AMEREN SEEKING TO CONSTRUCT A NEW GATE AND PUMP STATION ON THE EAST FORK OF SHOAL CREEK
Tuesday night, the Bond County Board was made aware of plans by Ameren to construct a new gate structure and pump station along the East Fork of Shoal Creek. A 30 day public notice regarding the plans had been issued by the IEPA on November 21st, but the county board did not receive any notification, and became aware of the plans because of concerned citizens.
The proposed project site is located near the southern end of Coffeen Lake and its intersection with the East Fork of Shoal Creek. The plan includes construction of a 25 feet wide, 11.6 feet high hinged gate with a new pump station, to be built 100 feet downstream from the existing spillway channel. This would allow Ameren to pump water from East Fork of Shoal Creek into Coffeen Lake. Ameren already has one pump station there, this would be the second one. The Coffeen Power Station needs additional water to operate the new flue gas desulphurization system , or scrubber, which is to go on line by the fall of 2009. Ameren has already raised the elevation of the Coffeen Lake Dam, which will result in an increase of 3 feet in the normal pool elevation, but that is still not enough water.
The Bond County residents at the meeting, voiced concerns as to the what the effects would be on residents and farmers downstream who rely on the water from the creek, and also concerns that very little was know about the project. The 30 day public notice expires on December 21st, giving very little to for any research.
The Bond County Board unanimously decided time send a request for a public hearing on the project to the IEPA.
2007 ANNUAL FAIR BOARD MEETING
The annual meeting of the voting members of the Bond County Fair Board was held Wednesday at the community building at the fairgrounds. Randy Ostrom, chairman of the gates committee, reported that gate receipts were down for the 2007 fair, probably due to the extreme heat at fair time.
President Craig Woker reported that the financial condition of the fair is good. The Bond County Fair has purchased land east of the fairgrounds in the past three years, and the 2005 annual report showed $38,000 in outstanding real-estate loans and $12,500 remaining to be paid on building repairs. The 2007 report shows that all real-estate loans have been paid, even for the three acres purchased in 2007. The only outstanding debt is the $12,500 remaining to be paid on building repairs.
All committee chairmen reporting thanked the many volunteers who helped make the fair a success, including Dick Debatin, who does so much mowing at the fairgrounds, the people from the Vandalia Correctional Center who also mow grass, the ladies from the local prison, the Probation Department, the organizations who staff the fair gates and all of the department superintendents.
The bylaws change was approved to reduce the number of fair board members from 15 to 12. Board members elected were Adrian Eilers, Doug Schaufelberger, Eddie Lattina and Kevin Devore. It appears that the 2007 Bond County Fair was successful, in spite of the extreme heat.
PUBLIC LEVY HEARING HELD BY BOND COUNTY UNIT 2 SCHOOL BOARD
The Board held their Public Levy Hearing during their December meeting and approved this year's tax rate. This year's percentage is slightly less than 2006. However, with assessed valuations within the district up ten percent, the dollar amount from local property taxes is projected to increase by approximately 481 thousand dollars. Unit two Board President Mike Suess explained that do to a Catch in State Law, if the district doesn't get as much as possible, State funds are reduced.
In other action, the Board voted to spend 18 thousand 200 dollars to have an architect develop plans to improve the districts outdoor athletic facilities. During the Superintendent's report Sorento principal Mister Carpenter told the board Sorento has a new PA system thanks to many hours' hard work by Brent Fisher. High School Principal Kevin Cochrane complimented the Comets Football team on their very successful season, and Pocahontas Principal Eric Swingler thanked everyone for their support following the death of his Father. During public communications, Carol Knight thanked the many people who are making the Character education program a huge success.
After executive session Monday night the Bond County Unit 2 School board voted to increase Superintendent Melanie Allyn's salary by 3 percent. They also voted to hire Stan Breuchaud as a special education aide.