The Altamont City Council has voted unanimously to approve a tree harvesting contract with Travis Voelker for trees located at the water reservoir.

City Commissioner Todd Slingerland said, “I really like the idea there will be little environmental impact.”

Council member during their July 12 meeting of this year approved a forester agreement with Holzmueller Forestry Consulting to develop a timber management plan at the water reservoir.

The plan is for Holzmueller to mark the trees that can be harvested by Voelker.

Slingerland said after consulting with the forester it would be three years when they could start their forest management plan. He said the first three years there would be a lot of trees to cut.

Commissioner Michael Walker asked Slingerland who would have oversight over the harvesting project.

Slingerland said the forester would tell Voelker which trees he should take out.

“As far as I know the forester and Travis are supposed to working hand-in-hand before any cutting gets started,” Slingerland said.

In other matters, the council approved an appropriation ordinance for the fiscal year ending 2022 for the amount of $8,247,546, approved a resolution supporting a community development block grand application for water main replacement and approved a day care home occupation ordinance for a residence at 6 LaJean Drive.

During commissioner reports, Walker said he had been in contact with BHMG, which is upgrading the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system for the electric and water departments.

“They should have something for us by the end of August,” Walker said. “Not necessarily hooked up but at least on site testing of the screens to make sure it is matching what we currently have and working through their transition process.”

Mayor Jason Rippetoe said the Austin Edwards concert on July 17 presented by the SAFE organization went smooth.

“The electric department added some outlets for food trucks and everything worked well,” Rippetoe said. “It was a good trial run for our sesquicentennial celebration.”

“I thought there was a decent turn out,” Commissioner Tayler Polk said.

Rippetoe said he received a lot of positive feedback about the concert.

“I had several people tell me they would like to see something like that again,” He said.

He said the sesquicentennial committee is in the process of finalizing times and places for events. He said in the future the committee would be reaching out to local service organizations about the event.

The Altamont Sesquicentennial is Labor Day weekend, Thursday, Sept. 2 through Sunday, Sept. 5.

Charles Mills can be reached at or by phone at 217-347-7151 ext. 126.

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Charles Mills is reporter and videographer for the Effingham Daily News. A 1983 graduate of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, he worked as senior video editor for a Nashville television station. He is a native of Vandalia.