas, passed away Tuesday at his residence.  Graveside services will be held Friday at 11am at Brown Cemetery for 77 year-old Walter Dean Schuster.  For those who desire, memorial contributions may be made to the Pocahontas Old Ripley EMS. The Donnell-Wiegand Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.


THE WGEL SECRET WORD IS GIVEN MONDAY THRU FRIDAY IN THE 11AM, NOON, 1 & 2PM HOURS. WRITE IT DOWN AND WHEN WE CALL, YOU COULD WIN $50.

 

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