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Local

Rock Falls mayor’s first State of City address Tuesday

Those who helped during water shutdown will be thanked

Rock Falls Mayor Bill Wescott speaks during a news conference Feb. 14.
Rock Falls Mayor Bill Wescott speaks during a news conference Feb. 14.

ROCK FALLS – During his first State of the City address Tuesday at the City Council meeting, Mayor Bill Wescott will publicly thank many of those who lent a hand during the city’s recent water and sewer crisis.

About 35 invitations were sent to individuals and groups who stepped up during the emergency period that started when pumps at the lift station failed Feb. 13, forcing the city to shut down its water supply.

A broad range of groups was invited to come to City Hall for the ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“Invitations were sent out to everyone from the Whiteside County Air Patrol to the Rock Falls Middle School wrestling team,” City Clerk Eric Arduini said.

During the first 12 hours of the infrastructure failure, city officials thought the situation could last at least 4 or 5 days, Wescott said. But many people in the community were equal to the challenge – from those who worked on the lift station to those who helped to make sure residents had what they needed during the emergency.

“This is just a way to give formal recognition and present certificates expressing our gratitude to as many people as we can get here,” Wescott said. “There were people who worked 35 to 40 hours straight to restore power at the lift station and water service.”

The Rock Falls Fire Department also will be recognized for its help in the evacuation of Civic Plaza II after a water main break there on Jan. 4.

Wescott was sworn in as mayor May 7 of last year, succeeding David Blanton, who had served in that position for 8 years. Wescott will recap the first year of his administration in his State of the City address, which will be included in the Mayor’s Report portion of the meeting.

Also at the meeting, Wescott will name a mayor pro tem before he and City Administrator Robbin Blackert attend a 4-day utility management conference in Washington.

Meeting Tuesday

The Rock Falls City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall, 603 W. 10th St. 

Agendas will be posted at www.rockfalls61071.com and at City Hall.

Call 815-622-1100 for more information.

The City Council meeting also can be viewed live on Channel 5.

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