Watseka Council – Watseka Ford fail to agree on dealership pact
It's back to the drawing board for a dealership agreement between Watseka Ford and the Watseka City Council.
And the failed agreement leaves a mutual disappointment between the two sides.
At issue is the cost of a utilities infrastructure project that'll allow the Bell Holdings Group to develop a new auto dealership on Watseka'a east edge. An earlier agreement called for a sanitary sewer and storm water project for road construction on a10-acre site east of the Watseka Wal-Mart, on Route 24.
A 3-2 vote (Tuesday) by the city council was against the infrastructure project. Some council-members say they're not against the project, but instead against the cost.
The city has been working with Bell Holdings in arranging a sales tax agreement and a revolving loan fund to create a new Ford dealership. The proposal includes a 10-acre split of the property, for the dealership plus other business developments.
Proponents say it means city growth, jobs, and sales tax revenues.
No injuries or severe damage has been reported, but straight line winds knocked down tree limbs and power lines during a storm system that blew through Central Illinois Monday evening.
The storm activity continued into west-central parts of Indiana too. Flash flooding was reported.
The storms produced watches and warnings for most of the area around 5:30 p.m. lasting until around 9 pm. According to the National Weather Service, damage was scattered both north and south of Bloomington-Normal. Weather spotters reported high winds and some hail, in some spots.
Winds measured at 62 miles per hour were reported at the National Weather Service office just east of Lincoln. The Chicago area had wind gusts at 70 mph.
In Bloomington, winds gusted at 53 miles per hour at the Central Illinois Regional Airport.
A handful of counties had scattered power outages as well.
"Frequent" lightning is possible with a round of thunderstorms due tonight, and the American Red Cross is reminding us about lightning safety.
Most of Central Illinois is under a severe thunderstorm watch until 7 p.m. Those storms could produce wind, hail, "torrential" rainfall and cloud-to-ground lightning, the National Weather Service said.
Localized flash flooding is possible, added the McLean County Emergency Management Agency.
Lightning from storms last Friday are believed to be the cause of unrelated fires at a senior center and garage in Lincoln, and a barn in McLean.
Lightning strikes kill more people each year than do tornadoes, according to the Red Cross. If someone is struck by lightning, call 911, give first aid until help arrives and check for burns. Lightning strikes also can break bones or cause a loss of hearing or eyesight.
A line a thunderstorms swept across northern Illinois, bringing with it high winds and early reports of uprooted trees and downed power lines.
National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Bardou said Monday the storm produced gusts of between 60 and 70 miles per hour. He said the weather service received reports of trees down and grain bins being pushed over.
Power outages were reported in Chicago's western suburbs. However Commonwealth Edison, which supplies electricity to northeastern Illinois, didn't immediately have a figure for the number customers who've lost power.
Wind gusts of 67 miles per hour were reported at Chicago's Midway International Airport, causing flight delays.
The storm, which moved quickly across the region, caused the Metra commuter rail line to halt service on its Union Pacific north and northwest lines.