October 2001.
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October 2001 news

October 1

The adhoc Westside Park Pavilion Committee met Wednesday night with architect Chuck Fischer at city hall to discuss plans for the proposed pavilion. Fischer is president of Architectural Research Design in Peoria.

Fischer indicated that the committee will have to decide on whether it wants to develop a structure that will just meet the functional requirements of a pavilion or to devlelop a more permanent structure that will stand the test of time. Obviously, the last approach is more costly. The committee felt that it was important to develop the best possible structure.

The committee decided to retain the services of Fischer to develop a set of plans that can be used for letting out bids to contractors. Fischer also will be involved in monitoring the project to make sure that specifications are adequate and are being met.

The committee also expressed its opposition to having the city drill Well #4 in the city park as proposed by engineers Farnsworth & Wylie. Concerns include the fact that the park is not big enough to allow additional space for a well. Other concerns are that it would detract from the park's appearance and that well rigs will have to come in periodically for maintenance.

The next meeting is scheduled for October 18 when the group will meet with Mr. Fischer to discuss final plans for the pavilion.

After much debate the Minonk City Council voted to put the new well #4 in the westside city park. The location of the well would be in the southwest corner at Fourth and Jefferson Streets. The other potential sites were a corner lot at Fifth and Jefferson and a strip of land south of West Fourth Street between Johnson and Washington.

Alderman Bill Koos pushed to have the well put in the city park because that was the most economical place since the city owned the land already. The other sites would require land purchases. Alderman Dean Barth indicated that the cost of buying land and putting in a road for a well south of West Fourth Street could be offset by the benefits of having a road to farmland within the city limits that could eventually be developed.

Dave Uphoff, a member of the Westside Park Pavilion Committee, addressed the council with his concerns about putting a well in the city park. Uphoff felt that the city park was too small to accommodate the well and would further reduce the amount of space for recreational use. In addition, he said future well maintenance would require well rigs in the park. He indicated that the future growth of Minonk is dependent on residential growth and keeping the city park attractive and opening up new areas of residential growth are worth the extra cost of buying land south of West Fourth Street.

Koos countered by saying that the city must be fiscally responsible and also that future recreational dollars should be concentrated on Suttons Park in concert with the New Millenium Community Center Committee who have plans to develop recreational facilities in that area. Public Works Supervisor Charlie McGuire and city employee Jim Brown also felt that it was too expensive to consider the West Fourth Street land purchase.

The council voted to put the new well in the city park with Alderman Dean Barth the lone dissenter.

In other news, the council was addressed by Jim Hinrichsen on the need for a feasibility study for Woodford County Regional Airport. Hinrinchsen mentioned that the standard for a reliever airport is to have an airport within a 30 minute drive from any point in the county, which is not the case for Woodford County. He said the federal government will provide 95% of the cost of a feasibility study and the state will provide the rest. Hinrinchsen said that Woodford County needs to come up with $2500 to complete the study and he wanted the council to contact their county board members and urge them to do the study. Alderman Sherry Stalter made a motion that the council adopt a resolution to recommend a feasibility study be done by the county board. The motion was not seconded and no further action was taken.

The council approved a motion that stipulated that the Halloween Trick or Treat hours be between 5-7 p.m. on October 31 with alderman Stalter the lone dissenter.

The Eighth Street Sewer Project was completed according to Farnsworth & Wylie, engineers for the city. Public Works Supervisor Charlie McGuire indicated that the contractor has completed the requirements of the project and that the remaining work to be done such as seeding grass, etc. can be completed by the city. Alderman Barth recommended that the contractor be paid for his work and was agreed to by the council.

The council voted to approve the transfer of $1068 from the capital budget to the Parks and Recreation Department in order to cover the cost of new playground equipment that exceeded the $12,000 budgeted for the equipment.

The council tabled a request to replace doors in the library for $1392 until it is determined how much money is available in the Library Maintenance Fund.

Fieldcrest was beat by El Paso in a game at El Paso Friday night. Derek Hunsinger carried the ball 27 times for 242 yards to lead the Comets to a convincing victory.

October 7

A fund-raiser for John Ford will be held at Jess's Pub on Saturday night, October 13, from 4-7 p.m. The benefit is to help with the medical bills for John who is being treated for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The menu consists of chicken, baked potato, salad and bread. Carry-outs will be available.

If you are unable to attend and wish to donate, contact Jess or Pat Timmerman at Jess's Pub (309) 432-2260 or at home 432-2708.

A petition to prevent the city from drilling the new well in the Westside Park is being circulated in the city. Those who wish to sign the petition should contact Nancy Stock at 432-2496 or come to her address at 232 West Sixth Street.

The petition will be presented to the city council at its next meeting on Monday, October 15.

Flanagan slipped by Fieldcrest in a home game at Minonk Friday night. The Knights rallied from a 27-7 deficit at halftime but were unable to pull out the victory. Quarterback Shaun Manning passed for 179 yards and 2 touchdowns. Drew Glowacki rushed 15 times for 113 yards. However, two extra point attempts missed by the Knights gave the Falcons the victory.

Fieldcrest is now 3-5 overall and 2-2 in the Midstate Conference.

A group of local citizens met Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. to make a sweep through the streets of Minonk to pick up the litter. Twenty people braved the fog and gloom and grabbed their plastic garbage bags and spent the next two hours picking up cans, bottles, fast food containers, etc. After the cleanup the group met in the Westside Park for cold drinks and cookies to cap off the morning.

The group collected over 30 bags of garbage. Those citizens who particpated where Bob and Mary Hartzler, Bob Cufaude, Michael Stagliano, Barb and Eli Hahn, Trent and Danelle Smith and son, Matt Fink, Lori Fink, Tiffani Fink, Brandi Fink, Gordon Spencer, Mark Spencer, Kelly Wilson and son, Clark Tarman and son Pat Tarman, Charlie McGuire, and Dave Uphoff.

October 14

In a council session Monday night that was heavily attended by concerned citizens, the Minonk City Council voted again to put the new well in the city park. The council rescinded the vote from the last session to put the well in southwest corner of the park. The council approved a new motion by alderman Sherry Stalter to put the well in the northwest corner instead. Again, only alderman Dean Barth voted against putting the well in the city park.

After the session, a petition signed by 95 residents of Minonk against putting the well in the park was given to Mayor Spencer.

At the beginning of the session Doug Melton of the Farnsworth Group presented an outline of procedures for the council to follow in putting in the well. The outline included getting a low interest loan from the EPA, developing a plan, getting a permit from the EPA, preparing bids, awarding bids and constructing the well. The council passed a motion to give Melton permission to proceed with submitting a loan to the EPA for a $422,000 loan to construct the well.

Alderman Bill Koos presented the council a proposal on new water rates to cover the cost of the well as well as to reduce the current deficit of $117,000. Koos said that by not keeping the rates in line with the consumer price index that the city lost over $127,000 in water revenue since 1993. Starting with December the new water bills will increase by 25% to cover the cost of the new well and to pay down the current deficit. The water portion of the water bills will increase by 49% while sewer and garbage will remain the same. The average bill will increase from $16.72 to $25.16. Koos said that the new rates will allow the current deficit to be paid off in 5 years and the new well to be paid off in 20 years.

Alderman Matt Fink said that the waste/recycling fees need to be increased from $8.00 to $8.80 to cover the increased cost of the spring cleanup which jumped from $4700 to $5000. The council approved the motion.

Cathy Mckay of the Public Safety Committee said that the committee recommends that the city require each house in Minonk to have a house number. Many houses do not have numbers and it is hard to locate those houses on emergency calls. The city administrator is to look into developing an ordinance on requiring house numbers.

Cross walks are to be painted at the corner of Sixth and Walnut Streets and the curb is to be painted as well.

Judy McNamara resigned from coaching girls varsity basketball at Fieldcrest High School. McNamara, who was convicted of misdemeanor battery for slapping a player during a basketball game, will continue to teach physical education at Fieldcrest Elementary South.

According to Fieldcrest Superintendent Michael Stagliano, McNamara can return to coaching girls softball this year without any preconditions. She has completed one a course in alternative teaching styles per an agreement with the school. She has not indicated if she will complete the remaining course before the basketball season starts on October 29.

A search for a new head and assistant basketball coach will be initiated.

Fieldcrest trounced Woodland 61-33 Friday night at Minonk. Drew Glowacki led the Knights with four touchdowns while quarterback Shaun Manning threw a 31 yard touchdown pass to Ryne Haag and a 13 yarder to Tyler Sunken. Manning also ran for a 5 yard touchdown.

Haag had a 20 yard touchdown run and Jordan Castrejon ran for a 35 yard touchdown to complete the scoring.

The Knights ended the season 4-5 with a 3-2 record in the Midstate Conference. Ryne Haag set a new single-season record in reception and yards. Jeff Crone set a record for tackles with 258. Shaun Manning completed over 1000 yards passing. Drew Glowacki set a game record by scoring 29 points that included 4 touchdowns which tied the record.

In their last game of the season against Woodland, Fieldcrest set a school record with 425 yards rushing, 561 yards total offense, and tied a game record against Woodland with 61 points.

October 21

The annual fall American Red Cross bloodmobile visit held at the Immanuel Lutheran Church on Monday was very successful according to Agnes Nemmers, local coordinator for the blood drive. A total of 52 people donated 37 pints of blood. There were 10 first-time donors, 3 partial donors and 2 deferrals.

Ms. Nemmers said that this was the most successful blood drive in years and wishes to thank all those who donated their time and their blood for this worthwhile project.

The visit was sponsored by the Minonk VFW Post 7185 and Ladies Auxiliary and American Legion Post 142.

The Millenia Group gave a presentation to Advisory Committee of the Department of Natural Resources in Springfield last Thursday, October 18.

The group is applying for an Open Space Land Acquistion and Development grant for $295,000. The grant is 50-50 which means the group will have to match the grant.

Bob Hakes, Mayor Mark Spencer, City Administrator Trent Smith, Ned Leiken, Jack Jochums and Neil Finlen, of the Farnsworth Group went to the presentation.

The grant funds would be used to build outdoor recreational facilities such as hiking and walking trails, a soccer and track field, and a parking lot around the proposed community center building. The money cannot be used for construction of the building itself.

The DNR committee will notify the group in February whether the grant will be awarded. The group will either receive all of the money or nothing.

A building that was the home of numerous restaurants at the north end of Minonk was burned down in a controlled fire by the Minonk Fire Department Saturday, October 27. The restaurant was being razed to make way for development of land for the proposed community center planned for the north edge of town.

The building was first used as a drive-in root beer stand in the early 1960's. Later the restaurant was converted to a sitdown restaurant by Don and Iris Ketchmark who ran the restaurant for many years. Dan and Virginia Marshall then ran the restaurant as Dan's Place. Murphy's restaurant was the last business in the building before it closed down two years ago.

During these trying times and the way the economy has been, a business in Minonk is re-opening. Third Base Tap (formerly Hanks Alley Saloon) is back in business. Casi Cusac is managing the kitchen known as Home Plate Grill. Becky Quick is managing the bar. The bar has been located at 140 West Fifth Street for over 100 years and is a part of Minonk's history. James Quiram proprietor states,"the name may have changed but the food is still the same."

Anyone who is hungry for lunch can order Tues-Sat between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The bar is open 7 days a week. Lunches will be delivered to business if requested.

The new managers invite the public to come in and enjoy the delicious food, hometown atmosphere and the beautiful early 1900's back bar, which is an attractive reminder of Minonk's history.

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