City Council Approves Watershed Management Agreement
The Decatur City Council on Tuesday continued efforts to improve city water quality and supply, approving an agreement with the Macon County Soil and Water Conservation District for watershed conservation services.
Established in the early 1940’s the MCSWCD has as its mission “to work with private landowners and other organizations to help prevent and control soil erosion, improve the water quality of local rivers, lakes, and streams, and to restore and enhance native wildlife habitat.” The City has partnered with the District annually since 1988, over the years funding watershed management research and technical assistance, public education, conservation projects and the employment of a Lake Decatur Watershed Specialist, among other items.
The approved agreement for $146,068 is partially reimbursed by Archer Daniels Midland Company as part of the Raw Water Supply Agreement between ADM and the City. The District agreement supports current efforts to dredge Lake Decatur and to rehabilitate the Oakley Sediment Basin to store silt as it is removed, the largest of several parts of a comprehensive plan to increase local water supply.
In other business, council members approved the purchase of 10 police vehicles from Jackson Ford in Decatur at a cost of $274,082. The normal life expectance for police vehicles is two years; the current police Chevrolet Impalas are from model years 2009-2011 and have an average of 109,500 miles.
Council members also began discussion regarding study sessions and updates expected in coming weeks, sessions involving the use of motor fuel taxes and funding alternatives for road and bridge maintenance, a proposal to have the Decatur Fire Department provide some level of public emergency medical transport and on how to best use funding to improve city neighborhoods.
City Council Candidate Bill Faber Says Decatur Needs A Raise: Proposes Increasing Minimum Wage to $10 Per Hour
City Council candidate Bill Faber promises to introduce an ordinance establishing a minimum wage of $10 per hour for all workers within the City of Decatur. Faber explained, “This pay raise for Decatur families will stimulate the economy and lift families out of poverty. This is an investment in our most important resource - the families of our town.”
In the November election, more than 65% of voters in the City of Decatur supported a statewide minimum wage increase to $10 per hour from the current statewide minimum wage of $8.25 per hour. Faber said, “The people know Decatur deserves a raise. For many workers, this will be a critical step toward financial stability.”
According to the U.S. Census, 23.1% of Decatur residents are living below the poverty level, as compared to 14.1% of population of the state of Illinois. If the minimum wage kept pace with inflation since its introduction in 1968, today it would be over $10.65 per hour.
Faber explained several facts about minimum wage workers, including: (1) the average age of a minimum wage worker is 35; (2) most work full-time; (3) over 25 percent of minimum wage workers are parents; (4) the typical minimum wage worker provides over half of their family’s income; and (5) a Decatur minimum wage worker at 40 hours per week makes only $16,500 per year. Until the recent drop in gas prices, many workers had to work a day-and-a-half just to pay for a full tank of gas. Faber stressed his conviction that “No one in Decatur who works full time should have to live in poverty.”
Faber, a Decatur attorney, believes that as a home-rule government, the City of Decatur is empowered to pass ordinances promoting the economic welfare of those working in the City, including establishing a municipal minimum wage. He proposes implementing the wage increase effective January 1, 2016, to provide employers sufficient time to plan and prepare for the increase.
Sometime between 5:00pm on January 6th and 8:30am on January 7th, unknown subject(s) gained access to a secured location in Progress City at Richland Community College. Once inside the secured location, subject(s) stole two side by side, Kubota utility terrain vehicles. Both vehicles are black and orange in color. At this time, there are no suspect(s).
The Decatur Police Department needs your help in solving this crime. If you have any information about this crime, please call Crime Stoppers at 423-TIPS. You do not have to give your name. Crime Stoppers will pay $500 or more for information that leads to an arrest on the crime of the week. Crime Stoppers will also pay cash for information that leads to an arrest of any person responsible for a felony crime in Macon County.
2015 Macon County Plat Book Now Available
The new 2015 Macon County Land Atlas and Plat Book is now available and is being distributed by the Macon County Recorder. This is the 15th edition of the Macon County Plat Book produced by Rockford Map Publishers since the first edition in 1951.
The new plat book accurately displays parcel boundaries, acreage data, roadways, waterways, railways, section lines, municipal boundaries, and includes an index to owners. An additional map feature included in the new plat book is aerial map images. An aerial map lies opposite each township parcel map, and is very useful in providing a quick gauge to the use of a particular parcel. Latitude/Longitude grids for GPS reference are also provided along with a rural addressing grid.
Plat books are a great reference tool not only for landowners, but for business owners as well. It is a necessary reference guide for industries such as agriculture, land development, hunting, real estate, utilities, municipal government, and much more.
The new plat books are available for purchase from the Macon County Recorder at 141 South Main Street, room 201, Decatur, IL 62523. The books are priced at $35 if picked up at the Recorder’s office and $40 if mailed. For more information, call 217-424-1359. To purchase additional products visit RockfordMap.com for a variety of eBooks, wall maps, smartphone/tablet maps, GIS-compatible maps, and custom mapping.