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Archive for December 2nd, 2014

Venture Drive proposal shared with business owners and shoppers

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2014

You can’t turn left, oncoming traffic doesn’t have to stop, and there are a bunch of bright orange sticks. Can you guess where in Peru you are? The intersection by Dairy Queen in Peru was reconfigured in 2012 to prevent traffic on 38th Street from backing up onto Route 251. Ever since businesses owners and shoppers have been complaining.

Police Chief Doug Bernabei stressed the need for safety during a presentation about the intersection Tuesday night. Several dozen people listened to City Engineer Eric Carls’ proposal to move the intersection of Venture Drive and 38th Street about 100 feet west, into the Peru Place Shopping Centre parking lot. That would allow room for a right turn lane from westbound 38th Street to northbound Venture Drive while still leaving enough room for you to turn left or right onto 38th Street when leaving Venture.

It is an expensive project, but the developer of the shopping center wants to see the intersection improved and is willing to sell the city the right-of-way for one dollar. The road work is estimated to cost $500,000.

Kristen Eustis was there for First Federal Savings Bank, one of the businesses affected by the traffic. She says they are trying to work with the city.

The plan isn’t final. Carls wants to hold a follow up meeting in two weeks.

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Bureau County man hurt after trying to remove a beaver dam

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2014

Some jobs can bring unusual occupational hazards. A man from Ohio was flown to a hospital after getting hurt trying to remove a beaver dam.

According to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, they got a call Tuesday afternoon about an unknown head injury. Ivan Dremann was working for a farmer near Hinckley to remove beaver dams along Little Rock Creek. While using an explosive, investigators say a log hit Dremann on the top of his head.

He was taken to Kishwaukee Community Hospital before being flown to St. Anthony’s in Rockford.

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Donations needed for Mendota area toy drive

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2014

Christmas is about more than presents but when you’re a kid, having something to open on Christmas morning means a lot. A toy drive in Mendota will be accepting presents until Friday, December 12.  The effort is called Operation Elf Action.

You can select a child’s name by visiting First State Bank, Financial Plus Credit Union, Midland States Bank in Mendota or Gehant Bank in West Brooklyn. You can leave your gifts at First Federal Savings Bank in Mendota.

You can take your children to meet Santa and Mrs. Clause Saturday from 12pm-2pm at First State Bank in Mendota.

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Peru hoping to change floodway to floodplain

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2014

The next historic flood of the Illinois River could put Peru’s east wastewater treatment plant underwater. The sewage plant had to be surrounded with sandbags during the record high flood in April 2013. City officials want to have a flood wall built but first they need a permit from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

City Engineer Eric Carls say flood walls or even an outbuilding require a building permit from IDNR because the property is in a floodway. He thinks a flood way study could remove the sewage plant and seven neighboring companies from the floodway.

The study isn’t cheap. The city council Monday approved paying Chamlin and Associates $50,000 for the study. The cost also includes $10,000 to pay IDNR to review it. Carls estimates the permit to build the flood wall would cost the city $29,000.

If they could get the area changed to a floodplain instead, businesses like ADM or Quality Liquid Feed wouldn’t need to ask IDNR for an expensive permit, they would ask the city instead. He’s hoping the businesses would help pay for the study.

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Former board member threatens to sue over budget layout

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2014

Former La Salle County Board member Stephen Carlson is threatening to sue the county again.

Carlson isn’t happy with the new format of the county budget saying by not listing salaries of elected officials, the board passed an illegal budget. He says if they don’t go back to an old format by the end of the year he’ll take his case to court. Carlson has sued the county before over risk management funds.

La Salle County Board Chairman Jerry Hicks says the budget is appropriate and some numbers were left out to make it less confusing. He says they are not trying to hide anything.

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2014 has been a deadly year on La Salle County roads

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2014

With less than a month left in 2014, fatal crash numbers in La Salle County are well ahead of last year’s pace.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, 24 people have died this year in crashes in La Salle County compared to 11 deaths all of last year. Only five of the 102 counties in Illinois have had more deaths on their roads than La Salle County.

Four people have been killed in Bureau County crashes this year, compared to six in 2013. And in Putnam County, nobody has been killed in a crash on state roads this year compared to two deaths last year.

Statewide, 837 people have died on state roads this year, 84 less than at this point a year ago.

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Chairman says no immediate plans for county layoffs

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2014

Despite a budget with an $11 million deficit, La Salle County Board Chairman Jerry Hicks says there won’t be any layoffs, at least not this year.

Former finance committee chairwoman Arratta Znaniecki said when passing another budget deficit last month that the only place they could cut is the workforce. While Hicks agrees there isn’t really anywhere to cut, there are no plans for layoffs in next year’s budget. He says it’s something they bring up every year.

Most county employees are covered under union contracts.

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