Park District may close pool for good
The Metamora Park District says financial problems may lead to the district shutting down the Metamora Community Pool, 116 N. Douglas St., for good at the end of the season. The pool will close for the season on Aug. 9. The Park Board reportedly told the Metamora Area Swim Team of the issues and the swim team president the informed the families. More than 70 families with a total of 150 swimmers participate in the Metamora Area Swim Team program, which is an eight-week session, according to reports. The swimmers pay $80 each to participate. The swim team is hoping to work with the Park District in finding a solution to the funding problems, including partnering with nearby communities for shared use of the facility, according to reports. The Park District has in the past discussed expanding district’s boundaries to increase the tax base and increase revenues, according to reports.
County Board votes against tax limitation referendum
There will not be a referendum on the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law on the March 2016 ballot. The Woodford County Board rejected a proposal to put the referendum before voters in the primary ballot, according to reports. A Property Tax Extension Limitation Law is about limiting increases in property taxes by local governmental entities, such as municipalities or park districts. The law does not “cap” individual property taxes or assessments. It would put a limit on taxing bodies for increasing the amount of property taxes they request each year. It would set a limit of 5 percent or the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the previous year. However, voters could approve an increase for an individual taxing body through referendum. About a third of the counties in Illinois are under PTELL limitations.
Woodford Farm Bureau
Severe weather drops crop report down from spring estimates
In May, 79 percent of the corn crop was listed as excellent but that percentage has dropped significantly since then, according to the Wooford County Farm Bureau. Only 55 percent of the crop now maintains an excellent rating. Most of the decline can be attributed to the very wet summer central and southern Illinois have experienced, according to Emerson Nafziger, a University of Illinois crop scientist. The crop remains on schedule with 75 percent of it having reached silking by July 19, according to Nafziger. Planting across the state was ahead of schedule this year, so Nafiziger told the farm bureau the crop should reach maturity by early September or even late August. Crops with badly damaged root systems have a low yield potential that will likely not improve, he told the farm bureau.
Unemployment rate falls again in Illinois, Woodford
Unemployment in the state of Illinois has declined from a year ago, according to the latest reports from the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The unemployment rate for June was at 5.9 percent, one full percentage point lower than 2014. In Woodford County, the rate of unemployed workers fell one full percentage lower than a year ago, coming in at 4.3 percent, according to the IDES. Nationally, the unemployment rate for June was at 5.3 percent, down from 5.5 percent in June 2014.
Edgar Fellows organization announces 2015 candidates
Forty Illinois leaders on both the public and private section have been chosen for the 2015 Edgar Fellowship, according to reports. The fellowship, named after former Gov. Jim Edgar and funded mainly through donations, promotes bipartisanship and regional cooperation statewide. This year’s Fellows class includes several Illinois legislators, as well as business leaders and heads of civic groups, according to reports. The fellowship program is designed by Edgar and the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs and takes place from Aug. 2-6 in Urbana-Champaign. More than 140 people were nominated for the program with 40 chosen, according to reports.
State budget problems impacting Tri-County Planning Commission
Officials with the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission say the state budget woes are affecting its own budget. The regional planning commission says roughly 80 percent of its funding comes from federal money used for transportation funds, but the group cannot access that funding without a state budget in place, according to reports. The TRPC’s director has told the media the group has enough funds in reserve to cover costs through October, but he also is hoping the state will reimburse costs incurred at the level once a budget is passed, according to reports. The TRPC serves Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford counties.
U of I Extension
Cookbook serves as fundraiser for 4-H House
The 4-H House on the University of Illinois campus is 55 years old and in need of remodeling and renovations, according to the University of Illinois Extension. More than 1,000 students have lived in the house, located at 805 W. Ohio , over the past five-and-a half decades. Currently, 51 young women who have leadership experience in 4-H or FFA are living in the house, according to the U of I Extension. To raise funds for the renovations, the U of I Extension and 4-H are selling cookbooks. “Nurture the Future @ 805” is a hard cover, spiral-bound book with 480 pages of favorite 4-H House recipes. Money raised from the sale will go toward updating the house with air conditioning, electrical updating, new bathrooms, and more, according to the U of I Extension. “Nurture the Future @ 805” can be purchased for $30 per book, which includes shipping costs. For details on how to order, visit www.4hhouse.com or send an email to Judy Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Linda Muehling email@example.com.
–Woodford County news briefs