BCR News Feed

22 February 2019

  • Bicycle safety concerns raised by local resident
    PRINCETON — Princeton residents are showing interest in the proposed comprehensive plan, put forth recently by the city's Pedestrian/Bicycle Commission, that will help guide Princeton in becoming a bicycle-friendly city.

    Princeton resident Geraldine Woodlief spoke during the public comment session at the Princeton City Council's meeting Tuesday and said after talking with people and business owners along Main Street, the foremost concern many have is safety among increased bicyclists on the busy street.

    Woodlief suggested putting bike racks behind Main Street in the parking lots, rather than in front of businesses, to avoid bicycle traffic among pedestrians and motorists going to and from the shops.

    "We assume you're going to talk to people, get ideas from citizens, and introduce your thoughts to the shopkeepers," she said.

    Princeton Mayor Joel Quiram called Woodlief's concern "a great point."

    "The report that will be voted on at the next meeting for approval — all that does is allow the committee to move forward," he said.

    "It's a comprehensive report. There's a lot of stuff in that report that won't happen. There may be stuff that's not in the report that will happen. But regardless, as (the commission) moves forward, the public will be involved," Quiram added.

    The plan was presented to the council on Feb. 4 by Annette Schnabel, a member of the commission. The plan is now on public display for 30 days, and is expected to be adopted by the city council on March 4.

    The full comprehensive plan can be viewed on the city's website.

    Fiscal year budget on track

    Also during Tuesday's meeting, City Manager Rachel Skaggs briefly reviewed the monthly financial report.

    The city's current status is showing that 81 percent of the total budgeted revenues and expenses have been met. There are three months remaining in the fiscal year. Total revenues are sitting at $26,438,246 and expenses at $26,471,736. General fund revenues brought in by the city total $6.7 million. Breaking that number down, $738,430 has come from property taxes; $1.8 million from sales tax; $716,120 from income tax and $3.5 million is listed as "other revenues" in the budget.

    Skaggs reviewed the sales tax and hotel/motel tax revenues that came in during the month of January. Sales tax reached just over $150,000, and is the highest sales tax recorded for the month of January since 2014. The hotel/motel tax reached just over $5,000, and is the lowest total recorded for the month of January since 2014.

    Appointment to Historic Preservation Commission

    The city council unanimously approved the appointment of Edd Robinson to the Historic Preservation Commission for a three-year term, ending on Dec. 31, 2021.

  • Signup for Lunch in the Park will be Feb. 27
    PRINCETON — The Princeton Chamber of Commerce will hold a signup for Lunch in the Park at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at the Prouty Building in Princeton.

    All non-profit organizations interested in having an opportunity to host Lunch in the Park will need to be present to participate. The names of the organization, and those representing the organization, will be placed on a ticket and into a hat. There will then be a lottery drawing to fill the 19 spots available.

    The 2019 Lunch in the Park season will run every Friday from May 24 to Sept. 27, except for Friday, Sept. 6. Each drawn organization will have the date of their choice from those available, plus the opportunity to serve lunch or provide the bake sale.

    Lunch in the Park is intended to raise money for non-profit organizations. Profitable organizations may also sign up as long as they designate their profit for a specific non-profit organization.

    If you are unable to attend, any spots remaining will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis the following morning.

    There will be a set-up fee per opening on the calendar to offset advertising costs. Payment is required prior to your specified date. Advertising will be provided all summer long which, in turn, will assist you.

    Questions may be directed to Kim Frey at the Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce by calling 815-875-2616.

  • Walnut home a total loss after fire erupts in the night
    WALNUT — Thirteen area emergency departments responded to a Walnut house totally engulfed in flames early Wednesday morning.

    Walnut Fire Chief Jon Davis said when firefighters arrived on scene around 2:30 a.m., all three residents of the home — a father, mother and teenager — were out of the house.

    The family pet dog, however, did not make it out.

    Davis said Wednesday morning that the home was a total loss.

    "Smoke detectors alerted the occupants, but the fire had a pretty good start on us," Davis said.

    The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time. A State Fire Marshal was called in to investigate Wednesday morning.

    The homeowners are Royal and Candice Blondin. The address of the home is 412 Whitver St.

    Multiple departments had to be called in for manpower and water. Davis said with the size of the home, which he estimated to be roughly 4,000 square feet, it made it difficult to fight the flames.

    "We were on a defensive attack, and you're going to use a lot of water, and basically our trucks can pump more water faster than the water system," he said.

    Smoke detectors played a huge role in getting the occupants out of the home safely in the middle of the night, Davis added.

    "They were fortunate they had smoke detectors. It helped them get out, otherwise they wouldn't have made it," he said.

    The Blondins declined assistance from Bureau County Red Cross as a neighbor offered to take them in for the night, according to Davis.

    Around 30 responders were on scene from agencies that included CGH Ambulance of Sterling and fire departments from Sublette, Wyanet, Sheffield, Buda, Manlius, Harmon, Ohio, Yorktown, Princeton, Rock Falls, Tampico and LaMoille.

Reuters National News

22 February 2019

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