Breaking News Bar

Du Quoin council cites new business, infrastructure as top 2017 accomplishments

  • The arrival of Save-A-Lot at the Southtowne Shopping Center this fall was among the city's notable accomplishments in 2017.

    The arrival of Save-A-Lot at the Southtowne Shopping Center this fall was among the city's notable accomplishments in 2017.
    Du Quoin Call file photo

 
 
updated: 1/3/2018 2:51 PM

The Du Quoin City Council ended the year on a reflective note.

At the council's final meeting of 2017 Wednesday evening, Mayor Guy Alongi listed a series of developments that have shaped the city's civic life over the past 12 months, from the completion of major infrastructure projects to the further development of commerce at the Southtowne Shopping Center.

"We've got a lot to be blessed for," Alongi said during the council comments portion of the meeting.

Alongi cited this year's arrival of Taco Bell and Save-A-Lot as being among the year's biggest developments, as well as the completion of a new culvert at the shopping center that so far has greatly remedied years of flooding in that area. Also, the city completed work on the new Grant Way lift station.

In addition, Alongi pointed to two projects -- the purchase of new Christmas lights for the downtown district and renovations to the city pool -- that were completed largely because of donations from private citizens.

"They've stepped up to the plate every time we needed them," Commissioner Dale Spencer said. "It's a great community to live in."

City passes FY18 budget

Also at Wednesday's meeting, commissioners gave their final stamp of approval to the new year's city budget.

The fiscal blueprint, which was put on public display earlier this month, accounts for $5.074 million in revenues and $4.871 million in expenditures.

City Clerk Andrew Croessman previously said that additional adjustments for insurance and restrictions on some moneys will lead the city to operate with a projected, razor-thin surplus of $15,584.

Bishop appointed as zoning administrator

Commissioners approved the appointment of Doug Bishop to act as the city's new zoning administrator and resident engineer.

Bishop will take over zoning responsibilities from Jeff Ashauer, whose resignation also was approved at Wednesday's meeting.

"Jeff Ashauer has been looking for a way to exit out of zoning for the past couple of years," Alongi said while praising Ashauer's service.

City rescinds condemnation, looks to new projects

Commissioners also passed a resolution rescinding the condemnation of a residential property at 501 E. Keyes St. Commissioner Spencer said that progress in a number of areas have brought the property back up to code.

"It does meet the regulations," Spencer said. "It is livable. We can't say anything about the inside, but the roof has been fixed, and the windows look better."

Alongi said the city will be pursuing new development projects in the early part of 2018. He said apartment buildings located next to Mark's Bakery and Baked on Division could finally come down as a result of actions taken during early meetings of the new year.

Commissioners offer somber condolences

City leaders also took a moment Wednesday to reflect on recent losses the community experienced over the holiday weekend. These include the recent deaths of Helen Durkota, LeRoy Lamczik and Joshua Harsy.

"There are a lot of folks out there who need our thoughts and prayers," Commissioner Chuck Genesio said.