The extreme heat will not stop Warsaw (IL) from celebrating its history this weekend.
The small town in western Hancock County came to be in 1812. It was a settlement between Fort Edwards and Fort Johnson.
Bicentennial Committee Chairman Joe Clarke says after more than 35 years in Warsaw, he could not imagine living anywhere else.
“I really enjoy the camaraderie of people there,” says Clarke. “You go downtown and everyone knows who you are and they are friendly. It is a very nice community to live in.”
The Warsaw School District’s next superintendent has plenty of ties to the community.
The Warsaw School Board and Matt Runge have reached an agreement on a contract that would have him on the job by July 1. His base pay is expected to be about $105,000.
Runge currently serves as the superintendent of the Liberty School District near Quincy.
He is no stranger to Warsaw as his wife teaches there and his children have either graduated from Warsaw or are still enrolled in the district.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to compensate Warsaw for some of the money it paid to repair its water treatment plant after it was badly damaged by the 2008 flood.
At the time, the city expected to be reimbursed 100% for the repairs. FEMA later decided the city was due 75% of the repair costs because the county didn't meet its poverty guidelines.
City finances were strained to come up with the $285,000. The city has tried to recoup that money ever since.
County Board Chairman said FEMA has agreed to pay two-thirds of the city's share.
The Mississippi River flood of 2008 heavily damaged the water treatment plant in Warsaw. At the time, FEMA told the city it would cover the the entire cost of getting the plant back online.
Hancock County Board Chairman David Walker said FEMA did not fulfill the promise. Instead, it paid 75% of the cost. That left the city to come up with $265,000 to get the plant running again.
Walker said that was a hardship.
He said, “They had to take it out of their own funds. Every city, every county, every municipality is hurting on the amount of money that they have.”
City leaders in Warsaw say two new taxes will result in better streets.
The city council voted, this week, to establish a pair of utility taxes.
One of the taxes would be on the electricity delivered by Ameren Illinois.
The ordinance establishes a sliding scale for residential or business use within the city.
The other tax would be on natural gas and its delivery from Nicor.
Instead of a sliding scale, residents and businesses would be charged a 5% tax.