Fire Department News


The Roseville Fire Department recently visited our dispatch center as part of an EMT training program that they have been hosting. The students were able to observe how an emergency call is handled in dispatch from start to finish. The dispatchers on duty were able to give them tips to improve communication response and what information they are able to relay, etc.

Kenny Helms, the director of information technology for the City of Monmouth, was on-site to show them the technology involved and discuss the future technology improvements for the center.

Almost all local EMT programs have sections on "communication technology," and we hope to use this and any future opportunity to streamline the dispatching process.


The Monmouth Fire Department received two new ice rescue suits and active shooter equipment—purchased with funds from the Illinois Public Risk Fund Grant Program. The IPRF Grant Program is designed to ease the burden of safety-related expenses. The grant covers training expenses, protective clothing, defibrillators, security cameras, rescue equipment and much more. Thanks to the grant, the MFD was able to purchase four EMS responder vests, eight tourniquets and bandages that will be used for active shooter responses to provide aid to victims.

The ice rescue suits are a huge upgrade to the old ones, which were at least 15 years old. Now they just need some ice to practice with them!

The Story of Well 10

You may have noticed an odd piece of machinery on Jackson Avenue late last year (just behind Kunes Country Auto). That was the drilling rig for Monmouth’s latest deep well—Well 10.
Monmouth’s water has been coming from deep wells since the first one was drilled near the old fire station in 1925. Well 10 will be the sixth well that the City will have in current operation when it’s hooked up to the water plant on Harlem this summer.
Well 10 was drilled to a depth just over 2,500 feet, hitting the Cambrian Ordovician Aquifer System. Drilling down through that much bedrock took 8-10 weeks of continuous drilling.
So why did Monmouth need another well? Back in 2014, the City, in partnership with Woodard & Curran (the company that provides Monmouth’s Public Works services), performed a hydraulic modeling study to see how water flows through the City and where the current and future needs are. 
There was both a current and a future need for more water on the north side of Monmouth. It was determined that drilling a new well was more cost-effective than bringing new water mains up from the wells on the south side of town. Also, a new well would give our water system more reliability and some much needed redundancy.
The well bore hole was drilled in decreasing diameters, starting at two feet wide, then down to 18 inches and finally 12 inches wide. The 24” and 18” wide shafts are cased in ductile iron piping to keep the bore hole open. The first 250 feet of the 12” section of the hole is cased in stainless steel.

The pump itself is a vertical turbine pump. The motor sits in a well house on the surface with a drive shaft that goes down 500 feet to the actual pump. The top of the pump is threaded and is connected directly to a stainless steel column pipe that takes the water to the surface.
When the drilling was completed, the well was flow tested. A test pump was installed, and the well was set to pump 1,500 gallons per minute (GPM) for 24 hours—this was to verify the well yield capacity and static water level in the aquifer. Water samples were also collected and analyzed per the EPA permitting requirements.
All of the pump test information and water analysis has been submitted to the Illinois EPA as part of the permitting process. Data on this well—flow, geology, water quality, and such—will be shared with numerous state and federal agencies to keep water supply information as current as possible.
When the permitting process is complete, the well will be sanitized and the raw water tested. Upon receiving satisfactory results of those tests, to be certain of the quality and safety of the new well, it will be hooked up to a water main to take the water to the water plant on Harlem, where it will be treated into fully potable water.
When online, the pump will operate at 1,000 GPM on demand. The three active north-side wells are computer-controlled through the City’s SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) system which is programmed based on our water system design and delivery demand.

—Paul Schuytema, Director of Community and Economic Development

Going Green

Cornelius has added 734 solar panels to their Monmouth warehouse, where they manufacture beverage dispense solutions for restaurants, convenience stores and hospitality chains.

The panels were installed by Precision Energy Services, which is based in West Burlington, Iowa, and specializes in renewable solar energy projects and emission control. 

“These panels are expected to produce enough energy to fully power the factory. On sunny days, they will receive enough credit to compensate for cloudy days,” said Wade Woodward, Director of Zoning and Building Inspector for the City of Monmouth.

According to the Cornelius website, the company aims to “manage our own facilities, products, and processes, with programs to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions providing environmental and cost-saving benefits.”

Coworking in Monmouth!

The City of Monmouth hosts coworking events at the Warren County Public Library on the second Thursday of the month. For people who have a home-based business or work remotely, coworking offers the opportunity to get out of the house and work in an upbeat environment with others. Sometimes a little noise is motivating! (And delicious coffee from Seagram’s Brew Coffee House doesn't hurt.)

If you would like to join us for our next free event, please stop by the upstairs Community Room at the Library on Thursday, April 13, any time from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. There is WiFi, so you can work on your phone or laptop. You can do your regular work, of course, or get through your email, write a blog post, or update your social media sites.

City Receives Grant to Eliminate Zombies

The City of Monmouth has received a $25,000 grant to demolish abandoned (“zombie”) homes in our community.

“I was so pleased we received the grant,” said Jan Helms, executive administrative assistant for the City. “These abandoned homes are not only eyesores but also have health and safety hazards.”

Vagrants, Vermin and Varmints, Oh, My!

Helms applied for the grant because Monmouth has issues with foreclosures and abandoned homes. Zombie houses attract pests and vermin and may appeal to squatters and vandals.

“We have identified 27 abandoned properties in various stages of disrepair, so we need all the financial assistance we can get,” she said. “The City of Monmouth has been actively pursuing the demolition of unsafe, unsecure structures for several years. We focus on renovation when possible, but sometimes demolition is our only recourse.”

The funds from this grant will allow the City to demolish several moderate-sized homes during the next year.

The grant is from the Illinois Housing Development Authority’s Abandoned Residential Property Municipality Relief Fund, which was created in 2010 with the passage of the Save Our Neighborhoods Act. Funding for the program comes from foreclosure filing fees and is available to municipalities with problem residential properties.

The City is also applying for a grant to help with housing rehab and a free Savings Through Efficient Products (STEP) program to make City-owned buildings more energy efficient. 


New High School Course: Warren County CEO


 The City of Monmouth is thrilled to announce that the Warren County CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) course will be available for Monmouth-Roseville High School and United High School juniors and seniors, beginning in fall 2017.

“I traveled to Carthage to see the student business trade show that was the culmination of Hancock County’s first year of the program,” said Paul Schuytema, Director of Economic and Community Development for the City of Monmouth. “It was amazing to meet the young business owners—high school students with smarts and poise who could shake your hand, look you in the eye, and explain their business models. That’s when I knew that we had to bring this program to Monmouth.”

The CEO program is much more than a textbook course. Students are immersed in real-life learning experiences with the opportunity to take risks, manage the results, and learn from the outcomes. They learn confidence-building skills like speaking in front of groups and targeted skills like writing successful business plans. 

CEO is a business education program, teaching students how to think like business owners. The class meets off-campus in local businesses for 90 minutes each school day. Students dress in business casual attire every day and learn proper workplace behavior.

Each student receives a mentor from the business community. In the first semester, students create a class business. During the second semester, they have the opportunity to start their own business. The final event of the school year is a trade show, where they showcase their student businesses.

Students receive high school credit and dual credit with Carl Sandburg College.

“The kids who do this program have an advantage over everyone else in high school,” said Schuytema. “It is also good for Monmouth. This program gives students the skills we need here and shows them the opportunities that already exist in our area. If they decide to create their own business here, they’ll already have a terrific network of contacts.”

This program is available through a partnership with the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship. There is no cost to our schools or students for this program! All expenses are paid by businesses and foundations. 

You can read more about this innovative program here.  

Thank you to the founding sponsors: 

·         City of Monmouth

·         Mellinger Foundation (in honor of former Trustee and Scholarship Committee member Mary Frances Miller)

·         Midwest Bank

·         Monmouth College

·         MTC Communications

·         Security Savings Bank

·         Tharp Brothers Underground Utility Service 


Landlords and the Illinois Lead Poisoning Prevention Act News

Illinois has new amendments to the Lead Poisoning Prevention Act, which went into effect on January 1, 2017. The amendments are about mitigation notices for lead paint hazards. While the Zoning Department does not inspect for lead, landlords should be aware of their responsibilities to provide their tenants with certain disclosures. 

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, "Lead poisoning, the number one environmental illness of children, is caused primarily by lead-based paint in older homes. While Illinois has made great progress in recent years, we maintain one of the highest rates in the nation for the number of children with elevated blood lead levels. The most common exposure to lead by children is through the ingestion of paint chips and contaminated dust from deteriorated or disturbed lead-based paint in homes built before 1978. About 75 percent of Illinois homes built before 1978 contain some lead-based paint" (IDPH website).

You can read about the amendments on the Illinois General Assembly website. Richard Magnone's "A Blog for Landlords" website also has a reader-friendly version of the new amendments.