East Central Illinois Region Illinois Local

Nokomis council makes two new hires


NOKOMIS — The Nokomis City Council approved two new city employee hires during its regular meeting on Monday, Nov. 14.

The opening for a full-time wastewater employee is now closed, following the hire of Jerome Taylor. The hire is in immediate effect and Taylor will start work this week.

The vacancy was created when Landon Collins was hired last month to join the Nokomis Police Department. Collins is currently receiving local training from Police Chief Talon Burton before starting official police academy training in the new year.

The council revisited its running dialogue about hiring a part-time administrative consultant. The consultant will be responsible for organizing the various water and sewer projects. They will also be responsible for tracking the funding streams that accompany each project.

Commissioners would approve the hire of former mayor Keith Hancock to fill the position. The part-time position will pay $18 per hour with a maximum of five hours per week.

With projects currently underway for water supply improvements among other projects, the city has entered into contracts with multiple engineering firms.

In addition, several grant applications have been made to state and federal agencies to leverage as much funding for the projects.

As a result, the consultant was a necessity per some council members, to track each item, ensure deadlines are met, and there was transparency as to where money is spent. It would also ensure the continuity is secured with the potential of a completely new council after April’s municipal election.

Engineering firms provide updates on current projects

Representatives from two of those engineering firms — Benton and Associates and Farnsworth Engineers — would provide updates on various water projects. The projects in question are the lift station upgrade at the water treatment facility, the removal of the old water tower, and lead service replacements regarding the current water mains.

The updates also include the possibility of additional new grants from the state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the state Environmental Protection Agency.

Nokomis council approves tax levy, resurface project

Commissioners approve a corporate tax levy for the 2022-23 fiscal year. The levy is slightly higher compared to next year with a 1.04% increase.

The council would also approve an IDOT project to resurface Spruce Street to Illinois Route 16. The city’s portion of the cost will be $7,116.

The council will resume its session on Monday, Nov. 28, with a hearing about the expansion of the business district to be heard prior.

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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network and a contributing writer for My Sports Vote, Ambush Sports and Midwest Sports Network. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.

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