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$200K needed to improve Tiskilwa's levies

New FEMA regulations require taller, wider levies

TISKILWA — In order to have the current levies that are protecting Tiskilwa from flooding, the Tiskilwa Village Board learned at its meeting Tuesday, Sept. 12, that it will cost at least $200,000 to upgrade these levies to meet new federal regulations.

Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) representatives told village officials at a meeting recently that the levies built in the early 1970s need to be taller and wider than they are currently to comply with the agency’s new regulations.

The current levies were built to FEMA regulations almost 50 years ago, but since then those regulations have been changed in order for the levies to be certified by FEMA.

Jack Kusek, village engineer, suggested to village board members that he could submit an elevation certificate to FEMA for Tiskilwa homes on East Main Street across the railroad tracks that are currently in the flood plain as data. This data would be cheaper than reconstructing the levies as required by FEMA.

Village board president Randy Philhower estimated there are 20-plus homes in this floodplain area that haven’t been flooded since the levies were constructed. However, FEMA officials won’t accept the fact that the levies have protected these homes and other homes in the village from being flooded since they were built in the agency’s re-certification of the levies.

In other business:

• Village board members approved buying a lift station for North Galena Street for $18,823 from Eternal Energy of Kewanee, the same company the village bought a lift station from last year for East Main Street.

• The board decided against signing a contract with the Bureau County Animal Control to provide dog catching services that would charge the village $150 to catch a dog during the day and $200 at night and on the weekends.

Philhower said he didn’t see any merit in signing the contract. The village had to recently call the dog catcher to capture several dogs that had done some damage in Tiskilwa, but he said this was the first time in at least 15 years that the village needed these services.

• Approved an agreement to exchange 40 hours of patrol from Jim Shipp, the village’s part-time officer, for a village-owned handgun instead of Shipp paying cash for the gun.

• Approved sponsoring the village’s Halloween Parade and set a meeting at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, for all village board members to tour the village properties.

• Board members voted 4-1 to keep Julie Lewis as a village employee with board member Amy Jo Kline casting the sole “no” vote. In June, board members voted to extend Lewis’ initial three-month probationary period for another three months to September.

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