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Local

Board appoints animal control administrator, discusses Exelon

The Grundy County Board appointed Melissa Lewis of Seneca as the Animal Control Administrator.
The Grundy County Board appointed Melissa Lewis of Seneca as the Animal Control Administrator.

MORRIS – The Grundy County Board met Sept. 8 and appointed a new administrator to the Animal Control Department.

Melissa Lewis of Seneca was appointed as the new Animal Control administrator at a salary of $55,000. The appointment was approved unanimously, 15-0.

Earlier in the meeting, Grundy County Economic Development President and CEO Nancy Norton talked to the board about the situation involving the closing of Dresden Generating Station. Exelon announced Aug. 27 that it will close the nuclear plant in November 2021.

“We spoke with Exelon, and they did leave a window cracked, but just enough,” Norton said. “Should there be legislative action, they might leave Dresden open. We are trying to educate people via a website, savedresden.com. There is a petition with over 8,500 signatures.

“We are starting outreach by asking the community to help us reach out to the governor and legislators. We want to make sure people know the importance of Dresden for our whole region. We won’t stop until they tell us we have to. Please, go onto savedresden.com and sign the petition.”

Land Use Director Heidi Miller recommended three resolutions: a map amendment to change zoning along Old Stage Road from industrial to agricultural; an amendment to change zoning at the corner of Jugtown and Pine Bluff roads from industrial to residential; and an amendment to provide an extension to Goodfarm Solar until September 2021. All were unanimously approved.

Miller also reminded the board that the Land Use Committee is hosting a shredding event Sept. 17 at the Grundy County Administration Building, 1320 Union St. in Morris, and an e-waste event Sept. 19 at the Grundy County animal control building, 310 E. Dupont Road.

The Grundy Transit System introduced a policy that does not allow intoxicated persons to ride the bus, and the policy was unanimously approved. The GTS also changed its suspension policy to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, changing suspensions from being indefinite to a 30-day period. The language for mobility devices also was changed to state that any mobility device that can fit on the bus, such as walkers or canes, can be used on the bus lift.

City highway engineer Eric Gibson recommended that the board accept the bid by D Construction of $48,970 to repair three culverts on Braceville Road east of Tynan Road. The bid, which was the lowest of six, was approved unanimously.

County Clerk Kay Olson said her office has received more than 7,000 vote-by-mail applications, which is a record for the county. She said that ballots will be sent out Oct. 22. She also said early voting will start Sept. 24 at the Grundy County Courthouse and will have expanded hours. She also noted that the Grundy Transit System will provide rides for people who want to vote early and have no means of getting to the courthouse. She also said there will be a drop box for vote-by-mail ballots placed at the west entrance of the courthouse. The drop box will be emptied twice a day and on weekends.

The board also approved a wage increase of 2% for nonunion employees.

“This is something we have been able to do for the last couple of years,” Grundy County Board Chairman Chris Balkema said. “We are pleased to be able to do it again.”

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