The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Gladstone To Close "East" Railroad Crossing

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher

At their regular board meeting Monday evening, Gladstone had the option of doing one of three things after meeting with a railroad official and the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Earlier (February 19), Craig Rasmussen, Manager of Public Projects of BNSF Railway and Michael Stead, ICC Rail Safety Program Administrator had recommended closing one of three crossings for "safety" and the village trustees were left with the decision of what to do.

They could either close the east Liberty Street crossing inside the village limits, or they could do nothing, with the third option left to Township officials, that is to close their west Municipal crossing adjacent to the village limits and a block west from the Gladstone Fire Station.

With little discussion, trustees were all in agreement to close the east Liberty Street Crossing inside the village which would bring them incentive moneys offered by ICC and BNSF. The amount would total $77,500 plus gain them much needed repairs on the west crossing which includes the approaches, lights, and gates. A vote was taken and the motion was unanimous to close the east "Liberty Street" crossing.

The Village will have to file a "stipulated agreement" with BNSF Railway and ICC. The Liberty Crossing will remain open until needed upgrades are made on the west Municipal Township crossing.


Rural Development representative Nicki Morgan of Galesburg, told the board that in order for Gladstone to achieve criteria for a Rural Development Loan & Grant, their water customers needed to average $34.16 on their monthly water bills based on 148 customers.

Gladstone's Engineer will provide updated figures that compare hooking onto Galesburg vs. updating the present water system when he finishes his Fesibility Study.

Junior Bielser made a motion, Mike Hopkins seconded it, to raise the base water rate by $2.00 which will make the Minimum Water Bill $22.50 , and to raise $1.00 per thousand gallons which will now make it $2.50 per thousand gallons.

The board voted to have Jim Mooney be responsible for his own water usage due to his broken line in his mobile home. He can make payments toward the sum.

The quarterly water report was passed out by Village Clerk Joyce Hetrick. The original is filed with Rural Development in Galeburg where Gladstone obtained their loan for the water system.


Trustees voted to take bids for their 806 International Tractor and blade. Bids are due by 6 p.m., April 14th, prior to the next board meeting. An ad will be put in the newspaper.


The purchase of six hard portable rubber speed bumps and four warning signs was again on the agenda after it was tabled from last month's meeting. They were going to be purchased and installed on top of Walnut Street near the hill to slow down speeders.

Donnie Olson, a resident on top of Walnut Street, asked, "Why should I have to run over the speed bumps every day?"

Florence Stewart asked, "Who's liable if someone has a wreck on that hill, and who's liable if someone shoots through "dingbats" house up there, and Gary Woods?"

Junior Bielser said, "....then, let's forget about it, then."

"Did anyone go talk to Mark? (Sheriff Lumbeck)" Mike Hopkins asked.

Bryan Sebastian asked Mayor McKinney, "Rex, we have Marty, the Chairman here. What did Mark Lumbeck tell you? They won't do nothin' in the Village of Gladstone, won't write no tickets?"

Lafary (County Board Chairman) stated, "They will. That's their job."

Sebastian continued to Rex, "Remember about the mini-bikes, over here and everything? You said you went to see Mark, Donnie Perry told me before the last meeting. They wouldn't do nothin' or write tickets of any kind in the village."

Lafary, interrupted, "He will tomorrow. The only thing they can't enforce is your ordinances. They can enforce mini bikers, four-wheelers, they can enforce speeding. Ordering speed-bumps. This is the first time I learned about this. I'll tell Mark to sit up there and write three or four tickets.

Sebastian said, "They sat up there last year, but they wouldn't do nothin'."

Lafary replied, "They will this time....If you want tickets wrote, I'll tell them to write the tickets."

Bielser said, "That's all it takes."

Sebastian mentioned that June Galbraith wouldn't even walk out along the road there, now.

The Board agreed, something needed to be done.

Marty said he had a meeting in Oquawka the next day and would say something to the Sheriff and see what happens in the next couple of weeks. It was also mentioned by Mike Hopkins that after school would be a perfect time.

Sign Will Come Down

In other business, the sign on Sycamore Street was discussed. Last month, the board had designated Junior Bielser, Street Committee chair, to remove the sign which had been posted on a utility pole on the north side of Graham's tavern which read, "Graham's Parking Only-Violators Will Be Towed."

Mary Lafary, who had put up the sign initally, for his mother-in-law, was present to address the issue. He explained that he had personally bought the gravel so customers could park off the street along Graham's tavern.

He admitted that the property is Village Property, but told board members that they could not remove the sign because the sign is on a utility pole which he claims is not Village property. He said that the village has 20 MPH signs on utility poles that they do not own, too.

Mayor McKinney asked board members, "Where do you guys want to leave this?"

"We had one sign left over and we just hung it there, and I said, "I wonder how long it's going to take..."

Hetrick asked, "Marty are you going to take it down?"

Lafary replied, "If you take the 20 MPH signs down, I'll take mine down."

In further discussion Lafary told the board, "I didn't think anyone has to worry about getting towed."

Hetrick said, "We need to get along better."

Lafary said, "He agreed. He wished there had been more board support at the fire department soup supper.

Mayor McKinney stated, "We're getting off the topic here and let's get back to the sign."

Lafary said, "I will personally remove that sign tomorrow, but I do want the other 20 mph signs off and but you can wait "til it thaws. He went on to say that his cousin who works for AmerenIP says you can't put signs on utility poles.

The minutes were approved and all bills ordered paid. The meeting adjourned at 7:04 p.m.

Present were: Junior Bielser, Jim Hetrick, Mike Hopkins, Darlene Manes, Byron Sebastian, Florence Stewart, Mayor Rex McKinney, and Clerk Joyce Hetrick.

Guests: Nicki Morgan, Jack Weeks, Jill Colley, Dick Bigger, Don Olson, Tom Morrison, and Marty Lafary.

The next meeting will be at 6:00 p.m., April 14, at the Gladstone Community Building.