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Alton Telegraph: Tuesday, November 16, 1999 - Page 1

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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   

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