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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - May 26, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836E TELEGRAM Grafton gifts History and crafts come together at I'o»A Vs Food Hoad outdoors Dining on the deck is perfect LaMarsh House I for Memorial Day entertaining Page D-l The outlook Skies will be mostly sunny. High 72; low 51 Page B-l Page IMVol. 164, No. 131—50 cents Homo run show Eagles beat Redbirds 10-9 Page C«1 Wednesday, May 26,1999 www.thetelegraph.comCasino gambling bill passes By STEVE WHITWORTH Telegraph staff writer The Illinois Senate’s approval Tuesday of a bill opening Cook County to riverboat casino gambling and allowing the gaming boats to dock permanently prompted a guardedly optimistic response from Alton Mayor Don Sandidge. “We’ve had our concerns because of the head tax that comes to us," Sandidge said. “We don’t know how that’s going to affect it.” The mayor’s concern centers on the tax of $1 per admission charged for patrons boarding the Belle. The boat has a new “cruise” every two hours — even if it is remaining docked because of bad weather or some other reason. If a patron wants to return to the boat for the next  :- cruise, the head tax is charged again. Under the provisions of the dockside gaming bill, patrons would pay admission only once per day. Sandidge said he had talked to Brenda Bauer, general manager of the Alton Belle, about his concerns. “She thought the revenues we would get from the gambling side would offset the loss from the head tax.” Sandidge said. “I hope she’s right. If not, it could hurt us. «Tf it will benefit lthe Belle, in the long run, hopefully, it will benefit us.” Don Sandidge mayor of Alton “If ii will benefit the Belle, in the long run, hopefully, it will benefit us.” Bauer issued a prepared statement Tuesday after the Senate approved the gambling bill. “Providing Governor (George) Ryan signs the legislation, the passage of the dockside bill, along with the Illinois FIRST economic package, could have a positive impact on the plans to revitalize the Alton waterfront,” Bauer’s statement said. "The Alton Belle Casino is pleased to partici- ■ See BILL, Page A-11 City of Alton Fiscal year 4/1/98 to 4/1/99 •notal overtime, Total payro SI.32 million SOURCE: City of Afton Telegraph Photo by JOHN BADMAN/Graphic by CRAIG WHITWORTH Department Fire Police Sewer treatment Street maintenance Animal control Sewer maintenance Overtime $26,005 $20,874 $2,662 $2,208 $1,220 $1,055 Total payroll $365,589 $450,905 $52,347 $86,021 $8,107 $32,792 Overtime pay is adding up Police, fire departments top list By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — City overtime expenses are rising this fiscal year, but officials say they are working to keep those costs better in line. According to figures from the city comptroller’s office, overtime in April 1999 totaled $57,435, which included three pay periods. In April 1998, with two pay periods, overtime costs were $46,517. Costs to the city actually were less in April 1998 than the overtime figure shows, however, because some of the police overtime expenses were reimbursed by the Alton Housing Authority, Mayor Don Sandidge said. He said the city gets “more than $100,000” yearly in reimbursements for police patrols in public housing units. On the other hand, costs of police who worked overtime this fiscal year will be higher once the Alton Policemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association Unit 14 approves a new contract with the city. The raises will be retroactive. Total payroll costs in April 1999 were $1.3 million, a jump from $802,892 in April 1998. Payroll costs for all of 1998 were $11.7 million. In part, the numbers reflect raises of 3.5 percent that most city workers received April I, at the beginning of fiscal year 1999. Sandidge said he began looking at causes of overtime costs last year. This year, he is trying to work with city departments to cut expenses where possible. “We’ve identified the overtime; it (previously) just came through as one line item,” Sandidge said. Now, he is trying to trim those expenses. “Some of it we have no control over contractually.” Sandidge said city officials have broken down the costs into expense categories, such as schools, special eyents, unexpected and unauthorized overtime. ■ See OVERTIME, Page A-11ONE DAY Qfo SS HH JOAtemporal AHI YI I -J -J Jo OM“Hll I ti Visit us at 6900 Manchester or 9009 Natural Bridge Road \    'I* rn Visit us at 6900 Manchester or 9009 Natural Bridge Road y \    -    J Mother gets ll years for allowing sex abuse By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - A South Roxana mother who allowed her husband to sexually abuse her two daughters, then threatened to kill the girls if they reported it, was sentenced Tuesday to ll years in prison. Lori A. Ramsey, 36, cried frequently during a 3V2-hour sentencing hearing in Madison County Circuit Court. She denied knowingly harming her daughters, although the girls and their therapist testified that the girls lived in fear. The longest possible prison term was the only thing that would mollify “their intense fear level that they’d be killed by their mother,” therapist ■ See MOTHER, Page A-11 Area/Illinois .A-3-10 Bulletin Board .A-6 Classifieds C-7 Comics.......D-5 Editorial ......A-4 Nation/world .A-10,12 Obituaries A-5 Becker, Bunyan, Craigmiles, Davis, Ducksworth, Foster, Gares, Grady, Hubbell, Kanallakan, Kennedy, Leady, Lowe, Moore, Riffey, Schobernd Television C-6 State offers loans to promote tourism By KERRY SMITH Telegraph staff writer EAST ALTON Businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals who are tourism promoters have a shot at part of $50 million in low-interest loans being offered by the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office. During a news conference Tuesday in the Great Rivers Museum in East Alton, State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka    announced “Experience Illinois,” her newest economic development initiative that will offer local businesses the chance to finance their tourism-related projects for 3 percent under prime rate through the bank of their choice. “This pilot program will encourage both public and private sector investment and will help this community continue to develop tourism initiatives that not only bring people to the area but keep them here overnight.” Topinka said applications for the money are being accepted beginning this week. The criteria for projects to be considered focus on three categories: historic preservation, tourism development and community enhancement. Under historic preservation, a potential project must be designated as a historical site or landmark by either the National Trust for Historic Preservation or by a certified local government entity. The project applicant must commit to maintaining the structure or site once the loan has been granted. Loan applications for this type of tourism project have a minimum level of funding of $25,000, with a maximum of $2 million. Tourism development project candidates must be able to demonstrate to the state that travelers will invest entertainment dollars locally ■ See LOANS, Page A-11 The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH Illinois State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, center, gets a view of the Melvin Price Locks and Dam site Tuesday with Doug Arnold of the Greater Alton/Twin Rivers Convention and Visitors Bureau and park ranger Julie Ziino outside the National Great Rivers Museum. ;

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