Tuesday, November 16, 1999

Alton Telegraph

Location: Alton, Illinois

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - November 16, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVERBEND SINCE 1836 Rivers low but still navigable Mississippi waters drop down to 15.4 feet By ANGELA MUELLER Telegraph staff writer The dry days of summer and early fall have driven water levels on The Telegraph area's rivers below seasonal averages, but officials say the drop is too moderate to endanger navigation along the waterways. “We recognize we haven’t had rain for some time, and the water level is low, but everything is still going OK,” said Charles Camino, acting chief of public affairs for the U.S. Corps of Engineers in St. Louis. The Mississippi River level at Grafton on Monday was 15.4 feet, 2.6 feet below the flood level of 18 feet. At Hartford, the river level was 49.4 feet, with a flood level of 67 feet The Mississippi was at 19.1 feet in Alton at River Mile 203. The Illinois River also was well below flood level, measuring at 19.1 feet at Hardin. Flood stage for the river at Hardin is 25 feet. “The rivers are pretty low, but they could be a lot lower,” said Joan Stemler, water control manager with the Corps of Engineers in St. Louis. “The last several years have been wet and rainy and have kept river levels up, and this year was much drier.” Camino said the rivers still are navigable as long as a 9-foot-deep water channel can be maintained. “We need a 9-foot channel for the barges to ■ See RIVERS, Page A7 County officials all for end to etirement loophole lan expected to be overturned today “W e want to send By DEBORAH L. BATES Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE — A pension plan that will cost Madison County taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars more than expected should be overturned today, county officials say. Twenty members of the Madison County Legislative a clear and Committee signed a    .    ,    ,    ,    , resolution Monday to Unmistakable amendment of !he message granc luu Un t^OUgh YOU Evelyn Bowles, D-Edwardsville, said 0    .    «.    ii    „ she will present it to Springfield, the Illinois Senate Alan J. Dunstan on reforming pension plan inc luieyrdpn/uwin^ wr The bed of Wood River Creek, at the point where it spills into the Mississippi River, ground, was dried out and cracked Monday, indicating a lower-than-usual water level. today. Bowles said she expects the Senate to overturn the Elected County Officer’s Alternative  _ Benefit Program. “There seems to be a consensus that this is going to fly," she said at Monday morning’s meeting. Committee Chairman Alan J. Dunstan, D-Troy, said that while Senate Bill 1103 cannot ■ See LOOPHOLE, Page A7 Artist has unique take - ^ on area Page Cl Vol. 164, No. 305 - 50 cents GfiTs Basketball Alton tournament tips off Page Bl The outlook Sunny and cool; High 56, low 31 Page D8 Accounting Math scores really count Tuesday, November 16, 1999 Page DU www.thetelegraph.com at 0-1 site cauld start soon By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — One more piece of a financing package that will pay for renovations to the old Owens-Illinois Inc. glass plant is expected to be in place soon, perhaps allowing work to begin this year. The Southwestern Illinois Development Authority has agreed to Negotiations stall over who will pay for environmental clean-up j _     r„ n A    eluted    in    opt    SO    4    million,    but    th< issue $11.6 million in bonds to Alton Center Business Park LLC by Jan. I Some $9.9 million of the money will be used to finance the acquisition and environmental remediation of the 159-acre site off Broadway, rehabilitate two warehouses and develop a 100-acre industrial park. The remaining $1.7 million will be considered a debt reduction fund or line of credit if the business park misses bond payments — a requirement of Gov. George Ryan’s office Ryan must sign off on the bond sale to Union Planters Bank; former Gov Jim Edgar had approved a ‘moral obligation” for the bond issue in 1998 Originally, the developers were slated to get $9 4 million, but the SWIDA board raised the amount by $500,000, said Alan Ortbals, executive director of SWIDA. The deal between Owens-Illinois and purchasers Clayco Construction and Clark Properties Inc. — which comprise Alton Center Business Park LLC — of St Louis has been running months behind schedule. Negotiations reportedly have snagged over the parties not being able to agree who will pay for what environmental cleanups. Among contaminants on the site are heavy metals such as lead and arsenic, organic solvents and old gasoline and oil storage tanks The process of developing the site, Area/Illinois........A3,6 Business...........*     D1 Classifieds.........  *C7 Comics.............. 06 Editorial.............A4 Horoscope...........C    7 Ann Landers.........C7 Nation/ World........A18 Obituaries...........AS Balsters, Burton, Carrow, Curry, Flatt, Hampton, Hansel, Koehne, Landiss, Morgan, Smith Scoreboard.......... c2 Stocks.............. 02 Television............C7 Weather............ 08 Construction work on 20th Street extended by good weather Road will be ‘immensely safer’ N*    Milam ■ •' . :r v ’» tw WThe Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN ie lane of concrete has been poured on the raised portion of 20*^ Street or Belle Street, center, as shown Monday in Alton. Construction crews id they would continue to pour concrete as long as the good weather By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — Construction crews reached a milestone when they installed their first concrete segment of 20th Street, which is undergoing extensive reconstruction. “We were in T-shirts,” construction inspector Dale Watson of RCS Construction Inc. of Wood River said as work began Friday, pleased that the fall weather is allowing the project to continue through mid-November. “We’ve had a lot of very unseasonable weather,” Watson said Monday. “According to IDOT (Illinois Department of Transportation) specifications, this should be the last day to pour concrete. But with this good weather, we are going to continue.” Work began in August on the project; its two phases were expected to last 15 months. Watson, of Brighton, said the first phase should be completed next spring. The second phase involves improving 20th Street from Piasa Street to Alby Street. Even with the good time RCS is making on the roadwork, the first phase will not be ready for traffic until spring. “I doubt if we are going to make it this year; we have a lot of curb work to do,” Watson said. On Friday, the workers installed one lane of pavement that is 13 feet wide and 900 feet long on the west end of 20th Street-Madison Avenue near Swift Street, using a three-legged machine called a slip-form paver. On Monday, the crews installed a 300-foot length of one lane on Old Belle Street. Also Monday, RCS workers were setting up forms and preparing the subsurface for the upcoming paving of northbound Belle Street ■ See WORK, Page A7