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Archive for April 8th, 2010

Human service groups worried by budget proposal

Posted by wlpo on April 8, 2010

The state budget crunch has seven non-profit human service groups fearful they could be forced to cut services.

The directors of ADV & SAS, Easter Seals, Friendship House, Horizon House, North Central Behavioral Health Systems, Streator Unlimited, and YSB say together they stand to lose $2,093,035 if the state budget is approved as proposed. 

Jim Monterastelli is the director of Horizon House.  He went through this before last year, when they cut staff, salaries, and scaled back services.  He says the current budget proposal would cut them by another $232,000.

He says they’re working on what they would do in the worst-case scenario and what things could be could be cut.  It doesn’t help that the state is behind with their payments.  They received a check for $500,000 Thursday and are still owed $1.2 million. 

Despite uncertainty, he says they still have many services, but they may not be offered as often.  Monteraselli says their basic needs are being met.

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Latest On Crafters Village Cleanup

Posted by wlpo on April 8, 2010

The remains of Crafters Village has at least one Peru alderman thinking someone needs to pick up the pace.

The craft mall, indoor pool and tennis court was ravaged by fire three months ago.  The charred remains are mostly unrecognizable and are surrounded by a fence.

Alderman Dave Potthoff says he wants to give the owners and their insurance company a deadline for having the area cleaned up.   Frank Taylor is the building inspector.  He says the insurance company was going out for bids again in their search for a demolition company.

The council will likely authorize the city attorney to send a 15-day notice during Monday night’s meeting.

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Concerts For A Cause Recipient Announced

Posted by wlpo on April 8, 2010

When you buy tickets to see Lady Antebellum in La Salle, you’ll be helping students in Spring Valley get computers.

Concerts for a Cause organizer Merry Noonan announced Wednesday that JFK Elementary in Spring Valley will benefit from the latest concert at Cedar Point Sportsman’s Club.  JFK Principal Gina Herrmann says she was brought to tears when hearing her school was picked by Noonan since funding is so hard to come by these days for schools.

With concert proceeds, Hermann wants every 6th grader to have their own Macbook which is Apple’s version of a laptop.

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Peru treasurer “very optimistic” about new fiscal year finances

Posted by wlpo on April 8, 2010

A sign of economic recovery in Peru- improved sales tax numbers.

City Treasurer Gary Hylla is preparing for the next fiscal years finances.  He’s given the council a proposed operating budget that includes trimming and could end with possible positive balances in the general and water and sewer enterprise funds if things continue to improve.

Hylla says he’s very optimistic.  He was budgeting a 4% increase in sales tax, though January’s numbers show an 8% improvement over the same time last year.  He thinks they hit bottom last October and notes that Peru went into the recession about six months behind the rest of the country.
The operating budget he’s proposed is different than an appropriations the city has used in past years.  He’s says the budget will be more accurate and doesn’t include the wish-list spending.

The council would need to approve it this month because fiscal year 2011 begins May 1.  If it isn’t approved by then, the city would work off of the appropriations for the first quarter while they approved a budget later.

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Drug Dealer Gets 15 Years

Posted by wlpo on April 8, 2010

A man police think was a major drug dealer in the area is off to prison.

William Dean of Marseilles was sentenced yesterday to 15 years in prison for unlawful possession of controlled substance with the intent to deliver.  He was arrested last July by TRIDENT officers after allegedly selling cocaine to an undercover informant.

Investigators searched a storage unit in Seneca where they say Dean hid over 100 grams of packaged cocaine, packaging material, a scale, and processing table.  A search of his home also reportedly turned up money and over 400 grams of cannabis.

Dean was given 10 years back in 2002 for dealing cocaine in La Salle County.

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