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Manteno officials briefed on weather issues

February 7, 2019

MANTENO — Manteno escaped largely unscathed through last week’s cold spell, other than a couple water main breaks and a disturbance at the city’s community center, officials said Monday.

“All in all, with the very severe weather we had, we are fortunate that we didn’t have a lot of incidents,” Mayor Tim Nugent told the village board at its regular meeting.

Public Works Superintendent Jim Hanley reported there were few problems in plowing roads, other than typical equipment issues.

Asked about mailboxes hit by snowplows, Hanley said about two or three were struck in the last few weeks.

The mayor said such collisions are expected “when snowplow drivers are driving 25 mph and pushing thousands of pounds of snow and it’s below zero out.”

“The mailboxes are brittle as it is. It’s not unusual that they are going to snap. With that in mind, we replace those. Call village hall. You get a temporary one for now, and then, we replace them closest to what they were before,” Nugent said.

Hanley confirmed that the village replaces those that it directly hits, but not those that the movement of snow damages.

“We don’t replace them all,” he said. “There are some old mailboxes in town. It wouldn’t take more than a stiff breeze to knock them down.”

He said the village received 200 tons of salt this season, with 175 tons used up so far. The village plans to make another purchase.

As for water issues, Hanley reported there were two main breaks last week — one on U.S. 45/52 west of town and the other on Marquette Drive.

Aqua Illinois, a private company, owns the village’s water system.

When temperatures plunge, the village makes available a warming center in the Leo Hassett Community Center, 211 N. Main St. Last week, a couple people caused a disturbance, getting sick and leaving the mess, Nugent said.

In an interview Tuesday, village administrator Chris LaRocque said a couple people at the warming center got sick overnight, causing damage to the center. Police were called because it was thought that the people might have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he said.

The warming center drew three people last week, LaRocque said.

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