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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • AT&T donation credited with saving Golden Circle

  • Eldorado City Council announced in November the town’s Golden Circle Senior Citizens Nutrition Program would remain in operation after months of work to cease its temporary closure. On Tuesday, council thanked a business for its generous donation to support the center.
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  • Eldorado City Council announced in November the town’s Golden Circle Senior Citizens Nutrition Program would remain in operation after months of work to cease its temporary closure. On Tuesday, council thanked a business for its generous donation to support the center.
    Jim Maurer of AT&T presented council with a $5,000 check to close a year-end hole in the center’s budget. The donation will keep the center open the rest of this year and next year.
    Harrisburg Mayor Eric Gregg knew of the struggling center and of the work of the council, Eldorado School Superintendent Gary Siebert, State Senator Gary Forby and State Representative Brandon Phelps to find a solution to keep it open. Gregg made contact with Maurer and he agreed to foot the bill with “no hesitation at all,” Mayor Rocky James said.
    “What better place than the Golden Circle?” James said.
    “I’m glad. It’s my pleasure to help,” Maurer said.
    Seniors get a meal at the center in the city’s Community Center, have social activities and receive help with social programs. While council was pleased to keep the Golden Circle and help provide for the city’s seniors, there may also be a opportunity for a savings to the city and residents on electricity costs.
    Nick Hill of Select Energy made a pitch to council to accept electricity through his company that currently represents 12 communities in Southern Illinois including Du Quoin, Pinckneyville, Marion, West Frankfort and Carbondale. Hill said the more communities represented by Select Energy the greater the savings to all can be as the company buys electricity in bulk.
    Hill said if the council agrees, Select Energy will begin an education campaign for residents as they will have to vote on a referendum in the spring election to have the city’s power provided by the company.
    Anyone can opt out of Select Energy’s services and anyone can continue to receive power through Ameren, a company whose rates are set by state regulators.
    Council took no action and James said council would remain in touch with Hill.
    Police Commissioner Bob Briddick and Public Properties Commissioner Jeff Minor told council letters of appreciation are due Fred’s department store since the store donated money to each department to be used on any equipment purchased at the store.
    Fire Chief Mike McKinnies informed council he would attend a meeting of the Saline County Board tonight to present Eldorado’s stake in a decision by the Harrisburg City County to cease fire protection outside the Harrisburg corporate limits June 1, 2013. McKinnies provided information to council on the end-of-year costs for the pay-per-call fire department which he said is a high compared to most years. The cost is $10,276.
    Page 2 of 2 - James said council’s earlier action to set a meeting 10 a.m. Dec. 24 for a Tax Increment Finance District hearing will be cancelled and scheduled later as there is more paperwork needed before the hearing can happen.
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