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by Steve Robinson

Normal Town Council members learned Tuesday that the Town successfully went through another annual audit with no issues registered. And for the second year, the Town was recognized by for its efforts to maintain such accounting records by an independent organization. Town Council members met Tuesday in Council Chambers on the 4th Floor of Uptown Station, a day after the Federal Labor Day Holiday.
Jamie Wilkey, a partner with Naperville-based Certified Public Accounting firm Lauterbach and Amen, told Council members the Town received what auditors call a clean audit, or audit without issues needing to be addressed. Further, she said, the Town has received a certificate of achievement in financial reporting from Chicago-based Government Finance Officers Association. The Town received the honor last year, as well, for its efforts related to financial reporting and recordkeeping.
Wilkey explained the audit received what auditors call an “unmodified opinion.” She explained auditors enter an audit to make sure of two things: To ensure the Town’s financial statements, as they are presented, are materially correct; and to assess the overall environment where auditing measures take place.
She said auditors research samples of transactions done by the Town to complete the audit. In doing this, auditors are looking for items that might be considered issues or findings of concern the Town would then need to address and resolve. 
Wilkey told Council members she was pleased to report the Town had no findings needing to be taken care of.
After Wilkey completed her report to Council members, they unanimously approved a resolution to accept the audited Town of Normal Financial Statements and Report on Internal Controls for the Year ending March 31, 2021. The Town’s fiscal year begins every April 1 and ends the following March 31.
Liquor Code Amended To Allow Liquor Sales At Normal Theater: Council members voted 6-1 approving an ordinance which would amend the Town’s liquor code so that alcohol could be sold at the Normal Theater and Town-sponsored events held in Uptown. Council Member Stan Nord cast the lone dissenting vote. Town Staff wrote a report to Council members explaining updating the ordinance allowing the change “would enhance the Town’s opportunities for hosting community/private events and add a consistent approach to alcohol at approved sponsored events in Uptown.”
Nord asked if the Town needed to assume responsibility if it sold liquor to someone beyond a legal limit or to someone who was not 21 or older as State law mandates. Town Corporation Counsel Brian Day explained current liability for the Town currently used at Town-owned Ironwood Golf Course would be used at the theater. He added the Town already has staff familiar with the legal requirements of serving alcohol, and that if Council approved the measure, the theater would need to apply to the Town for a liquor license just as any other liquor selling establishment does. 
Nord proposed an amendment to the ordinance separating the types of events so Council members would have to take a vote on selling liquor at the theater and take a separate vote on selling liquor at public events for Council members to vote on. No Council member offered a second to his amendment.
 Larry Schumacher Appointed To Historic Preservation Commission: Mayor Pro Tem Kevin McCarthy announced Larry Schumacher has been appointed to fill an open seat on the Town’s Historic Preservation Commission. His term will expire March 31, 2022. Retired from a 36-year career at State Farm, Schumacher and wife Laurel have two daughters. Once he retired, Schumacher, who has a background in construction, became a licensed home inspector and founded LS Home Inspections, LLC. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Illinois State University.  
Omnibus Agenda Items Approved: Omnibus agenda items approved by the Council included:
• Approval of minutes of the regular Council meeting of Aug. 16, 2021.
• Report to receive and file Town of Normal expenditures for payment as of Sept. 1, 2021.
• A resolution authorizing a contract with Peoria-based Hoerr Construction, Inc. for the 2021 sanitary and storm sewer cleaning and televising contract in the amount of $1,181,816.30 and an associated budget adjustment.
• A resolution conditionally approving the final plat for Greystone Fields Subdivision 3rd addition (Parkside Rd.).
• An ordinance to restrict parking in the first block on the west side River Landing St. and Montgomery St. south of Shelbourne Dr.

McLean County Board Report
????, Chairman
Recording Secretary:  Judith A. LaCasse

No meeting this week

                This week is the 20th Anniversary of 9-11
                        9-11:   PENNSYLVANIA
Four silver planes,
giant bullets
bearing fiery destruction,
streak though sunny skies,
captured by fierce hatred
secretly targeting
targeting the flawed, free people
leading America.

These four planes carry
mothers with children,
to attend meetings,
see a new baby,
or just come back home.

Ordinary, everyday people—
not soldiers, 
not trained rescuers
    pledged to sacrifice—
just ordinary people
pledged to love their family,
pledged to love their freedom,
pledged to love.

Now on one plane of the four--
one plane
flying above the hills
    of Pennsylvania--
now these ordinary people
know their mission,
know horror,
know they are a living weapon
aimed at the heart of America
aimed at the government
    of, by, and for the people,
aimed at the people chosen by vote,
gathered in the capitol
to govern us.

These ordinary people  
now lean on their love,
searching among themselves
for a plan,
calling their loved ones to say,
I love you.
Remember me.
Not much time.
We’re going to vote.
I love you.

These ordinary people
pledged to love,
pledged to freedom,
these ordinary Americans
now vote,
vote to unite,
vote to rush to meet fiery death,
vote to rescue
our government.

A shout goes up,
“Let’s roll!”

And the phones go silent.

There is no greater love
than this:
to give our lives
for freedom;
to give our lives 
for love.

   Barbara Findley Stuart, 9-11-11

9-11: New York
The sunlit towers soar,
trim, pristine, powerful,
mothers, husbands,
sisters, sons,
here from home
to transact
the world’s business.

in a searing,
hate-fueled inferno,
these thousands,
these beloved innocents,
into thundering clouds
of ash
and released spirit.

we watch the giant towers

Only anguish remains:

for this brutal holocaust,
endless horror;
for these fragile ashes,
tears that burn;
for these vanished souls,
our emptiness.

Barbara Findley Stuart, 9-11-01

In the September 9, 2021 Printed Normalite:
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Were you at the St. Patricks Day Parade Uptown?  Maybe we saw you!  Click here and take a look!

Helen J. Leake's Gardeners Tips

The Spectator - Jim Bennett
What’s a Christian?

Capitol Facts by Rich Miller

Classic Colcalsure
Pencils, Pens & Ink Wells

Normal Town Council Report
Council Hears Town Completes Another Annual “Clean” Audit

Unit 5 School Board Report
by Steve Robinson
No meeting this week

McLean County Board Report

by Steve Robinson

No meeting this week

Capitol Commentary from Senator Bill Brady
News from the Capitol


Statehouse Update from Jason Barickman
Historic Barickman-sponsored school funding reform signed into law

Publisher Ed Pyne - Pyne Needles
Got out of town in time!


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Mystery Photo, Legal Notices, Obituaries, Service Directory, School and Senior Information, and Classified advertisements

Pick up a copy for these stories and more.

Unit 5 School Board Report

by Steve Robinson

No meeting this week

Village to receive $191,000 from ARP Rescue Plan
By Patty Fye

Gridley Village Board meeting was held on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. Major Jeff Benedict gave a prayer before the meeting started. All the motion were approved or accepted unless otherwise stated differently.
Trustee Keri Hany made a motion to approve the minutes for last month. After looking over the bills, Trustee Mick Finck made a motion to pay the bills in a sum of $563,205.20. Trustee Susan Laiming made a motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report.
Sandy Cook from CLA, went over the results of the Audit Report. It was a clean report. She said the it was very favorable for the year of COVID.
Village employee Colleen Whisker asked if she could move some plants around in the Gridley Park on 3rd Street. Some of the plants need more sun to survive. The Board told her to do whatever needs to be done.
Trustee Laiming made a motion to spend up to $750.00 for new shrubbery around the Gridley WELCOME  signs coming into town from both directions.
Rosey Gramm wants to give up taking care of the flower bed on Center Street and Route 24. She has done a wonderful job over the years. The Board is going to have Colleen Whisker take care of it starting next year.
 There was only one proposal for the Village building on the corner of E. 3rd Street and Center Street. The proposal was for Funk’s Brewery. They would want to start the inside demo in October 2021 and would be completed by April 2022. They are estimating the project to cost $120,000.00 for the building and another $30,000.00 for all the brewery stuff needed. If you want to see the more detailed proposal, there is one on display at the Village Hall.
Trustee Hany made a motion to purchase a fire proof filing cabinet for all the Village’s maps. (The maps are of  sewer, storm sewer, subdivisions and etc.) The motion was to pay up tp $1,500.00 for the cabinet.
Hopperman Construction has completed the Storm Sewer Project. Trustee Mike Finck made a motion to accept $42,200.00 Street Credit from them. Then the Village will fix the streets.
 Since the Village is going to plant 50 trees of different varieties around Gridley this Fall. Village Clerk Marilyn Kirkton, informed the Board that two interns from Eureka College of Environmental Studies are going to be working with the Village to determine where to plant the trees.
Trustee Jay Kiefer made a motion to spend up to $8,500.00 for a Golf Cart for the Village employees to use.
Trustee Mick Finck made a motion to renew the certified water system operator contract with Jay Zehr’s for another year.
Trustee Hany reported on the project to update ordinances and move the Village Code to ECode 360 for online access. The committee finished the last phase by updating Termanology, removing obsolete and duplicate wording, and acting upon some of the other recommendations made during their review. ECode 360 is reviewing the Village response and will provide an updated draft of our Code in about 2 months.
The Village is getting $191,000.00 from the American Rescue Plan from the Federal Government. The Board is going looking into using the money to continue to update the Storm Sewer from the railroad tracks to about 5th Street on Market Street.
Village Employee, Philip Romensberger reported that a resident would like to purchase a swing for the Gridley Park on 3rd Street. The Board thought that would be great. The Village employees will install it.
Trustee Mick Finck made a motion to adjourn. The next Village meeting will be held on Monday, October 4, 2021 at 7pm at the Village Hall on 3rd Street. Anyone is welcome to attend the meeting.

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Historic North Street

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Doors open 6:30 pm • Showtime 7:00 pm
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Hotline: 454-9722

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10-Minute Storm causes lots
of damage in Colfax area

By Peg Reynolds

 A 10-minute thunderstorm with 60-70 mph winds blew through Colfax at about 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7, dumping one inch of rain and one- to two-inch sized hail, taking down several trees and cutting electrical power to about a quarter of the village residents, Colfax ESDA Director Shane Beck said. Damage in the area was spotty. No visible damage could be seen in Cooksville, but a few country farms south of Anchor had damage.
 he Colfax Village Board meeting set for 7 p.m. that evening was postponed, said Colfax Mayor Dr. Larry Dodds. A rescheduled meeting date will be announced at a later time, said Dodds.
 hen the storm started, Beck said he already had four firemen and the village workers spotting the weather.
 “We had a storm with some type of updraft or downdraft, but no tornadoes,” Beck said. “It was mostly straight-line winds that came in front of the storm. After that we responded to multiple downed power lines and live wires, trees on houses, everywhere throughout the village.”
 ost of the downed trees were old and rotten, Beck said, “but we did have a couple of healthy trees.”
 “A tree came down in the front of the house at 509 E. Fifer St., which took power out in several houses in that area,” Beck said. There was no damage to the house, but there may have been some damage to a motor home on the east side of the home, he said.
  downed tree in the 400 block of  South Grove St. fell on a mini van, which looked to be a total loss, Beck said.
 “On Walnut and South streets, there is a whole tree down there,” said Beck. “It’s 5-foot in diameter, and it’s on the ground.”
 “A quarter of the village was out of power, mainly the south end, from Harrison Street east, to Wood Street south,” Beck said. Ameren had one truck on the scene within a couple hours after the storm, with other power trucks on the way. Ameren was also sending a tree crew to clean limbs off of power lines before power could be restored, he said.
 “Fascia trim was off of a house on Sunset Drive,” Beck said. Other houses and buildings had similar damage.
 nother tree fell, just outside of the Colfax on East 1975 North Road, which is just west of Winget Drive. The property is owned by Village of Colfax Water Superintendent Josh Hereford. But Hereford was not there, as he and Assistant Superintendent Nick Sandage were cleaning up a tree that had fallen on Grove Street. Colfax Resident Brian Blair was also there, using a chain saw to cut the limbs to clear the street.
Three people could been seen picking up tree limbs at Octavia Park shortly after the storm; Rodney and Teri Kellar, and Rodney’s sister, Kim Streenz.
 hile the street workers were busy cleaning up trees, another Colfax resident cleaned out the sewer drains on Main Street so that water could clear the streets.
 “Some houses need an electrician, because their service was pulled from the house, and that’s not Ameren’s responsibility,” Beck said.
 “It didn’t come with a lot of rain so we didn’t have the flooding damage that we usually do,” said Beck. “There was a lot of water that came quick so it looked like a lot of water.”
 “I  expect to receive a report from the National Weather Service at some point, or at least through the (McLean) County, and they will tell us what it was,” Beck said of the storm.
 ut shortly after the storm passed, Colfax residents could be seen assisting in the clean up of their neighbors’ yards, which is not unusual in this village of 1,143 residents. The sound of chain saws was in the air and flashing lights from emergency vehicles were lighting the sky at dusk. People were helping whereever they could, because in a small town, everyone pitches in to help out someone in need.


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