Harrisburg City Council honored Terry Heglin of Harrisburg, Pa. – native of Harrisburg, Ill., – who was instrumental in providing semi-truckloads of relief goods to victims of the Feb. 29 tornado during Thursday night's meeting.
Heglin was in town for his 50th class reunion during the Harrisburg Homecoming week. Several members of Heglin's Harrisburg High School Class of 1962 were there to see the council's presentation including former Mayor Ron Morse and former Mayor's Assistant Bosco Watson.
“Terry contacted me and we talked. Terry was just moved to do something for the community,” Mayor Eric Gregg said.
He coordinated with the Harrisburg, Pa., Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Carlisle, Pa., Giant Foods and the television station in Harrisburg, Pa.
During the summer Gregg and Watson visited Heglin to thank him and formally thank the other agencies for their support. During the trip, Heglin – a Civil War buff – took Gregg to the site of the Battle of Gettysburg.
“It's difficult to hold back the tears. There is so much good in this community. I took so much away in terms of values and memories. It's nice to be able to give back, but it's really about Harrisburg, and the leadership that you have in this community. It was apparent in many, many ways as I was doing this, but also as I absorbed what happened afterwards. You're blessed in many ways, wonderful people,” Heglin said.
Harrisburg may have an opportunity to bring back a recycling program in cooperation with Shawnee Correctional Center. Major Jeff Dennison introduced the program that uses inmate labor to recycle metal, cardboard, paper and plastic. The program began with the prison's fabrication program that creates virtually any metal object or device anyone could desire.
The prison had picked up metal debris from the tornado for the fabrication program. Dennison said the prison wants to work with Vienna and Harrisburg in order to save costs of buying material for the state and provide a service. He said the prison would like to contact each business in town to offer the service and plans on bringing a bin for residents to place recyclable material into. He hopes also to once a month hold a paper shredding day. He also hopes to offer a program that allows people to drop off electronics that can no longer be deposited in landfills.
Dennison said this fiscal year the program saved the prison about $30,000.
Dennison asks the city apply for a $55,000 grant that would supply materials, such as the trailers in town for the recycling bins.
Council members expressed optimism for the program. Gregg said he would submit the grant application to the city planning commission.
Council moved forward with several projects during the meeting:
Page 2 of 2 - Council authorized Mott Construction to repair slope damage and the radio system at the storm water lagoon. Mott was the low bidder at $87,753.
Engineer Jim Brown gave an update on the possibilities of the extension of Veterans Drive to the north through the old rail yard, an area that would have to be tested for petroleum products in the soil that could deteriorate any utility lines placed there.
Brown said extended sewer lines through the area is projected to cost $350,000, water lines to cost $90,000 and a concrete road all the way to the diversion ditch to cost $600,000.
Council approved applying for a $250,000 DRA Grant to replace the sewage treatment plant maintenance building and equipment that was destroyed in a fire. The cost is anticipated to be $375,000 total.
Council awarded a bid on a Crown Victoria car retired by the police department to James Johnson for $700 – the minimum bid council would accept. The other bid was for $100.
Council voted to pay $46,000 to Roy Adams Service Company – administrator of the federal CDAP grant for tornado rebuilding – when the grant money arrives.
Public Property Commissioner John McPeek announced the city's fall clean up is 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 15 through Nov. 2. Public property will not go street to street. Residents must bring items to the old roundhouse off Veteran's Drive. Those using the service must have proof of residency such as picture identification, driver's license or water bill.
Those unable to reach the site may call 252-8038 or 841-5005 to schedule a pick up.
Items excluded are household garbage, demolition materials, tires, batteries or paint cans.
Council is looking over an offer of Illinois Department of Transportation to provide street lights at the Bill Franks Way Bypass if the city would maintain them and pay the electric bill.
Council appointed Mayor Eric Gregg to the Harrisburg STORM team that is handling transfer of tornado recovery donations to those in need. Gregg said he may serve a short time then pass his seat on the team along to another city appointee.
Council approved for Ratliff Builders to begin work rehabbing the exterior of the Greystone Building – now referred to as Lot 11 – at the north portion of Veterans Drive at a cost of $74,000. The building will house the city water and sewer department. Water and Sewer Superintendent Kelly Hefner said the city crews will work on insulating the interior themselves this winter and expects the building to be ready by spring.
City Animal Control Officer Mike Sullivan encouraged council to allow golf carts and “Mule” utility vehicles on city streets as Carrier Mills, Eldorado and Galatia have done. Council members said their concerns involved the high volume of traffic in the city, but would continue to research the issue.