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

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