Altamont hires two police officers

Commissioner Todd Slingerland said during a recent city council meeting the water tower painting project is complete. Charles Mills photo

ALTAMONT — The City of Altamont hired two new police officers recently — one as a replacement and another to help beef up the city's police force.

Jason Caraway and Johnathon Torbeck were hired as full-time officers. Caraway served as a police officer for the Effingham Police Department and Jonathon Torbeck was a corrections officer for the Fayette County Sheriff's Department.

Employment of the two new officers brings the police force in Altamont to six full-time officers, filling the vacancy of Cody Collins and a newly created police officer position. Collins left the department in June to fill a position at the Robinson Police Department.

Elsewhere in city news, Altamont City Council heard plans recently for a hearing to discuss a grant application to be submitted to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) for a sanitary sewer replacement project in the northern portion of the city.

Nick Burris of Milan & Grunloh Engineers told the council James Patrick with South Central Regional Planing and Development is planning to hold a public hearing Monday, Aug. 26, at 5:30 p.m. at city hall.

Burris gave the council an update on the Division Street storm sewer project underway. Burris said all of the storm sewers are in from Third Street to Main Street and workers would now be prepping for curb work and pouring pavement.

Resident Jane Tappendorf expressed her appreciation to the city for cutting her Ash trees down. Altamont has been hard hit by the Emerald Ash Borer in recent years. The beetle has destroyed several hundred trees in the city.

Tappendorf asked council members how they were going to replant trees this fall on her property with tree stumps remaining.

“We are going to plant some trees,” Mayor Jason Rippetoe said. “However, not every tree that we cut down is going to be replaced. We just can't afford that.”

“Right now our priority is to take down the trees that are hazardous,” Rippetoe said. “We have to cut trees down and the stumps get slipped back.”

In other action, the council:

• Approved the appointment of Julie Ohnesorge to the Altamont Library Board.

• Approved a second payment of $52,666 to Illinois Municipal Risk Management League for insurance coverage.

• Approved the purchase of a used 2013 Ford F-150 truck in the amount of $8,995 from Pruemer Auto Exchange.

• Heard from Commissioner Todd Slingerland painting of the water tower was completed ahead of schedule. He said the council would not have to worry about painting the water tower again for another 15 to 20 years.

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

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