Good News On 89 Bridge And Some Cost Savings

Some good news for our community about IDOT lowering the requirement of the City to purchase light fixtures for the 89 Bridge from six to five.

From the News-Tribune:
Spring Valley City Engineer Larry Good received a final summary of quantities for the bridge project from the Illinois Department of Transportation on Monday. 
At the city council meeting, Good said everything between the city and IDOT stayed the same in the agreements except for the amount of light fixtures Spring Valley will need to pay for project. Earlier, IDOT had stated Spring Valley would need to purchase six but now only requires the city buy five. 
Mayor Walt Marini said IDOT at one time said Spring Valley would need to buy eight light fixtures, which cost around $7,000 a piece. 
“That’s just that much less that we have to pay for,” Marini said.

Spring Valley Honors Doug Jablonski

Our fire chief Todd Bogatitus and I get to honor Doug Jablonski for saving the life of a neighbor who had fallen in a burning ravine.
NewsTribune photo/Rachel Stella (source)
Here is a real nice story about one of our residents and his quick action to avert danger for the community.  As Mayor, I'm really glad to be able to recognize folks like Doug for their actions in and around Spring Valley.

From the News-Tribune:
Doug Jablonski of Spring Valley was honored Monday at the Spring Valley city council meeting for his actions that likely saved his neighbor’s life. 
Fire chief Todd Bogatitus said Jablonski alerted the fire department to a fire in a ravine. As previously reported by the NewsTribune, the fire occurred April 1 in the Oakdale Court/Deer Run Path subdivision area not far from the Hall High School track. 
“He even pulled his neighbor out of the ravine,” Bogatitus said. “The city of Spring Valley would like to recognize Doug for his life-saving actions.” 
Jablonski was thanked by Mayor Walt Marini and given a plaque.

City Recognizes Our Own Long-Time Business Thompson Rexall Drug

Photo from the News-Tribune
129 years of service in Spring Valley from the Thompson family.  From the News-Tribune:
Longtime Thompson’s Drug Store owner Terry Thompson was honored Monday at the Spring Valley city council meeting for his family’s longtime business in the community. 
Mayor Walt Marini presented a plaque to Thompson, noting that the drug store opened in 1885 — “even before the city was officially incorporated” — and remained open for 129 years. 
“Terry and his family have touched the lives of many in many ways,” Marini said.
Thompson is the fifth-generation family member to have operated the store. 
“We were very fortunate to be able to serve the people of Spring Valley,” he said. “I wish it was going on for another generation.

Newly Sworn-In Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger Comes To The Illinois Valley

Photo Courtesy of the News-Tribune
Thanks to the News-Tribune for covering newly sworn-in Illinois State Comptroller Leslie Munger on her visit to the area.  I had the pleasure of meeting Comptroller Munger at Starved Rock Lodge and look forward to working with her and her team over the coming years.

You can read more about the meeting here, but it included area folks including Peru Mayor Scott Harl, Illinois Valley Chamber of Commerce director Marci Duro, Boyd Palmer - the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce Director, and Chris Dvorak from the Regional Superintendent of Schools.

What's On Mayor Marini's Mind for 2014

The Bureau County Republican recently sat down with Mayor Walt Marini to have a discussion about what his agenda for 2014 will look like.  You can read the full story here.

It is a long list.  Included projects are:

  • wastewater treatment plant and sewer repairs
  • revitalize downtown
  • work on the Honeywell Hobbs property
  • March sales tax referendum
  • expand tourism
  • and even more...

Some of the priorities are laid out in the story:
From its growing relationship with its Italian Sister City to signing paperwork for the start of a new wastewater treatment plant — 2014 is already shaping up to be a productive one for Spring Valley.

With a new slate, Spring Valley Walt Marini has several goals he’s looking to get accomplished this year. His list contains 14 goals for 2014, but the top five are the ones he’s got his eye on already.
At the very top, he plans to move forward with the planning and design of the new wastewater treatment plant and inspect and televise the east and west sewer interceptors and make necessary repairs. 
Spring Valley is now sitting on a $9.6 million grant from Gov. Pat Quinn to construct a new wastewater treatment plant, which has not seen any major upgrades since 1985. While construction is not expected to begin until next year, there’s plenty of designing and planning to get through this year in the prepping stages. 
Next on the list, is to revitalize the downtown district and work to bring buildings up to code where needed. 
“An inspections program needs to be developed to help keep our buildings from getting to the point where they are no longer worthwhile to put back into a viable business venture,” he said. “We will also move ahead with the demolition of the buildings that are no longer structurally sound to improve the appearance and safety of our commercial district.” 
Third on Marini’s list, is to help market the Honeywell Hobb’s building in hopes that a new manufacturer will occupy the facility and create jobs for the area.

Spring Valley Gets Visit from Sister City

Earlier this month, we were fortunate to be able to host Mayor Maurizio Cadegiani and Fiammeta Fiocchi on their visit to Spring Valley from Acquaria di Montecreto, Italy.

We're really proud of this effort to bring a "Sister City" to Spring Valley and it all started with a great idea and some strong work from a resident.

Here's a video of the Mayor's visit to our community:

In August, Spring Valley declared Acquaria di Montecreto its sister city and the Italian city did the same. Not long after Marini received news from mayor Maurizio Cadegiani that he would come and visit. He was originally supposed to come in December but a family health issue delayed his trip.

On Wednesday night, he arrived in Spring Valley and Thursday morning he met Marini. Cadegiani gave gifts of parmesan cheese, the Montecreto flag and books and fliers about the region. It is his first trip to American and he was already pleased with the hospitality he was receiving.

Fiammeta Fiocchi accompanied the mayor and is another cousin to Dhesse. Fiocchi was excited to see the city clerk’s office because that is her job in Italy. She also was excited to visit St. Anthony’s Church to watch them make tortellini and even volunteered to help. The mayor and Fiocchi do not speak English and had to be accompanied by several interpreters throughout the day.

The day of events included tours of the Cherry mine museum, WalMart distribution and Hall High School. At Hall, the guest got to stop and talk to some students were they found several kids with Italian descent and even a young man who had visited Montecreto. The tour was lead by former Hall student Lusia Messina who spoke Italian.

$9.5M for Spring Valley!

Yesterday, Governor Quinn came to town to announce that the city of Spring Valley will receive a $9.5 million grant to help repair the city’s wastewater treatment plant that was damaged by the April flood.

Special thanks to the efforts from State Rep. Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley), State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) who helped make this happen for Spring Valley.

“The results of their efforts will provide a new wastewater treatment plant that will be constructed to safeguard the facility from future flooding and be designed to service our city for many years to come,” Marini said.