Monday, June 27, 2011

4th of July Parade

The Centralia Veteran Affairs Committee will be hosting a Fourth of July Parade in collaboration with the American Legion. The event will take place on the Fourth of July, from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. The parade will commence at the intersection of West Broadway and South Chestnut Street and travel west on Broadway to the Fairview Park entrance (0.74 miles) where the parade will terminate and participants may enjoy the American Legion 4th of July activities at the park. The parade lineup will start at 4:00 p.m. at the intersection of Chestnut Street & Broadway.
Anyone interested in participating in the parade must complete a Participant Registration Form, found on the download link below, and submit the completed form to the Parade Registration Coordinator, Jackie "Butch" Mathus. Mr. Mathus may be reached via email at or by phone at 533-5602. All parade entries must be received NO LATER THAN JUNE 24, 2011.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Republic Services, Inc. to Provide Automated Trash Collection Services

Republic Services will be changing the method in which they provide trash collection services from a manual collection system to an automated solid waste collection system. To accomplish this, Republic Services will be distributing 95 gallon trash carts to all Centralia residential customers. These trash carts are provided AT NO COST and are designed to allow an automated collection vehicle to drive to the cart location and utilize an automated arm that will empty the cart into the truck and return the cart to its original position, without the need for a crew member to leave the vehicle. This service is provided AT NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE to residential customers and is a capital investment made by Republic Services in efforts to increase efficiency in operations and provide for a safer work environment for their employees.

The trash carts will be delivered to each residential customer’s home by a Republic Services’ agent as early as April 16th and April 17th. Once you receive your trash cart you are asked to PLEASE NOT USE THE CARTS UNTIL MAY 1st as the company prepares their equipment to utilize the new carts. Each trash cart will be delivered with an informational flyer on the proper use of the carts along with answers to frequently asked questions. You may also download this flyer from the City’s website by visiting

Important information about these trash carts:

· The carts are provided AT NO COST TO CUSTOMERS


· Make sure the container is at least 3 feet from mailboxes, parked cars, trees, light posts and the handle and lid is closed to prevent damage.

· The exact time of day in which your trash is collected may change so please have your trash out by 6:00 a.m. on your normal trash day.

· All boxes need to be broken down and placed in your trash cart.

· If you have additional items to be collected (i.e. couch, stove, desk), please contact Republic Services 1-800-631-1156 and inform them the items will be out on your trash day so that they can make proper arrangements for its collection.

· If you move please DO NOT take the trash cart with you. Please just leave the trash cart at the residence for future use.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

2011 Budget Document

(Click the image above to view the 2011 Budget Document)

The 2011 Annual Budget, approved December 13, 2010 is available as a .pdf document above. The document continues its citizen-driven look and format for this year by continuing new additions such as the 10 Year Road Improvement Plan, Capital Improvement Plan Road Overlays for 2011 - 2015, Amount Change columns in Budget Line Item Sheets, Comprehensive Citizen Survey Section spanning 65 questions/responses and continued improvement of visuals to enhance aesthetics and comprehension.The 2011 Operating Budget Section now includes the Top 5 Goals for each Department/division to compliment the previously listed Top 5 Accomplishments of each Department/division. City officials encourage you to explore the City's 2011 Budget Document and continue to stay informed on important issues facing our great community.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Senator Durbin Meets with City Officials

On Tuesday, February 22nd Senator Dick Durbin met with Centralia City Officials Mayor Rebecca Ault and City Manager Grant Kleinhenz to discuss issues facing the City. Mayor Ault discussed three major projects with the Senator Durbin: 1) Raccoon Lake Dredging 2) Water Treatment Plant Replacement and 3) Relocation/Realignment of the Norfolk Railroad Crossing at US 51. Discussions on the projects focused around potential funding sources and avenues to explore to move the projects forward.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

2010 Community Scorecard

The 2010 Community Scorecard is a collection of performance data and information that measures how well the City is doing in meeting the goals in these eight key focus areas:
  • Economic Development
  • Community Planning
  • Community Image
  • Transportation
  • Infrastructure
  • Public Safety
  • Citizen Services
  • Finance & Management
The data comes from the City's monthly performance audits which were established in collaboration with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Center for Performance Measurement.

2010 Community Scorecard Online Version
Reduced image quality for smaller file size (28MB)

2010 Community Scorecard Print Quality
Print quality (162 MB). This file may take several minutes to download

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The City's latest newsletter seeks to inform residents of recently completed and current projects happening in and around the community. Look for your copy of the Centralian in your mailbox along with the new form of statement billing. The City of Centralia encourages an active and engaged citizenry and strives to continually keep residents informed on municipal projects. To read about all the great things happening in your community simply click the download link below. **Please note that the file size is fairly large and will take several minutes to download.

Download Vol. 3 No. 2 The Centralian

Monday, November 29, 2010

Centralia Youth Commission Takes Shape

City staff held an organizational meeting for the Centralia Youth Commission on Friday, November 19th in the Council Chambers at City Hall with community leaders and youth proponents present. The purpose of this initial meeting was to develop an objective for the Commission that will not be duplicative of other services already in the community and to help identify membership for the Commission. The dialogue focused on the following issues: 1) being proactive rather than reactive; 2) providing resource and support to existing agencies and organizations; 3) developing community-wide activities from a large pool of organizations and resources to help both parent and youth; 4) providing best practice models of activities and programs through City staff support that are shown to be effective in other communities; and, finally providing an accessible networking document so that all “point of contact” inquiries about youth programming can be provided from many organizations. Those in attendance were Jessica Palazzolo, Annie Holtkamp, Yvette Glasgow, April Hardy and JoAnn Glenn of the Community Resource Center, Kay Zibby of United Methodist Children’s Home, Councilman Marva Bledsoe, Linda Dabney of the Pregnancy Care Center, Reverand Hubert Bankhead and Alec Chandler of Second Baptist Church, Tron Young of the Centralia Junior High School, Alex McElroy, Allison Austin and Mayor Ault from the City. The Centralia City Council voted to approve the formation of the Youth Commission on the September 13th City Council Meeting. Official appointments to the Youth Commission will come before the City Council in December.

Monday, November 22, 2010

IDOT proposes work on SR 161 from Randolph to Pleasant

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has proposed to mill and resurface IL 161 (Noleman Street) between Beech Street and Lincoln Boulevard during 2011. This work should improve the ride of the road as well as the life of the road and will take care of various issues such as potholes at the top of the underpass and issues with the pavement failing at Locust Street.

On Monday, November 22nd City Council will be voting on the approval of a letter of intent to participate with the Illinois Department of Transportation in splitting costs 50/50 for the portion of work for the parking lanes on Noleman Street between Poplar Street and Elm Street. The estimated cost for this work is $6,727, with the estimated cost to the City being $3,364, plus 15% of estimated engineering costs approximated at $505. Total estimated cost to the City is $3,869 ($3,364 cost of milling and resurfacing+$505 engineering costs) and will be added to the Motor Fuel Tax budget request.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Council Considers RFP for New Water Plant

On Monday October 25, 2010 the Centralia City Council will consider approval of the solicitation of proposals for Design Engineering Services for the Water Treatment Plant Replacement Project. The existing Water Treatment Plant has exceeded its useful life and needs to be replaced to meet current and future water treatment needs. The City has worked with Strand Associates since a contract was approved at the March 31, 2008 Council meeting. Three Task Orders have been issued to Strand to date. Efforts to submit information to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency in order to obtain a low-interest loan have come to a standstill. Staff recommends to the City Council termination of the contract at the October 12, 2010 Council meeting. The information secured by the City through these task orders will be beneficial to selecting the final site of the new Water Treatment Plant, however City staff feels that the design of the new WTP and securing funding for that Plant should be handled by an engineering firm that has a stronger technical background in treating surface water and which is dedicated to helping the City secure financing for this project. Staff has created a Request for Proposal for the design of the Water Treatment Plant. The Request for Proposal is geared toward fulfilling the requirements of the IEPA project planning checklist, site selection and acquisition and preparations for final design. If approved, staff will advertise the RFP to various engineering firms with experience designing surface water treatment plants, experience working with IEPA funded projects and who are creative to methods of treating and providing water for the City of Centralia. The RFP’s are due in the City Clerk’s Office on December 1, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. and will be reviewed by staff with a recommendation to the City Council for acceptance of the successful proposal at the December 13, 2010 Council meeting.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Mayor Rebecca Ault would like to announce that this year's Trick-or-Treat Night for the City of Centralia will be on Friday, October 29th from 6 to 8 p.m. for children 12 years of age and under. Please be aware that rain does not cancel Trick-or-Treat; parents are urged to use their own judgment if inclement weather is present.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Click Here to Download

The City's latest newsletter seeks to inform residents of recently
completed and current projects happening in and around the community.
The City of Centralia encourages an active and engaged citizenry and
strives to continually keep residents informed on municipal projects. To
read about all the great things happening in your community simply check your mailbox or
click the download link below. **Please note that the file size is fairly large and will take several minutes to download.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Council Announces August 9 David Blackwell Day

At the August 9th City Council meeting, Mayor Becky Ault read a proclamation establishing August 9th David Blackwell Day in Centralia. David Blackwell was a well renowned statistician, mathmetician and author who was born in Centralia on April 24, 1919. David Blackwell attended the University of Illinois where he received a Bachelor Degree in mathematics. Blackwell continued his education earning a Master Degree and a Doctorate by the age of 22.
Blackwell held a professional career as a professor of mathematics for the University of Berkeley California , game theory consultant and author of "Theory of Games and Statistical Decisions" and "Basic Statistics" as well as a publisher of many papers on multistage decision-making. For a full bio on David Blackwell, reference the New York Times Obituary "David Blackwell, Scholar of Probability".

Thursday, July 29, 2010

City Recieves Award For Performance Management Efforts

The City of Centralia was again recognized by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) for their performance measurement and management efforts from the ICMA Center for Performance Measurement™ (CPM). Last year was the first time the City received acknowledgement from the ICMA CPM for two successful years of performance management and received the Certificate of Achievement for their efforts. This year the City has received the Certificate of Excellence, which is the highest degree of accomplishment within the ICMA CPM program.
Over the past three years, the City of Centralia has recorded and measured department performance using comparative performance measurement practices. In 2007, the City of Centralia formulated and began recording performance measures for the thirteen departments/divisions that comprise the City government. The City implemented the practice of measuring performance to ensure accountability in departmental and organizational goals and objectives. Each department has specific performance objectives and measures that both tie into Centralia’s Strategic Plan and Comprehensive Plan. Performance measures and objectives are derived from national benchmarks established through national standards, industry standards, performance of similarly composed governments and expected performance set by either City Council or City Management. City Council and City Management use this performance data for the planning, budgeting and allocation of City tax dollars and resources.
In the current economic climate, performance management is more important than ever. Not only does performance management aid in cost management, program prioritization, and quality improvement, but it encourages accountability and transparency.
“The certificate program is one of the pillars of CPM,” says Michael Lawson, director of the Center for Performance Management. “Through our certificate program, local governments are recognized for their exceptional commitment to continuous learning and improvement. The criteria on which the certificates are based serve as a checklist of effective, results-oriented management practices.”
Criteria for the Certificate of Excellence include:
  • Reporting of performance data to the public through budgets, newsletters, and/or information provided to elected officials
  • Verification efforts to ensure the data’s reliability, and
  • Staff training in the principles of performance measurement.
  • Using performance data in strategic planning and decision making
  • Sharing of performance measurement knowledge with other local governments/government entities
Surveying of both residents and local government employees
This marks the second consecutive year the City of Centralia has received acknowledgement and valuable feed back from the ICMA CPM on the City’s performance management system. City staff works diligently to ensure the data collected on a monthly basis is accurate, viable and continually evolving to provide citizens with the most efficient and effective services possible.
Centralia’s Performance Measurement annual results and information may be found in the City’s Budget Document, on Centralia TV and on the City’s official website:

Friday, July 23, 2010

City Officials Visit Washington D.C. to promote City Initiatives

On July 13, 2010, Councilman Howard Jones, Mayor Rebecca Ault and City Manager Grant Kleinhenz left for a two day trip to Washington D.C. to stress the importance of our City’s initiatives. This is the third year City officials have made the trip to D.C. to speak with our legislators and discuss the needs of our citizens. City officials met with Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Roland Burris and Congressman John Shimkus to discuss projects such as the replacement of the current water treatment plant, the dredging of Raccoon Lake, South Hickory Street realignment and extension of Calumet to Brookside Avenue, the extension of Pleasant Avenue north past the hospital to connect with Gragg Street and the US 51 at-grade crossing relocation/realignment project. The identification of these projects was a result of the City’s comprehensive planning process conducted in 2007 with citizens, local stakeholders and City Council members.
City officials held special meetings with the US representatives on Thursday July 14 and later attended an Illinois Constituent Breakfast July 15 before catching a plane returning home. “This is a brief trip but is invaluable when it comes to maintaining relationships with our legislators and keeping them informed of our City’s needs”, said City manager Grant Kleinhenz of the trip.
Currently, Senator Durbin is working to get Raccoon Lake authorized in the Water Resource Development Act which would make the City eligible to receive federal funding for the preservation and development of the lake. The City requested funding in the amount of $7,000,000 with a local commitment of $1,400,000 from the Lake Restoration Fund. The City is also working with the Army Corps of Engineers to use Raccoon Lake as a test dredging site.
City officials also received guidance on different avenues to explore while attempting to retain federal and state funding assistance for the replacement of the water treatment plant. The total project is estimated to cost between $13,000,000 and $20,000,000 and is currently in engineering stages with construction expected to commence in 2013. Centralia leadership plans to continue to work with the Senators for future appropriations.
Results of the efforts made by City officials in the development of relationships with legislators are projects such as the recent Economic Development Administration grant award of $2,000,000 for the Wabash and East 17th Street road and drainage improvement project. The award of the grant funding would not have been possible without extended project solicitation to the Senators and legislators tasked with the recommendation of constituent needs.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Alley Sidewalk and Drainage Improvement Program to be Considered

At the May 24, 2010 City Council Meeting the Centralia City Council will be considering approving a resolution establishing a policy for the maintenance of alleyways and sidewalks. The City currently budgets $50,000 for annual maintenance of alleyway, sidewalk and drainage improvements which are performed according to the maintenance schedule designed by City staff. The proposed policy would provide interested residents the opportunity to have City staff complete the work with the City providing the labor at no cost and the surrounding residents covering the material costs. The intent of the policy is to give residents the option of paying for the materials if they do not wish to wait until their area is scheduled for regular maintenance.
The proposed process includes completion of a Request for Alley/Sidewalk/Drainage Improvement Form to be submitted to the Public Works Director located at 114 E. Fifth Street. The Public Works Director would then schedule a time to survey the requested improvement. Once surveyed, City staff will issue a quote for the cost of the materials to complete the requested improvements. Commencement of the improvement project would be contingent upon the weather, availability of labor and current workload.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Council to Discuss Residential Dock Policy

At the May 10 Work Session, City Council will be discussing a policy guiding the size, location, construction, materials and use of docks located on individual lots around Raccoon Lake and Lake Centralia. The City of Centralia maintains a twenty five foot ownership around Raccoon Lake's shoreline extending onto the banks of the Lake (specific location of City property may be found on each addition's Plat of Survey). The majority of current and future docks are or will be located at least partially on City property and will extend into the lake owned by the City. The policy will seek to ensure structures on City property are properly maintained, safe and located in such a fashion as to allow all visitors to enjoy the lake property. The policy will require a permit be attained through the city along with a fee to cover the inspection costs.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Artificial Spawning Structures go in Raccoon Lake

The Fishing Quality Committee has been working proactively to increase the success rate of spawning bass in Raccoon Lake for the critical months of April, May and June. According to a November 2009 relative stock indices survey conducted on Raccoon Lake, reproduction and/or recruitment by largemouth bass appear to be lower than optimal. The young-to-adult ratio, for which 1.0 is considered a minimum, the value is 0.3 and the catch per unit of effort is 47 percent of the minimum preferred catch number. Addressing these issues, the Fishing Quality Committee has constructed 50 artificial spawning structures designed to provide a safe and attractive environment for spawning bass. The committee has placed the structures in five non-residential shoreline areas around Raccoon Lake in clusters of ten. Because bass are particularly susceptible to being caught by angling and catching fish off the artificial spawning beds while incubating eggs or guarding fry, the committee is recommending a no boating or fishing ordinance within fifty feet of the structures. This ordinance would render approximately 750 feet of Raccoon Lake’s 16.4 miles of shoreline inaccessible to boating and angling for the months of April, May and June (after which time the structures will be removed). The artificial spawning structures and fifty feet of surrounding shoreline will be marked and partitioned with large round orange floats, provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The Fishing Quality Committee feels the adoption and compliance of this ordinance is vital to the success of the spawning structures. The Fishing Quality Committee's Request for Council Action will be before Centralia's City Council on the April 12 meeting.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Council Reacts to State Budget Proposal

At the March 22nd 2010 city council meeting, Centralia's City Council passed a resolution opposing the governors proposal for a reduction of Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) Income Tax. The governor proposes to reduce municipalities share of income tax by 3% which would reduce the City of Centralia's income tax receipts by over $320,000. The Council's resolution cites the City's dependence on these revenues for the provision of vital services such as fire, emergency medial and police protection. The City joins neighboring municipalities and members of the Illinois Municipal League in adopting resolutions in opposition of the governors proposal and issuing letters to the state describing the potential budget on local communities.

Click Here - to view the Resolution
Click Here - to view the City's letter to the State of Illinois

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

2010 Budget Document

The 2010 Annual Budget, approved December 22, 2009 is available as a .pdf document below. The document continues its citizen-driven look and format for this year. New to the document this year: 10 Year Road Improvement Plan, Capital Improvement Plan Road Overlays for 2010 - 2014, Amount Change columns in Budget Line Item Sheets, Comprehensive Citizen Survey Section spanning 86 questions/responses and continued improvement of visuals to enhance aesthetics and comprehension.

The document contains the following sections:
  • Introduction (Table of Contents)
  • Budget Message (Written by the City Manager, Assistant City Manager and Finance Director)
  • Community Profile
    Historic Background, Demographics, Economic Conditions, Recreation, Culture
  • Personnel
    Hierarchal Organizational Structure, Department/Division Summary, Position Classification
  • Management & Budget Policies
    Policy Statements, Background, Action, Legal Debt Margin, Long-term Debt
  • Budget Summary
    Financial Overview, Department Matrix, Appropriated Funds
  • Revenue Manual
    All Revenue Sources, Top 75% Budget Sources descriptions, Collection Methods, Rationale
  • Strategic Plan
    Two Year Top 10 Priority List, Department Relationship with Plan
  • Operating Budget
    • Part 1 (Administration, Clerk, Community Development)
    • Part 2 (Economic Development, E.S.D.A.)
    • Part 3 (Finance, Fire, & EMS)
    • Part 4 (Police, Public Property)
    • Part 5 (Recreation, Sewer, Street & Alley, Water)
  • Five Year Capital Improvement Plan
    Routine Expenditures, Non-Routine Expenditures
  • Line Item Budget
    Revenues, Expenditures, Amount Change, Justifications
  • Citizen Survey
    2008 vs 2009 Results, 10 Questions Analyzed, 86 Questions/Responses
  • Appendix
    Resolutions, Glossary of Terms, Index

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Council Approves MFT General Maintenance Estimate of Costs

MFT Maintenance Map

A Maintenance Program funded by Motor Fuel Tax (MFT) Funds is brought before the Council each year for approval and subsequently submitted to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) for their approval. In the past it has included the City's Oil and Chip Street Rehabilitation and Resealing, Restoration of Pavement Markings, Patching of Portland Cement Concrete (PCC) and Bituminous Pavement Patching as well as the City’s annual allotment of Rock Salt for snow and ice removal. This year in the face of declining revenues and increasing material costs the City's program will only focus on oil and chip pavement maintenance and snow and ice control this year. The City's maintenance program will rely upon the General Fund for some materials necessary to maintain a reasonable level of service. Despite these constraints the City still plan to reseal and rehabilitate 5.23 miles of oil and chip pavement primarily located in the southern sections of the southeast quadrant. Total Estimated Maintenance Cost is $237,161.28. The plan will be to bid the maintenance program at the beginning of April, which after approval by the State, would come to the City Council for approval at the May 10, 2010 meeting. The work would then likely be scheduled to start in June 2010.

Regional Marketing Initiative

Business Leaders from Centralia and Mt. Vernon met on February 18th at Centralia City Council Chambers to begin dialogue on opportunities for cooperative marketing of the region. The Mayors of Mt. Vernon, Wamac and Centralia were recognized at the 2008 Centralia Chamber of Commerce annual banquet for their ability to work together to bring American Equipment and Machine to the region. Following the award, it was suggested that the partnership expand their cooperative effort with a regional marketing initiative. Present for the discussion were Mayor Mary Jane Chesley, Mayor Rebecca Ault and representatives from Centralia Industries, Inc. and the Executive Board of the Jefferson County Development Corporation. Centralia Industries purchased the Principal Meridian Industrial Park property located on Route 51 between the communities which will be co-marketed by Jefferson County Development Corporation Executive Director Mary Ellen Bechtel and Centralia Director Jeanne Gustafson. The property has a prime location 5.5 miles north of Interstate 64 on divided Route 51. Centralia Industries has completed a Phase I Environmental Assessments which puts the region in a competitive position. The property is also located within the territorial boundaries of the Principal Meridian Tax Increment Financing District and Greater Centralia Enterprise Zone which allows the communities to structure a strong financial package. The communities will be marketing the region through a monthly electronic newsletter targeting site consultants.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Council to Consider Dogs at Large Ordinance

On the February 22nd City Council Meeting the Centralia City Council will be deciding whether or not to adopt an ordinance restricting dogs from "running at large" within City limits and deeming such dogs as "dangerous dogs". The ordinance seeks to strengthen the language in the municipal code in terms of what powers are given to the City to address dangerous animals. The proposal of the ordinance was partly spurred from concerns from the City's Animal Control Officer, Bobby Patton, regarding a disproportionate responsibility to report an interaction with a dangerous animal being left to the victim or witness of an attack or interaction. As a result of a reluctance to report or follow through with filing these charges, many of these cases do not provide Mr. Patton and City's Attorney, Mark Stedelin, with enough evidence to create a punitive environment that prevents such attacks or interactions from happening again. In addition, both Mr. Patton and Mr. Stedelin are concerned that the language prohibits a more immediate response to the situation, therefore giving the opportunity for the animal to harm someone else if not taken for impoundment.
The new ordinance regarding Running at Large: Dangerous Dogs proposes the following,

Section 5-58. Running at Large; Dangerous Dogs.

(a) Definitions:

(1) “Running at Large” is defined as any dog when not on a leash, not on the premises of its owner, or not under the complete control or its owner.

(2) “Dangerous Dog” is defined as any dog with propensity or tendency to do any act, which might endanger the safety of any person. Any dog that has bitten a person is presumed dangerous.

(b) No dog shall be permitted to run at large within the City.

(c) Any dog running at large is deemed to be a public nuisance, and may be impounded by the City if found running at large.

(d) Any dangerous dog is deemed a public nuisance, and shall be impounded if found running at large.

(e) Any dangerous dog impounded by City shall not be returned to the owner until: (1) said dog is spayed or neutered at owner’s expense; (2) the owner provides a valid certificate of insurance proving liability the dog; (3) the owner acquires or constructs an escape proof pen to hold said dogs. For purposes hereof, an “escape proof pen” shall consist of chain link or other metal fencing, with a concrete or wire flooring and wire cover, with a proper gate with a secure latch.

(f) Any dangerous dog not returned to its owner within fourteen days of its impoundment will be euthanized.

(g) Once determined dangerous, a dog shall thereafter be considered a dangerous dog for application of this ordinance.

(h) A dog previously determined to be a dangerous dog, if found running at large, shall be impounded and euthanized.

(i) The fine for allowing a dangerous dog to run at large shall be not less than $250.00 nor more than $750.00.

For more information visit the City's official website: and refer to the February 22, 2010 City Council Agenda

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

City Adopts 10 Year Road Improvement Plan

City officials and staff recognize the importance of staying proactive in the maintenance of our City streets, roads and alleyways. On November 9, 2009 City Council voted to approve a 10 Year Road Improvement Plan designed to strategically guide the allocation of City resources in road maintenance. The plan was developed with the input of City Council, City staff and engineering firm Rhutasel & Associates. The plan identifies and prioritizes high traffic roads for the purpose of benefiting the largest amount of residents and travelers possible. For a full list of the maintenance schedule please download "The Centralian" Vol. 2 No. 2 or visit the City's official website: You may also watch Channel 99 or the Channel 99 section of the City's website to view the City Manager's Video Vignette highlighting details of the road improvement schedule.

Download the Latest City Newsletter

The Centralian - Centralia's Official Newsletter
Vol. 2 No.2 Winter 2009

Click Image to Download

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Buchheit Opens in Centralia

On November 13th, Buchheit of Centralia formally opened their doors at 9:00 a.m. with a Chain Saw Cutting Celebration. The public turnout was excellent and the parking lot was busy with locals who were present for the event. WJBD had a live broadcast for the event. Buchheit indicated sales have been beyond expectation and everyone was very pleased with the attendance. They also indicated that the evening sales are higher than anticipated.

On Wednesday, November 11th, local officials were invited to the store for a pre-opening viewing and appreciation night.

F&L Salvage is donating two cars for a 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning extrication demonstration by the local rescue unit. Following the extrication, the saw will be donated to the Centralia Fire Department.

Your Opportunity Sign Replaced

The "Centralia Your Opportunity" sign has received a much needed face lift. The historic sign had fallen into disrepair and has been replaced thanks to the efforts of the Chamber of Commerce, Centralia Image Committee and the City of Centralia. Image Committee Chairman Todd Dobbs said, "After seeking infput from a variety of interested parties and much analysis, it was determined that the simplest way to recreate the message the sign originally intended to deliver, was to replace the letters and to light the sign for all to see." The letters taken from the sign were found to be made of wood and in an extreme state of deterioration. The new letters have been made from exterior grade material, painted and sealed so as to not fall into the same state if disrepair.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Downtown Mural

Orphans Mural Goes Up Downtown

A new historic mural dedicated to the Centralia High School Orphan basketball team’s legacy, has been installed on the east wall of the Uptown Café. This is the second in a series of murals planned by the Chamber of Commerce Image Committee.

Image Committee Chairman Todd Dobbs said, “I am excited to see the year of work and planning that went into this project coming to fruition; what might seem like a fairly simple task, once again proved to be a tedious and painstaking process in order to achieve the desired outcome.”

The mural is a graphic artist’s rendition of an actual photograph taken by Centralia Sentinel photographer Brian Hunt at the last game the Centralia Orphans basketball team played in historic Trout gym. Not only does it recognize the fabled teams’ history but the accomplishment of being the nation’s most winning High School basketball team in the 20th century.

The goal has been to have the mural in place in time for this year’s Fall Fest & Halloween Parade according to Dobbs, “We were able to overcome some last minute technical issues to meet our deadline and are very pleased with the results.”

A plaque describing the Orphans’ record of achievement will be unveiled at a later date in conjunction with a dedication ceremony. Lighting for the mural will also be installed similar to the lighting on the American Legion’s building.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bob Kelsheimer said, “The murals are a part of a long term plan and a coordinated effort between the Chamber’s Image Committee and the City of Centralia to attract new businesses and visitors to the downtown business district. The Image Committee’s artist’s renderings coupled with the City’s façade improvement program facilitated the building improvements we see today. This process began in earnest two years ago and kicked into high gear starting with façade improvements at the Stanford building on Third Street. The vision created by the Chamber’s Image Committee and City leaders has become a reality, and today we see an ever growing and vibrant “Towne Centre”.

The next two projects the Chamber’s Image Committee will be undertaking is a Civil War mural and a historic downtown walking tour guide.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Mayor Rebecca Ault would like to announce that this year’s Trick-or-Treat Night for the City of Centralia will be on Friday, October 30th from 6 to 8 p.m. for children 12 years of age and under. Please be aware that rain does not cancel Trick-or-Treat; parents are urged to use their own judgment if inclement weather is present.

Collection Routes Change in October

Effective Monday, October 5, 2009 collection routes for garbage, refuse, yard waste and city wide cleanup will change for some citizens in Centralia. Veolia ES Solid Waste Management L.L.C. will be implementing the new collection routes in an effort to improve service delivery and expedite collection processes. The northeastern portion of the City, which formally received collection on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will now begin to receive collection services on Monday. This will include streets north of McCord Street (Illinois RT. 161) and east of the Canadian National rail line. Tuesday collection, which was previously an area in the south central portion of the city including Fourteenth Street on the south to Calumet Street, Sycamore Street east to Perrine and north to Second Street, will now, be west of the Canadian National rail line and north of Seventh Street, in the vicinity of Beech Street. Wednesday routes, which used to be an area west of Pleasant Street and north of McCord to Brookside Avenue then west of Brookside to the City limits, will now be streets west of Lincoln, south of McCord and north of Calumet with the west boundary in the vicinity of Beech Street. Thursday routes, which used to be the eastern side of the City from Gragg on the north to Calumet on the south, Perrine and Lincoln on the west will be the same with the addition of Lincoln to Perrine, north of Calumet to Second Street and eliminating collection north of McCord Street (Illinois RT. 161) to Gragg Street which will be moved to the Monday route. Friday collection, formally in the north, west and south areas of the City, will now be streets south of Calumet and west of Pleasant Street with the western boundary being Brookside Avenue.

A detailed map of the new collection schedule may be found on the City’s website: For more information or general inquiries on collection schedules or services, please contact Veolia toll free at (888) 867-8066. Residents may also contact the City Yards (618) 533-7640 or City Hall (618) 533-7623 with additional inquiries.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

City Receives $4.2 Million In Grant Funding For Roadway Project

The City of Centralia, in a joint application with the City of Wamac, has received $4.2 million in grant funding for the Wabash Avenue and East 17th Street road and drainage improvement project. $2.2 million of that funding has been awarded by the Illinois Department of Transportation Truck Access Route Program (TARP) combined with $2 million from the Economic Development Administration American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The money will be used to widen Wabash Avenue to a 3 lane road, two traffic lanes with a continuous turn lane to facilitate safe truck traffic turning radii, covered ditches with upgraded and upsized storm sewer inlets and piping as well as curb and guttering. The funding and slated road work all come at a time where both Wabash Avenue and East 17th Street will be receiving considerably heavier traffic due to an increasingly active Industrial Park, now welcoming new teneats, Hawkins Inc and American Machine & Equipment. Both companies combined, representing over an estimated 150 new jobs to the area.

Monday, August 24, 2009

In June of 2009 the City of Centralia mailed 6,300 citizen surveys to all water customers along with the City's Consumer Confidence Report. The City received 378 completed surveys or 6% of the total mailed, the results of which were tabulated in August and may be viewed above. The survey contained questions regarding City services, taxes, economic development and spending priorities. The City will use the citizen input for the planning, budgeting, allocation of resources and priority setting for the 2010 Fiscal Year.

Click Here to download a PDF version of the results
Click Here to view Previous Years Results
City Wide Cleanup Week October 5th through October 9, 2009

The City of Centralia would like to announce that this year’s fall city wide cleanup event is scheduled for Monday, October 5th through October 9, 2009. The pickup of unwanted household items will take place on the same day as regular scheduled trash pickup. Participation is limited to single-family residences, town homes, condominiums and apartments that do not exceed four units per building. All items are to be placed where your garbage is placed for pickup by 6 a.m. on the assigned pickup day.

Any item(s) not longer than 5 feet or more than 50 pounds at any of the above defined residential units will be picked up except for the following:

1. Yard waste, including grass clippings, leaves, brush and tree material
2. Household refuse/garbage that should be put out for normal collection
3. Large quantities of rocks, concrete and construction materials including roofing materials,
siding and lumber (not more than a five gallon bucket full)
4. Large appliances such as freezers, refrigerators, stoves, washing machines, dryers, etc. even
if broken up, cut up, crushed or flattened
5. Tires or cans of paint
6. Large automobile parts such as engines and transmissions
7. Lawnmowers or small engines which still contain gasoline or oil
8. DO NOT mix with trash to be picked up on normal collection days and DO NOT pile items on
top of other items.

Crews WILL NOT sort through material. If an unapproved item is on top of an approved item, your items will not be collected.

Residents are also asked to place smaller items in a container such as a box or a bag. Please consider recycling any cardboard, glass, aluminum and paper products at Clean & Green’s Recycling Center located on West McCord Street.

All items must be out by 6:00 AM on your normal garbage pickup day. The route WILL ONLY BE COVERED ONCE, NO EXCEPTIONS. This is a service provided by the City of Centralia. The City requests each resident’s cooperation in this project.