Tuesday, January 26, 2010

CITY RECIEVES $666K EPA LOAN AND STIMULUS FUNDS

Mayor Tim Davlin and City Water, Light and Power General Manager Todd Renfrow announced Monday the City’s acceptance of $666,000 in stimulus funds and an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) zero interest loan for a water meter replacement and upgrade project. Funding was made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the IEPA’s Public Water Supply Revolving Loan Program. Seventy-five percent of the project funding comes in the form of zero interest loans from the IEPA and ARRA funds, while 25 percent of the funding is from ARRA funds in the form of principal forgiveness, in essence a $167,000 grant.

The project will procure the materials and installation for approximately 215 new Automated Read Capable Meters to replace aging three- to eight-inch meters in the system. These new meters will more accurately record water usage and the auto read capabilities should result in the reduced potential for injury to meter readers given their location in large vaults and remote locations.

Earlier this month, the City accepted $4.6 million in ARRA funds and zero-interest EPA loans for CWLP’s chemical storage and chemical feed facilities at the Water Plant.

Part of State Street closed to traffic

State Street between Edwards and Cook Streets will be closed to traffic immediately due to a cave in. The sewer and road repairs should be completed by Friday, January 29th, but may be delayed by weather.

Motorists are asked to use alternate routes to avoid the area, and drivers that disregard the Road Closed and Do Not Enter signs are subject to a $250.00 fine.

One lane of Edwards to close

The westbound parking lane and drive lane of Edwards Street, between New and Walnut Streets will be closed to traffic starting Wednesday, January 27, 2010, for sanitary sewer repairs. The sanitary sewer repair should be completed in two days, but may be delayed by weather. Motorists are asked to use alternate routes to avoid the area, and drivers that disregard the Road Closed and Do Not Enter signs are subject to a $250.00 fine.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

LAKE SPRINGFIELD ICE SKATERS & SNOWMOBILERS BEWARE

The City Water, Light and Power Lake Security office is issuing a warning to ice skaters, snowmobilers and any others venturing onto frozen Lake Springfield: Keep off the ice.

This past week CWLP patrols, the Springfield Police Department and Sangamon County Sheriff all received calls regarding recreational users on Lake Springfield.

Because of recent varying temperatures and the fact that Lake Springfield receives hot water discharge from the Dallman 1, 2 and 3 Power Plants, any recreational activity on the ice is extremely risky and prohibited for most.

City Code only allows lake residents and their guests to go on the ice under their own risk and precaution near their property’s shoreline in designated zones. Unless otherwise designated by the CWLP General Manager, no other public skate dates or recreational activities are permitted on the ice near private or public shoreline areas.

Monday, January 11, 2010

MAYOR DAVLIN OFFERS INCENTIVES TO VETERAN CITY WORKERS TO CONSIDER EARLY RETIREMENT

Because of a projected budget deficit for FY2011 of between $8.5 and $12 million, Mayor Tim Davlin today has proposed several incentives which are designed to help long time city employees consider retiring earlier than they had planned. This would reduce the number of layoffs necessary to balance the budget, which begins March 1, 2010.

In letters to workers who have been with the city the longest and are eligible to retire, Mayor Davlin is offering to pay $300 per month toward the cost of their continued participation in the City’s health insurance program as a retiree, for a 30-month period. They must begin receiving pension benefits on or before April 1, 2010in order to qualify.

To workers with 20 or more years of service to the city, Mayor Davlin is making a different proposal. He is offering to give them a lump sum payment of $7,500 if they retire prior to March 1, 2010. These individuals would not qualify to return to employment with the City of Springfield.

Responses to both offers are due by mid January. Mayor Davlin would then present the package to the full Springfield City Council, which must approve the offers.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mayor Davlin names Cecilia Tumulty as the City's FOIA Officer

Mayor Davlin has named City Clerk Cecilia Tumulty to be the City’s Freedom of Information officer. Under the State’s revised Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) which became effective on January 1, 2010, each governmental unit is required to designate someone to act as the FOIA officer.

“People who are interested in obtaining information through the FOIA must file their requests with the Clerk’s office,” Mayor Davlin said. “The office has already been the repository of FOIA requests, so this designation is a natural extension of that. Clerk Tumulty will track requests to make sure that the information sought is provided in a timely manner, as prescribed by the new FOIA law.”

Tumulty will work directly with designated FOIA coordinators within each City department to prepare and provide information requested by the public.

MAYOR DAVLIN LAUNCHES DATABASE TO EASE SEARCHES OF CITY RECORDS AND IMPROVE OPEN GOVERNMENT

Mayor Tim Davlin today announced the establishment of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) database that will centralize all requests and responses for public records from the City of Springfield on the city’s website, http://www.springfield.il.us/publicfoia/main.aspx.

“Since FOIA requests are themselves, public documents, the City has increased the transparency and accountability of City government by making these documents easily accessible to anyone with a computer,” Davlin said. “ More than 300 public record requests are processed by the City every year, which is in addition to other general inquiries from the public that take up staff time.”

“This database will also help reduce duplicate records requests and costs because we will post the results on the City’s website as well. This extra step will make it more convenient for the public to view requested information and download it from their own computer without delay and without incurring the fees the City Clerk would charge to print those documents.”