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No longer anonymous

Whiteside County, township are donors to path project

MORRISON – The so-called anonymous donors to Morrison’s recreational path project apparently don’t want anonymity after all.

Last week, Morrison City Administrator Jim Wise told the City Council that two government entities would donate to the project but wanted to remain anonymous. He said they didn’t want to call attention to themselves.

At Tuesday’s Whiteside County Board meeting, Bill McGinn, D-Sterling, chairman of the board’s Public Works Committee, reported that the county would donate $6,000 to the project, which involves extending the existing path leading to Rockwood State Park.

Member Bud Thompson, R-Prophetstown, wondered whether that was one of the so-called anonymous donations.

Others said it must have been.

“There was no intent on our part to make it anonymous,” County Engineer Russ Renner. 

Member Sue Britt, D-Morrison, who attended the City Council meeting, said she thought it was “very weird” that Wise spoke of anonymous donations from government agencies. 

“He made it sound very mysterious, like they [agencies] didn’t want to give their names,” she said. 

According to county documents, the Mount Pleasant Township road commissioner was asked to donate labor and materials for the project and the township agreed to help. 

At its Nov. 20 meeting, the county’s Public Works Committee voted for the $6,000 donation. 

Last week, the City Council voted to go ahead with the project. The city must pay $256,000, but will be reimbursed for 80 percent of it through an Illinois Department of Natural Resources grant.

Friends of the Park has raised $59,085 for the project, members say.

Boards ups payments, but not for themselves

MORRISON – The Whiteside County Board on Tuesday voted to increase the county's mileage reimbursement rate for employees, but exempted board members.

By a 17-7 vote, the board decided to up the rate from 40 cents to 56.5 cents a mile, which is the IRS-approved rate.

The county reduced the rate a few years ago as part of its effort to cut spending. One union contract has allowed for the IRS-approved amount, while all other county personnel are reimbursed at 40 cents a mile.

Member Glenn Truesdell, D-Rock Falls, recommended against increasing the rate, saying the county shouldn't become looser with its spending just because it had more money in the bank.

Board Vice Chairman Tony Arduini, D-Rock Falls, agreed, saying no one has gone bankrupt at the current rate.

Member Bill Milby, D-Rock Falls, favored increasing the rate, saying the county should give the same amount to all employees.

Member Sue Britt, D-Morrison, proposed the county go to the 56.5 cent reimbursement, but exempt board members.

The members decided Britt's idea was the best way to handle the issue.

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