Public Works Projects
Construction is moving right along on two of our public works projects. This site moves water that accumulates during a heavy storm. Since we have a combined stormwater sewer system in Monmouth, the EPA has mandated that we make select changes to the system. One of the changes is increasing the speed of which stormwater is removed during a heavy rainfall. The new screw pumps will be over three times larger.
These temporary pumps are in place while the screw pumps are replaced.
This is the new well house and generator off the Jackson Avenue site.
This is the new water main on North 6th Street.
View Solar Eclipse at Monmouth College on August 21
Individuals in the Monmouth-Warren County area will see about 90 percent of the sun covered during the August 21 solar eclipse, and they are invited to observe the historic occasion at Monmouth College.
The observation deck of the college’s Center for Science and Business will be open to observe the eclipse through an eight-inch telescope.
Viewing times for August 21 will be posted closer to the date on the college’s Adolphson Observatory Facebook page. The eclipse will begin shortly before noon Central time in Monmouth, peak a few minutes after 1 p.m. and conclude around 2:30 p.m.
Monmouth physics professor Chris Fasano, who will host the campus viewing, said the eclipse “won’t be total here.”
“We’re a little too far away,” he said. “But it will be about 90 percent. It just won’t be completely dark, like it will be in the region of totality.”
While Fasano stays in Monmouth on August 21, colleague Ashwani Kumar will accompany students in his Summer Opportunity for Intellectual Activity (SOFIA) program to a spot in the path of the total eclipse swath – either Carbondale, Ill., or the St. Louis area. The eclipse will move southeast across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina, making it the first time an eclipse has crossed the entire country in 99 years.
“You have to be in the right place at the right time to see it as a total eclipse,” said Kumar, who is also a physics professor at the college.
Although total solar eclipses happen somewhere on Earth once about every 18 months, their occurrence in a specific place is much rarer. This will be the first time a total solar eclipse has occurred in St. Louis since 1442. It won’t be until 2505 when the city experiences another one.
As darkness falls in the region of totality, temperatures may drop more than 10 degrees, stars and planets will be visible, and farm animals may even head toward their barn.
In addition to observing the rare event in the daytime sky, Kumar’s three SOFIA students will spend three weeks in August learning how to do space photography with the college’s 20-inch Trubeck Telescope and how to look for asteroids.
“We’re interested in looking for any objects passing close to Earth,” said Kumar. “Believe it or not, there are many objects that amateurs report, because even though scientists are constantly looking for such objects, you can’t see the whole sky with the precision necessary to see everything.”
Fasano said the college’s smaller telescope is being used to observe the eclipse instead of the Trubeck Telescope for a couple of reasons.
"Our eight-inch scope has a solar filter, so that will make viewing the sun completely safe,” he said. “Also, the 20-inch scope gathers in so much light, it’s absurd. When we look at the moon, it’s very, very bright.”
Fasano said that eclipses provide “an excellent opportunity to see what’s happening on the surface of the sun, such as solar flares, although the sun’s pretty quiet right now.”
Fasano joked that he’s “taking one for the team” by not traveling south with Kumar and the Monmouth students to see the total eclipse.
“There’s a Peanuts cartoon with Linus standing in the rain on the day of an eclipse,” said Fasano. “That pretty much sums up my luck with these kinds of things.”
— Barry McNamara, Associate Director of College Communications, Monmouth College
Farmers' Market Every Friday Morning
The Farmers' Market is every Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. It is located at the corner of North Main Street and West Boston and features fresh, local fruits and vegetables, honey, baked goods, plants, and other items.
Friends of the Library
The Friends of the Library is a volunteer organization created to support the Warren County Public Library. The Friends have sponsored library programs, supplied toys and equipment for the children's room, and supported the adult Summer Reading Program. They hold a book sale twice a year to raise funds for these programs.
Monmouth City Pool Open
This is a great month to cool off at the Monmouth City Pool, located near the intersection of U.S. 67 and West Broadway Ave. (southwest corner).
- Ages 5 to adult: $3.
- Ages 4 and under: $1.
- Family memberships are available.
- Evening rentals are available for birthday parties, class reunions, and team parties.
The pool is open daily, from noon until 6 p.m. The pool may sometimes be closed due to low attendance or inclement weather. Please check the pool's Facebook page for regular updates.
Good Lookin' Set of Wheels
Every weekend, the Monmouth Fire Department tests and maintains their equipment. This photo was taken on a beautiful day in June 2017.
BaconFest Is August 11
Congrats, Chief Switzer!
Congratulations to Chief Joe Switzer, who received the Warren Achievement Center/Review Atlas "Achiever of the Month" award for May 2017 for his work in the community!
Switzer's many accomplishments include his 24 years with the Monmouth Police Department, his service to our country in the U.S. Army and the Illinois National Guard, his work with the West Central Leadership board, Little League, Kiwanis, and other community activities such as serving as a celebrity dancer for the Dancing for Dreams YMCA fundraisers. Switzer is also involved with the Monmouth Police Department's programs for children: the fishing derby, the downhill derby, and Shop with a Cop.
The award was presented by Sean Cavanaugh, marketing coordinator for the Warren Achievement Center, in a surprise ceremony at the Monmouth Police Department on June 15.
Forklifts and Facelifts
As you drive around downtown Monmouth in the next few weeks, you may hear jackhammers or see forklifts. It's summer, and that means improvements are underway!
The City of Monmouth bought the former Vaughn Jewelers building last fall. Masonry repair work is underway and is expected to take three weeks. The paint is being sodablasted off to reveal the original brick. The mortar will be replaced, and a new roof will be installed. Once the building is looking its best, the City will be ready to find a developer to purchase the building and make interior improvements. The second floor has terrific views of downtown, and it would be a great place for loft apartments.
Thanks to Kellen Hinrichsen, executive director of the Warren County History Museum, for this photo from 1947.
The Buchanan Center for the Arts started their building renovation recently. The BCA received a $7,500 facade grant from the City, which will go towards enhancements like new windows, a sign and paint.
Bird's-eye view of the BCA from the upstairs community room at the Warren County Public Library.
City Receives Free Energy Efficient Products
“These new products are being installed at City Hall, the police department, the two fire stations, our water plants, the City garage and the 1st Street Armoury. I am particularly happy to see older buildings like the Armoury become more energy efficient,” said Jan Helms, executive administrative assistant for the City of Monmouth, who applied for the STEP program.
Market Alley Music Days Summer Schedule
Ancestry.com Now Available at the Library
The Warren County Public Library and the Warren County Genealogical Society now offer Ancestry.com: Library Edition. Start searching billions of records and discover your family's story. Access is available only in the library, so stop by today!
New Weather Station at Monmouth Airport
The Monmouth Airport received a new weather station package that broadcasts local weather conditions to the public. The conditions include wind speed, wind direction, temperature, barometric pressure and humidity. The data is broadcast to the free Weather Underground website and is listed under the "Monmouth Airport" station.
Weather Underground has free smartphone apps for both iPhone and Android. The apps have helpful severe weather alerts as well as radar from our regional center in Davenport, Iowa.
Free Smoke Alarms Available
The American Red Cross and the Monmouth Fire Department are working together to ensure that every home in Monmouth has working smoke alarms. As of June 19, 2017, 73 free smoke alarms have been installed this year.
Residents may request a smoke alarm installation appointment at getasmokealarm.org or text the word "Alarm" to (844) 811-0100; or call (844) 319-6560 and press 9. There is no charge for the smoke alarms or the installation.
The Red Cross urges residents whose homes do not have smoke alarms, or if the current smoke alarms were installed more than five years ago, to make an appointment. Residents who are unable to check their smoke alarm batteries are also encouraged to make an appointment.
“Smoke alarms cut the risk of death from a fire in half," said Amber Wood, Executive Director for the American Red Cross, serving the Quad Cities and West Central Illinois. “Working in partnership with local fire departments, we can help protect your family by installing smoke alarms and teaching your children what to do if they hear it."
Seven times a day someone in our country dies in a fire. The Red Cross has been working to reduce that number through its Home Fire Campaign, a nationwide, multi-year effort to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries. Launched in October of 2014, the Red Cross and thousands of campaign partners have helped save numerous lives through the effort, and the campaign is on track to install the one-millionth free smoke alarm sometime in October 2017.
Simple Steps to Save Lives
Fire experts agree that people may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. The Red Cross is calling on everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: create and practice their home fire escape plan and check their smoke alarms. Other safety steps include:
- If someone doesn’t have smoke alarms, install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Local building codes vary and there may be additional requirements depending on where someone lives.
- If someone does have alarms, test them today. If they don’t work, replace them.
- Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.
- Practice that plan.
Red Cross Apps
You can download the all-inclusive Red Cross Emergency app which combines more than 35 emergency alerts to help keep users safe. And there is a special mobile app called Monster Guard that is designed for kids; it teaches them to prepare for emergencies at home by playing an engaging game. Users can find the apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
What You Can Do
- Visit redcross.org/homefires to find out more about how to protect yourself and loved ones from fire.
- Help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to disaster relief are used to prepare for, respond to, and help people recover from disasters big and small.
Coworking in Monmouth!
The City of Monmouth hosts coworking (CoWoMo) events at the Warren County Public Library on the second Thursday of the month. For people who have a home-based business or work remotely, coworking offers the opportunity to get out of the house and work in an upbeat environment with others. Sometimes a little noise is motivating! (And delicious Scots Roast coffee doesn't hurt.)
If you would like to join us for our next free CoWoMo event, please stop by the upstairs Community Room at the Library on Thursday, August 10, any time from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. There is WiFi, so you can work on your phone or laptop. You can do your regular work, of course, or get through your email, write a blog post, or update your social media sites.
City Receives Grant to Eliminate Zombies
The City of Monmouth has received a $25,000 grant to demolish abandoned (“zombie”) homes in our community.
“I was so pleased we received the grant,” said Jan Helms, executive administrative assistant for the City. “These abandoned homes are not only eyesores but also have health and safety hazards.”
Vagrants, Vermin and Varmints, Oh, My!
Helms applied for the grant because Monmouth has issues with foreclosures and abandoned homes. Zombie houses attract pests and vermin and may appeal to squatters and vandals.
“We have identified 27 abandoned properties in various stages of disrepair, so we need all the financial assistance we can get,” she said. “The City of Monmouth has been actively pursuing the demolition of unsafe, unsecure structures for several years. We focus on renovation when possible, but sometimes demolition is our only recourse.”
The funds from this grant will allow the City to demolish several moderate-sized homes during the next year.
The grant is from the Illinois Housing Development Authority’s Abandoned Residential Property Municipality Relief Fund, which was created in 2010 with the passage of the Save Our Neighborhoods Act. Funding for the program comes from foreclosure filing fees and is available to municipalities with problem residential properties.
The City is also applying for a grant to help with housing rehab and a free Savings Through Efficient Products (STEP) program to make City-owned buildings more energy efficient.
New High School Course: Warren County CEO
The City of Monmouth is so pleased to be a part of the Warren County CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) program that will be available for Monmouth-Roseville High School and United High School juniors and seniors this fall.
The CEO program is much more than a textbook course. Students are immersed in real-life learning experiences with the opportunity to take risks, manage the results, and learn from the outcomes. They learn confidence-building skills like speaking in front of groups and targeted skills like writing successful business plans.
CEO is a business education program, teaching students how to think like business owners. The class meets off-campus in local businesses for 90 minutes each school day. Students dress in business casual attire every day and learn proper workplace behavior.
Each student receives a mentor from the business community. In the first semester, students create a class business. During the second semester, they have the opportunity to start their own business. The final event of the school year is a trade show, where they showcase their student businesses.
Students receive high school credit and (pending) dual credit with Carl Sandburg College.
This program is available through a partnership with the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship. There is no cost to our schools or students for this program! All expenses are paid by businesses and foundations. If you would like to donate or sign up as a mentor or guest speaker, please see the attachment below.
You can read more about this innovative program here.
Thank you to the founding sponsors:
· City of Monmouth
· Mellinger Foundation (in honor of former Trustee and Scholarship Committee member Mary Frances Miller)
· Midwest Bank
· Monmouth College
· MTC Communications
· Security Savings Bank
· Tharp Brothers Underground Utility Service