Looking forward to 2007

      Editor: Dave Uphoff
Another year has gone by and it is time to reflect on the past and plan for the future. This website has been keeping track of obituaries of people who either live in Minonk or were once a citizen of Minonk. Each year about 50 obituaries are recorded and about half of them are of people who still reside in Minonk. On the other end of life's scale we record births that are sent to us. Usually only 3 or 4 are recorded but I am sure that there are more births that are not recorded by this website. In any event, given the birth/death ratio Minonk's population will be zero in 50 years.

One of the obituaries from this past year was that of Thomas Ketchmark of Minonk. I normally don't comment on obituaries because every life is important and I don't want to give the impression that some are worth more commenting on than others. However, in Tom Ketchmark's case he was a lifelong public servant to this community and since this is a community oriented website I wish to honor Tom for all the time and effort he devoted to make Minonk a better place to live.

Like his father, John Ketchmark, who served as Mayor of Minonk in the 1950's, Tom also performed civic duties for his city. He served several terms as City Treasurer and also was a city alderman from Ward 2 and was active in community affairs as a life long resident of Minonk. He represents a generation that recognizes the importance of community involvement. I extend my condolences to his family.

There are not many people who are willing to devote their time to community affairs like those from Tom's generation and the generations before him. Another city election is to be held in April and only one candidate has filed a petition for alderman in Ward 2 and none in the other wards. A small community like Minonk needs to have involved citizens who want to help make the community a better place to live. Each person at some point in their life should give of themselves in some capacity to their community. We can't sit back and let somebody else do it. Minonk faces an exciting future with the development of Section Six north of the city and the Caroline Development. The city needs competent and motivated individuals to see that its future potential is realized.

Aside from the development of Section Six and the Caroline Development there are other things that can be done to improve Minonk. Any business located downtown is eligible to receive a TIF grant to fix up their building through the facade improvement provision. I urge those businessmen who own a downtown building to contact the City Administrator Trent Smith to learn how the city can help finance the improvement of your building.

I repeat my assertion that the city should try to work with the new owners of Section Six to make the path to the old coalmine north of town into a nature trail and to work with US Waste Management in developing the jumbo into a recreation area.

I also wish to repeat my request that the city get on the owner of the former Young's Garage at the corner of Sixth and Chestnut to clean up the building both inside and out. The outside of the building is unkempt and an eyesore. The inside of the building is crammed to the ceiling with junkie old furniture which makes it a fire hazard. This is not the type of building that belongs downtown and, along with the unsightly marquee on the Minonk Foods store, detracts from the quaint appearance of the older downtown buildings.

Finally, I wish to pass on some advice to Minonk residents who are complaining about their high water bills. The water bill at the IOOF building where I have my office doubled this past summer. I couldn't understand why and so I called City Hall to ask why my bill doubled after remaining fairly constant for 3 years. They told me that many high water bills are due to a toilet that leaks water through a faulty flapper in the tank. They suggested I put some blue food dye in the toilet tank and let it set overnight. If the water in the bowl the next morning has turned blue it indicates that water is leaking through the flapper and causing the toilet to run in water every so often. I took their advice and, lo and behold, I found blue water in the toilet bowl the next morning. I put in a new flapper and the water bills went down again. Wouldn't it be nice if all problems could be solved that easily.

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January 08, 2007