COMMUNITY NEWS

Davis In Full Support Of Land Swap And Airport Development

John Davis, candidate for election to the Decatur Park Board, has announced his full and complete support for the proposed land swap with developer, Greg Meisenhelter. 
Davis said: “I know a lot of people were upset with the closing of Big Creek riding stables, but time marches on, and now we are faced with a new challenge and a possible tremendous economic boon for the District as well as the City of Decatur and surrounding areas as well.” 
Davis further commented that the land swap fits right in with his proposal to work with the city and other towns and villages, in the area to make Decatur a destination and not a pass-through community. 
“This could very well be the catalyst for further development of the area south of the lake. There are any numbers of possible projects that are or will be available to Mr. Meisenhelter for development of the Big Creek area, any one of which will bring jobs and money into the economy.”

Scherer Voices Support for Middle Class Families

  State Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, issued the following statement Wednesday in response to remarks made by Governor Bruce Rauner during his Jan. 27 speech in Decatur:
“I was born and raised in this community, and throughout my life, I’ve seen families work hard to make ends meet. I know the hard work and dedication of middle class men and women is the answer to our state’s problems, not the cause.
“As a former teacher for over 30 years, I know what it’s like to spend every day serving my community. That’s why I’m deeply concerned by any efforts to punish middle class families and belittle their contributions to society.
“Our community has suffered from one of the highest unemployment rates in the state for many years, and just recently we have begun to see some improvement. Any of the families in this district will tell you that cutting wages and the jobs of teachers, fire fighters, state employees, grocery store clerks, factory workers and middle class families will only set us back.
“Smaller paychecks for local families mean less money spent at local businesses, more foreclosures, fewer educational opportunities, a tougher road to retirement and an overall decline of the area’s economy.
“I stand ready to work to create new job opportunities, raise wages and help our local economy. I am ready to work in a bipartisan manner, but I will oppose proposals that would hurt middle class families.”


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. 

Sheriff, States Attorney Issue Government
Grant Telephone Scam Alert


Macon County State’s Attorney Jay Scott and Sheriff Thomas Schneider announced today that Macon County residents are being targeted by a new telephone scam.  The callers claim to be federal government employees, and notify the victims that they have been selected to receive several thousand dollars of federal grant money.  
Some of the calls, which are coming from outside the United States, have been disguised to show up on Caller ID as being placed from Washington, D.C., which lends credibility to the scam.  The victims are directed that they must, in order to receive their grant money, purchase a prepaid debit card, typically in the amount of a few hundred dollars, and to call the scammers back to provide them the debit card number and security code.  
Once the scammers have the card number and code the money is theirs, and the fraud is completed.  
“This is a variation of the many scams we see requesting money from the victims up front in order to receive a much larger sum,”  Scott said.  Residents are advised to hang up if one of these calls is received.  If you suspect a scam is about to be or has been committed, call the Elder Fraud Hotline at 217-615-7582.  All calls are answered by State’s Attorney Jay Scott or Sheriff Thomas Schneider.  
For more information on scams,  visit the State’s Attorney’s website at www.sa-macon-il.us. 




 Decatur Police Department Needs Your Help In Solving RCC Progress City Theft Of Kubota Utility Vehicles
The Decatur Department needs your help in solving this week’s crime of the week.

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. 

Submit your news
to the editor at:

decaturtribune@aol.com 
or to: Decatur Tribune, 
P. O. Box 1490, 
Decatur, IL 62525-1490.

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The above photo shows part of the Farmers' Market on North Water Street across from Central Park.

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