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Council approves aldermanic appointment

January 16, 2019

ROCK FALLS – The City Council is back to full strength after the mayor’s appointment to fill a vacant seat in the 1st Ward was approved Tuesday.

William Wangelin, 66, will serve out the remainder of the term that doesn’t expire until April 2021. The opening was created by the resignation of George Logan Jr., which was effective Nov. 30.

Wangelin is a graduate of Manlius High School. He has lived in Rock Falls for 9 years. The new alderman was a technical writer and manager for Norco Fuel Services. He also worked in sales with the Dr Pepper Snapple group for 20 years.

A newcomer to local government, he welcomes the opportunity to serve now that he is retired.

“This is a new venture for me, but I’m really looking forward to it,” Wangelin said. “I love the community and want to help make it a better place to live.”

Wangelin volunteers with the Golden Meals program and is a member of the Optimist Club board. He and his wife, Darla, have two children, Shane and Kellie.

Public hearing

The meeting opened with a public hearing for the city’s U.S. EPA Brownfields Cleanup Grant application.

The city has applied for a $250,000 grant to clean up contamination at the Limestone building at 200 W. First St. The city would be required to kick in 20 percent, which along with the grant, would cover the estimated $300,000 needed for cleanup.

After voluntarily enrolling in the EPA cleanup program, the city unsuccessfully applied for two grants, each for $200,000, in 2018. With the help of its environmental consultants, Terracon. a comprehensive report and action plan was put together in May 2018 and approved by the EPA Aug. 20.

Mike Sterba was the only citizen to testify at the hearing, saying that he was wearing two hats.

“As a citizen, I agree that cleaning up this site is the right thing to do, and as former director of the park district, I know it affects the two parcels they own near the property,” Sterba said.

The Limestone property is near the lower dam and Bowman Park areas.

Alderman Rod Kleckler said he has been asked whether the cleanup was being done for a prospective developer.

“The grant funds can pick up some remediation costs and be a nice incentive for a developer, but this property needs to be cleaned up regardless of what anyone interested in the property does,” City Administrator Robbin Blackert said.

The EPA has been pushing harder for redevelopment prospects when looking at cleanup grant applications, so mentioning the YWCA of the Sauk Valley addressed a shortcoming in last year’s application, Blackert said.

Next meeting

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} The Rock Falls City Council next meets at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 5 at City Hall, 603 W. 10th St. 

The agendas will be posted at rockfalls61071.net and at City Hall. Call 815-622-1100 for more information.

The council meeting also airs live on Channel 5.

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