The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

First Town Hall Meeting

by: Bonnie Hensley

The first open Town Hall meeting was held at the Strong-hurst Senior Citizens Center on Friday, May 20th at 6:30 p.m.

Virginia Ross, President of the Senior Citizens welcomed the fourteen people present, introduced Mayor Gary Root and Water Department Superintendent, Ron Gittings, and time keeper, if needed, Judy Roessler.

Virginia reminded the group that this was an informational meeting only and there would not be voting or any decisions made.

A 3-minute response for discussion would be allowed to give all a chance for questions.

She then turned the meeting over to Mayor Root for comments, regarding what has been done since he has taken office and what plans are being made for the future.

The town is continuing to replace sidewalks, clean out and redo ditches for drainage flow, and remove trees/stumps where necessary. The village tries to resurface about 3 miles of street a year. The Spray Park will be dedicated May 28th. Many flowers have been planted, much cleaning done and the park is looking very nice.

They are continuing to install flag poles and replace flags up town and continue to try to improve traffic flow.

With the vacancy of James Spiker on the Town Board, Mayor Root, plans to recommend Tom Crotts as his replacement until election spring 2017.

Root talked about the new water tower and hopes that the paperwork will soon be done and the physical work can begin. The water tower will be about three times as large as the one we now have and will be placed east of the Bank of Stronghurst.

The Railroad Crossing on north Broadway will remain open, as there had been some concern about that earlier. A Tornado Warning Siren signal has been established but cannot be manually set off with the system we now have.

Disaster Warning Signal: Siren-2 minutes solid blast...15 seconds off..repeat 4 times..Take Cover. All Clear: Siren-4 short blasts..15 seconds off..repeat 4 times.

New water customers receive a letter with village information on it and this could be included. Stronghurst does not have a web site for emergencies.

Anyone who would like to have a robo-call about water shut-offs, boil orders, or other warnings should call the Village of Stronghurst 309-924 1525 and ask to be put on the list to receive a call.

Superintendent Gittings told of the schooling he has received, qualifications, and certifications. Said the town has no lead in the water system to worry about. They continually run tests for lead, bacteria, and other chemicals and would know right away if any levels were too high.

If your cold water smells like chlorine first thing in the morning that is good and it should. If you don't have a filter system and don't have that smell Gittings would like to be contacted, so that any bacteria remains checked.

Most problems come from water that has set in unused pipes.

Hydrant flushing is over until fall, however when they are cleaning the water filter median, a boil order will be needed. But if people are careful about water use during the approximate 6 hour cleaning, they should have plenty of water.

The sewer system was put in in the 1980's and continues to work very well.

The present water tower will be removed after the new one is working.

Several trees have had to be removed after the winter ice storms. Many of the remaining ash trees seem to be affected with the ash boar.

If trees have to be removed from the park they will try and replace them with a hardy tree.

Gittings said they will try and do something with the parking "humps" on the west side of Broadway Street this summer. They will also try and do some edge painting where needed along the sidewalks.

The two yellow grates are well appreciated by those who have trouble accessing the sidewalk from the street.

A comment was made about the leaf burning in the fall with health problems, however many who are older have no way to transport their leaves, etc to the burn area for the town.

Those in attendance asked several questions and appreciated the two men taking their time to come share their information with the public and answer what questions they had.

If you weren't able to attend, we hope that you will be able to next time.

Virginia thanked them for coming and gave each of them a copy of the Henderson County Flood book.

Virginia Ross, Senior Citizens Pres., Mayor Gary Root, seated, and Ron Gittings City Water Superintendent at the podium, address around a dozen interested folk who came to a town meeting put on by the Stronghurst Senior Citizens to hear about city business.