The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

La Harpe Council Aproves Gaming Machines

The LaHarpe city council approved a technical assistance agreement with the Western Illinois Regional Council and a resolution of support for a CDAP housing rehabilitation grant.

The votes followed a public hearing that was held before the council meeting for residents to comment on and ask questions about the grant. Thirteen people attended, with at least half of them from the target area.

The Western Illinois Regional Council is writing the grant proposal. The city's expenses include a $1,500 application fee and up to $500 for the survey work in the targeted area.

The city is requesting the maximum of $400,000. The funds are used to repair and rehabilitate low-to-moderate income owner-occupied households in a targeted area of the city. Rehabilitation work may include windows, siding, roofing, electrical, plumbing, and energy efficient measures such as insulation and high efficiency heating systems.

The proposed target area in LaHarpe is from the corner of West Main and South Center south on South Center to West 2nd Avenue; west on West 2nd Avenue to South C Street; north on South C Street to West 1st Avenue; west on West 1st Avenue to South E Street; north on South E Street to West Main Street; and east on West Main Street to the point beginning at West Main and South C Street.

An ordinance was approved to allow electronic gaming machines in LaHarpe. The machines are available to businesses that hold a Class A liquor license to serve alcohol. The only two businesses with Class A liquor licenses in LaHarpe are The Annex and RB's Pitstop.

The machines are placed in a designated area of the business. The city receives five percent of the revenue, which is placed in the city's General Fund.

The ordinance calls for a $25 per machine per year fee.

The council is inviting Jackson Disposal and Waste Management to a July council meeting, so they can present their proposals for garbage pickup service. The current five-year garbage contract with Jackson Disposal expires at the end of August.

A special meeting is being held on June 29 to discuss the city's application under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery Program to support work to the sanitary sewer system in the area from about East Archer Avenue south to West 4th Avenue and from South 6th Street west to South 1st Street.

The project aims to eliminate infiltration and inflow into the system during heavy rains, which has previously resulted in sewage backup in basements and overflows at the East Archer Avenue lift station.

The project is estimated to cost $600,000.

Anyone wishing to comment on the project can attend the meeting or email Kevin Wiehardt at WIRC at

The special meeting will also address city employee raises and bids for a roof on the stage at the city park.

Hancock County Economic Development Coordinator Dustin Berg reported on the status of the newly created CEO program. The program, aimed at high school juniors and seniors, begins this fall with 20 students from the four county high schools. The students learn what it takes to start and operate a business.

Tours of local businesses around the county are planned. The entire class will start a business, and each student has the chance to prepare and submit a business plan to start their own business.

The program's goal is to help retain young people in the county.

The Workforce Investment Board is the program's fiscal agent. The Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship administers the program.

"They (Midland) told us, based on our population size, we would be lucky to see a dozen applications," said Berg. "We had 27 applications, which is great."

The council approved eliminating parking along the grass on the north side of the city park. This was done to keep people from parking on the grass and to protect items in the area like the veteran's memorial. The angle parking areas next to Rt. 9 are still usable.

Council member Darrell Kraft said that Police Chief Justin Livingston has warned high school students to clean up their trash in the parking area.

The council approved adding language to the water bills that a lien may be placed on the property in the event of an unpaid water bill. This was suggested by City Attorney Kurt Dittmer.

The lone bid of $700 was accepted from Chris Akers Tree Service to take down, haul off, and clean up a fallen tree at the city cemetery.

The next city supervisor's meeting is July 2.

Council members were reminded to complete their online Freedom of Information Act class.

The council approved purchasing three swings for the city park.

All council members were present. Mayor Ryan Kienast, Amy Palmer, Dave Mershon, Marcia Stiller, Kenneth Foster, Josiah Neff, and Darrell Kraft and Clerk Lucretia McPeak, and Treasurer Marsha Neff, and City Attorney Kurt Dittmer.