Semi-trucks Reminded of Restrictions on Parking in Village Limits

December 17, 2014

Ordinance says vehicles over 3/4 ton unable to park in village limits for more than 30 minutes

by Florence Hallford
& Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

The topic of semi-truck parking has been an on-going discussion since a resident asked permission to park his truck over a sidewalk several months ago.

The board members have been looking into solutions since, unable to find a suitable one. During his research, village president Jim Minor located an ordinance that prevents owners of vehicles in excess of ¾ ton from parking in most of the village limits for more than half an hour.

While the board members identified with residents on the issue, there is not much they can do about it, noting that the resident needs to find suitable parking. However, trustee Roger Walker became concerned, stating that many residents drive regular trucks that weigh close to, if aren’t at the weight limit of the truck size the ordinance includes that need special parking. Read More

ALAH Schools Go Ahead with Levy Increase

December 17, 2014

With over $10,000 increase in property value, levy up nearly 8 percent

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

After holding a truth and taxation hearing, Arthur-Lovington/Atwood Hammond school board members approved the tax levy for the tax year 2014 payable 2015.

This year’s EAV was estimated at $193, 490,228 while last year’s total was $183,286,949. An increase of 7.98 percent was passed by the board. So far, the district has not received its incentive money from the state, and Schwengel noted that it is possible that they may receive only three out of four payments. The present total of all funds in the district’s accounts is $6,965,024.74. A resolution abating the tax levied for the year 2014 to pay debt service on General Obligation School Bonds (an alternative revenue source) was also passed. Read More

Sullivan Employees See Bonus Increase

December 17, 2014

Extra $25 added on

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

A discussion was held at this month’s first city council meeting whether or not to increase the Christmas bonus for city of Sullivan employees.

Since about 1999, employees have been given $75. Health and safety commissioner Bill Hagen motioned that it be increased to $100, explaining that $75 doesn’t go quite as far today as it did in the 90’s. Public property manager Mike Kirk seconded the motion, and the council agreed to raise the Christmas bonus to $100.

A TIFF participation loan of $680,000 (including full project fees) was also approved for the Red Apple.

About $250,000 will be financed by First Mid Illinois Bank in an eight year balloon payment. Sullivan has received $700,000 in TIFF funds, but they must be used for TIFF purposes only. All funds must be used by 2022, or they will be returned to their original source. Read More

Sullivan School District Introduces iSullivan

December 10, 2014

Submitted by the
Sullivan School District

The Sullivan school district will be holding a series of public meetings beginning next week to discuss iSullivan, the district’s 1:1 digital device learning initiative.
School districts have witnessed a major shift in the role technology plays in instruction. Instead of students having access to technology only when the school’s computer lab is available, more school districts are providing access to students as needed. Sullivan School District has been working on a plan to give students this daily access. Money was awarded to the district through a combination of grants from the Sullivan Community Education Foundation and the federal government. With that funding in place, the implementation of iSullivan began. Staff members began working together to create a vision for students’ futures. The district feels that in  order to prepare students for a technology enriched world, it needs to give them the tools to experience a technology enriched education. Read More

City Finances Reported as Solvent for Previous Fiscal Year

December 3, 2014

Annual audit shows city finances reported accurately

by Barry Featheringill
Sullivan Reporter

Sullivan’s annual audit was presented at last month’s later city council meeting, and it signaled a comfortable financial situation.

The type of opinion issued by West & Co was an ‘unqualified opinion,’ which means the numbers presented to West & Co. and to the public April 30, 2014 were done so fairly and in accordance with most general accounting principles. It is the highest opinion an auditor may make on financial reports.

“The overall financial condition of the city is solvent as of April 30, 2014,” added Russell. “It is healthy and stable as it was last year.” Read More

Kiwanis Reforming in Sullivan

November 26, 2014

After a few years, international outreach organization makes a local comeback

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

After dissolving a couple years ago, the Sullivan Kiwanis is reforming.
Starting at the end of September, meetings began being held in an effort to recruit a strong nucleus of local members and to begin molding the group’s focus based on local needs.
“Meetings are set up now, but that will likely change as the club reaches charter strength,” said Jim Dooley, the 2014-2015 Kiwanis Governor for the Illinois and Eastern Iowa district. “I have a strong belief that with Kiwanis local members need to determine what the rules are and what the needs are of the community.” Read More

Okaw Valley School Report Card Shows Gains and Declines

November 26, 2014

Test results still shaky as state moves towards common core

by Derek Pope
Bethany Reporter

This month Okaw Valley School District’s annual school report card has been made available by the state’s board of education at www.illinoisreportcard.com. The school report card, which is released at roughly the same time every year, is a metric that gauges student academic growth from year to year based on state standardized testing. In addition to this, the school report card also provides useful data to the public such as graduation rates, attendance rates, and even data such as the school district’s racial makeup. The school report card is designed to be a valuable tool internally within school districts for making academic and instructional improvements to school environments, as well as for the public, which may include families considering moving to the area or parents concerned about their children’s education.
The results of this year’s school report card, much as last year’s, are mixed for Okaw Valley—containing examples of both improvements and declines in academic growth. Read More

ALAH Schools Present 7.98 Percent Levy Increase

November 26, 2014

Truth in taxation meeting to be held next month

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

A proposed tentative tax levy increase was presented to the Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond school board Wednesday, November 12.
With this year’s EAV estimated at $193, 490,228 and last year’s total $183,286,949, an increase of 7.98 percent was figured. A total of $6,517, 231,000 in taxes was received from both districts in 2013. Presently, the proposed amount to receive is $6,905,829. Because the increase represents more than a five percent increase over last year’s levy, a truth and taxation hearing is planned before the next school board meeting in December. Read More

Propane Heater Found to be Source of Wednesday’s Fire

Photo by RR Best Area firefighters prepare to extinguish a house fire located at 115 W. Mattox in Sullivan last Wednesday evening.

Photo by RR Best
Area firefighters prepare to extinguish a house fire located at 115 W. Mattox in Sullivan last Wednesday evening.

November 26, 2014

Sullivan home suffers extensive heat and smoke damage

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A fire left a Sullivan home badly damaged Wednesday evening.

According to Sullivan fire chief Mike Piper, the home located at 115 W. Mattox caught fire from a propane heater that was being used temporarily to heat the house since the furnace had previously gone out and was waiting to be replaced.

Piper said other than pinning the fire to the heater, which was located in the southwest room near the front of the house, his department is unsure what exactly caused the heater to cause the fire. The propane tank had been recently changed, however. Read More

Just Shy of 42 Years of Service, Thomas Retires

November 12, 2014

Photo by RR Best Outgoing sheriff Jeff Thomas holds a plaque congratulating him on his retirement at a public gathering in October.

Photo by RR Best
Outgoing sheriff Jeff Thomas holds a plaque congratulating him on his retirement at a public gathering in October.

Outgoing sheriff’s tenure up Nov. 30

by Barry Featheringill
Sullivan Reporter

There’s a new sheriff in town–almost. And another, well, not quite leaving, but turning in his badge.

After more than four decades of service with the Moultrie County Sheriff’s office Jeff Thomas is retiring. And when Thomas leaves office November 30, he will be 90 days short of having spent 42 years of service to Moultrie County.

Thomas joined the sheriff’s office in 1973 and was elected to the office of sheriff in 2002.

“I’ll do anything that I want that does not require that I be responsible for actions of 22 other people,” said Thomas of his upcoming retirement. “I plan to spend time playing golf, fishing, traveling, along with spending time with the grandkids.” Read More