Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

March 20, 2013

Newton finalizes plans for IKE project

By JACKSON ADAMS
Daily News

---- — NEWTON — At its meeting Tuesday, the Newton City Council set a final date for the completion of the city’s IKE project.

The project, intended to prevent flooding after the effects felt throughout the Midwest during Hurricane IKE, has a completion date set for May 31, giving workers time to seed the areas and complete general upkeep on the reservoirs throughout the city.

The council also voted to pay for the second part of the project, which would affect Decatur Street, building up additional reservoirs to protect against potential heavy rains.

Also Tuesday, the council voted to allocate funds for street maintenance. Council member Robert Reisner estimates the total cost needed for the maintenance would be $110,000, an increase over last year’s cost of $80,000. The council voted unanimously to approve funds for the upkeep.

Mayor Mark Bolander shared with council members a retail analysis that gave the economic status of Newton residents, as well as the amount of goods being bought inside of the city versus those bought elsewhere. Bolander said despite the average resident’s per capita income being under the mean for the area, residents are buying twice as much in their hometown than elsewhere outside the city.

”We do have a few weak links,” he said, adding per capita income is 18.6 percent below the downstate average. “If you take out some of the farms, it’d probably be better but this is just for the city. I was very pleased. It’s a lot to be proud of.”

Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or jackson.adams@effinghamdailynews.com.