COMMUNITY NEWS

Decatur Public Transit System Offers
Special Services During Celebration


During the 2014 Decatur Celebration, The Decatur Public Transit System (DPTS) will provide additional services to help promote the festival. 
The key changes from normal service are:
• The hours of operation for all Transit services, including the wheelchair van, taxi and livery programs for the disabled, will be extended to nearly match those of the Celebration, including service on Sunday;
• The hours of operation for all Transit services will be extended on Thursday evening, July 31, for the family carnival;
• "Door-to-door" service between the Decatur Celebration and all area motels will be provided using a 12 passenger van and wheelchair accessible vans for those with disabilities. Flyers have been place at all area motels to alert their guests that this service is available; and • The Downtown Trolley will circulate around the perimeter of the festival, providing FREE shuttle service to all of the parking areas.
Paul McChancy, mass transit administrator for the city, said: "People shouldn't worry about how to get downtown or where to park. Just let the Transit System be your chauffeur, and enjoy the Celebration.”
Following is a detailed description of special services that are being offered during the Decatur Celebration, Thursday, Jul. 31 through Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014.
Bus Service: Buses will run throughout the Celebration, including Sunday. Bus service will be extended on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, with the last buses departing downtown at 10:15 pm on Thursday and 11:15 pm on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday bus service will be provided with the first bus leaving downtown at 11:15 am and the last bus at 10:15 pm. After 6:30 pm, Thursday - Saturday and all a day Sunday, most bus routes will run only once an  hour; only the #22 St. Mary's, the #63 Decatur, and the #21/21C Monroe routes will run every half hour. The last bus each night will serve only outbound passengers leaving from the Transit Center. Bus fares are: Adults - $1.00-; Youth 5 thru 18 - 80¢; Disabled Passengers & Senior Citizens -  50¢; Children under 5 - Free; Senior Citizens and Disabled Passengers w/ Circuit Breaker ID - Free.
Operation Uplift: The van, taxicab and livery service for people with disabilities (Operation Uplift) will also operate throughout the Celebration, including Sunday. The hours of operation will be extended on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, with the last ride of the day starting at 10:15 pm on Thursday and 11:15 pm on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, the first trip of the day may start at 11:15 am and the last trip at 10:15 pm. Decatur area residents who are registered for operation uplift should call DPTS at 424-2821, Alpha & Omega at 330-7810 or Decatur City Taxi at 330-7960. Out-of-town visitors should call DPTS at 424-2821 to arrange rides for those with disabilities. The fare for this service is $2.00 per person.
Service to Motels: Special transportation between the Celebration and all area motels will be provided Friday through Sunday. Rides to the Celebration can be arranged by calling DPTS at 428-2800 at least 30 minutes ahead of the desired pick-up time. The first trip of the day may start at 4:00 pm on Friday, at 10:30 am on Saturday, and at 11:15 am on Sunday. The last trips departing downtown will be at 11:15 pm on Friday and Saturday, and at 10:15 pm on Sunday. Service to the motels will be provided using a 12 passenger van and wheelchair vans for those with disabilities. The fare for the 12 passenger van service is the same as for the buses, above; the fare for the wheelchair van service is $2.00 per person.
Trolley Service: The Downtown Trolley will provide FREE rides around the perimeter of the Celebration area, going by all of the parking garages and major parking lots. Riders may get on and off anywhere along the route. Every 15 minutes the Downtown Trolley will take the following route: from the Transit Center (353 E. William St.) it will go east on William St. to Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. (MLK); then north on MLK to Eldorado St; then west on Eldorado St. to Main St.; then south on Main St. to Wood St.; then east on Wood St. to Water St.; then south on Water St. to Washington St.; then west on Washington St. to Main St.; then south on Main St. to Macon St.; then east on Macon St. to Franklin St.; then north on Franklin St. to E. Main St.; then east on E. Main St. to MLK; then north on MLK to Prairie St.; then west on Prairie St. to the Transit Center. The Downtown Trolley will run throughout the Celebration with the same extended service hours as shown for the buses, above.


Sheriff’s Office Warns Of Phone Scam 

Today (July 23) the Macon County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous phone calls from Decatur and Macon County citizens in regards to a person identifying themselves as a representative with itsdepartment.  
The individual indicates the person has failed to appear for jury duty and to avoid being arrested they have to send the caller various amounts of money.  The amounts of money have varied between a couple hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
These phone calls have been confirmed as a scam.  
The Macon County Sheriff’s Office never calls a person who has missed jury duty and inform them that if they pay a “fine” they will not be arrested.  
Citizens who receive this type of phone call are urged to simply hang up the phone and not send the individual any money.  
If a person has fallen prey to this scam, they are urged to contact their local law enforcement agency to file a report.

 

Council Approves Alternative Sediment Use Project


Sediment taken from the bottom of Lake Decatur will be reclaimed and used as part of a demonstration alternative-energy planting site following action by the Decatur City Council Monday night.
Council members voted 7-0 in favor of an agreement with Hutchens Bulldozing to move 11,000-12,000 cubic yards of dry sediment taken from the lake as part of the city’s ongoing dredging project. The sediment will be taken from the sediment storage site in Oakley to the former Corley Landfill at the intersection of U.S. 51 and South Side Drive with sediment spread over parts of the 11-acre parcel and bio-energy grass planted.
The project is expected to begin in August and both the sediment relocation and planting will be funded mostly through an Illinois Department of Natural Resources “Mud to Parks” grant for $245,770. The grant is designed to help fund beneficial uses of sediment dredged from lakes and rivers in Illinois.





Councilman Larry Foster

Councilman Larry Foster Will Not Run For Re-Election

Decatur City Councilman Larry W. Foster has announced that he will not seek re-election next spring.
Foster said he wants to spend more time with his wife, his business, grandchildren, traveling and other community activities.
Foster is president of Foster Financial Services, Inc., an insurance counseling and fi-nancial planning firm.
The Decatur native said he has no plans to leave Decatur or seek another office.
“Serving on the Decatur City Council has been enjoyable and rewarding,” said Foster. “It has been an honor to serve my hometown and I really like playing a part in helping to make things better in Decatur.”
Foster is proud of the list of the council accomplishments during the time he has served, including completing or starting projects such as the new police department facility, addressing the need for more water storage capacity and the downtown streetscape project.
Foster served on the city council from 1977 to 1981 and, after returning from California where he lived for several years, he was elected in 1995 serving until 1999.  In 2008 he was appointed to serve the remainder of an unexpired term and then ran for a two year term in 2009, then ran again for the current four year term that will be completed next April.
Foster also said he is a strong supporter of the present council/manager form of government.
He also said that he’s always felt “it’s important to give back to a community that gives to you.  I try to impart that philosophy to everyone I work with.  If people can become more positive and give back, it’ll be a better community.  I believe there have been a number of positive things that have happened over the years I have served.”
Foster said that he believes one of the biggest needs in the community is “economic development and creating new jobs.”
He said it is disappointing to see so many Decatur residents out of work and said he hopes the city’s economic development plans will lead to increased employment opportunities, adding that Decatur also needs to improve the inner-city.
Foster was the capital fund chairman for the Salvation Army in its successful $5 million fund drive in 2008.  He is currently in the Decatur Rotary Club, on the Salvation Army board and is a Trustee of Central Christian Church.  He is past president of the Decatur Club, Webster Cantrell Hall and the local Red Cross Chapter.  He has been chairman of the local Boy Scouts leadership breakfast the past two years.
Foster and his wife, Debbie, have five children and 14 grandchildren.


Human Relations 
Commission Seeking Members

The City of Decatur is looking for residents to serve as members of the Decatur Human Relations Commission to fill what will be four vacancies on the nine-member board.

       The Commission is appointed by the Decatur City Council and charged with addressing claims of unlawful discrimination within the community. The Commission also works within the community to provide educational opportunities as it relates to fair treatment and attempts to prevent discriminatory practices through community outreach and other efforts. Persons interested in serving on the commission should send a resume or background biographical information to mayor Mike McElroy at:

City of Decatur

One Gary K. Anderson Plaza

Decatur, L 62523

            Residents can also call 217-424-2708 with questions.

            The city and commission have been working in recent months to make changes to the process for handling discrimination complaints following the retirement of former Human Rights Officer Mark Barthelemy. Both the commission and the Decatur City Council agreed that reducing the size of the commission from 13 to 9 members would be helpful both in successfully obtaining a quorum for meetings and from an organizational standpoint. The Council also directed city staff to utilize $20,000 in budgeted funds to provide investigative services in support of the Human Relations Commission.
            Funding will be used to pay for the services of a separate investigative party to determine whether a complaint warrants further action by the Commission. Protected classes covered by Decatur City Code include classes of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, disability or unfavorable military discharge.


Annual Water Quality Report Now Available

DECATUR — The City of Decatur is pleased to report that drinking water delivered to residential, commercial and industrial customers last year either met or exceeded all state and federal drinking water requirements.

The City has issued its 2014 Water Quality Report which details an exemplary record of compliance with United States Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency water quality standards. The City met all testing requirements during the past year, providing high quality water while keeping rates amongst the lowest in the state. The City has not received a drinking water violation since 2002 even though water quality requirements have become significantly more stringent since that time.

The City pumps an average of 20 million gallons per day from Lake Decatur, providing water to approximately 31,400 service connections and 82,000 area residents.

“The city council continues to make the protection of our water supply one of our top priorities,” said Mayor Mike McElroy. “That includes not only making sure that we have adequate water supply but also making sure that the water we have is safe for our residents.”

“This report lets everyone know that we are doing a great job of providing high quality drinking water.”

The report is posted on the City’s website at:         

            http://ci.decatur.il.us/watermanagement/2014 Water Quality Report.pdf

Copies are also available at the South Water Treatment Plant, Decatur Civic Center, Decatur Public Library and the Municipal Service Center.

For further information contact Don Giger, Water Production Operations Supervisor at 424-2866 or Randy Miller, Water Services Manager at 875-5704.

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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Decatur Tribune Offices Are Located At:
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Decatur, Illinois 62523

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