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Feature Stories for October 26, 2000

The STAR is distributed every Thursday.  
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Five-year plan ticket to more project funds

Sean McNab
Star Staff Writer

WINFIELD - With needed ways in which to garner governmental grant monies, Lehman Landscaping presented a possible avenue to the town with the implementation of a five-year park master plan. 
     Representing Lehman Landscaping, Charles Lehman explained that the main benefit of the five-year plan was the possibilities of alternative revenues accrued for the town. 
     "In order to receive certain state and federal funding, a five-year master plan needs to be passed by the Department of Natural Resources and then placed in the town." 
     The major components of the plan are to look at the demographics within the town, look at the park and recreational facilities already in the town, and look at the recreational standards mandated by the state. 
     "Presently there are requirements by state as to the number of parks and softball fields that need to be developed on a per capita basis. With our research showing that approximately 116 new households will move into your town in each of the next five years, a definite plan will need to be created in order to compensate for this," added Lehman. 
     Through the cooperation of Town Park Committee Chairman Terry Willie, Lehman expects to get the needed input for the master plan through community input, surveys and focus groups. 
     "Our most valuable resource will be the interviews conducted in focus groups with various stakeholders in the community." 
     Lehman's involvement in the process will cost the town between $5,000 and $10,000, depending whether the town limits or gives him a major role in the data gathering process. 
     The expected draft on the plan is set for Jan. 15, 2001 with the documentation formally due on Apr. 15, 2001. 


Water issue problem gets paper trail
Lowell residents will receive Water Filter Request forms in the mail

Kathie Godfrey 
Star Correspondent

LOWELL - Residents with rusty water problems are being asked to register their complaints on paper this week so officials can gauge the scope of the water filter relief program proposed by the council earlier this month. 
    Tucked inside the latest issue of Lowell's quarterly newsletter, residents will find a Water Filter Request Form that they are being asked to fill out and return to the town hall. 
    Director of Administration Rick Dal Corobbo said so far 20 request forms have been received from homes on Arrowhead, West Hickory, Lincoln, Burnham, Fremont and Castle. "We'll wait until our next meeting for the total figures, he said. 
    Dal Corobbo said the town has kept its promise to provide replacement cartridges for filter systems supplied to residents of Hilltop Drive and Hilltop Court back in 1996 and 1997. 
    "So far we have supplied four free cartridges on request to residents in the Hilltop subdivision," he said, adding that some recipients of filter systems said they were forced to change their filter cartridges every "couple of days." 
    Town Council President Bob Hatch (R-3rd), said the council would choose from four low quotes received for the Omni-25 whole house filtration system and cartridges, including one from Tri-Creek Lumber and Hardware. Dal Corobbo recommended the town stay with the same system brand used in the earlier filter project to simplify the staff efforts to implement the new program. 
    Apache Drive resident Terry Osburn asked whether the cost of the proposed program could result in another water rate increase. 


   Hatch promised the program would not affect the water bills. Another Apache Drive resident also complained about the town's recent water billing error which resulted in an additional bill being sent to residents for their summer usage. 
    "How did this change occur?" Pat Pensinger asked the council. 
    Town Attorney John Kopack said some residents had been undercharged because of a computer programming malfunction and the corrected bills were sent to rectify the situation. 
    "The bottom line is, the water was used and residents have been charged for it at the correct rate," Hatch explained. 
    In other business, Lake County Surveyor George van Til presented the council with the county's proposal for the Cedar Creek Drainage and Beautification Project for downtown Lowell. 
    Van Til said the basic project would use $15,000 in county funds to remove debris from the ditch, control soilbank erosion and re-establish the creek's retaining wall, but added that a park could be established on the property with the addition of tree and shrub plantings, benches, adjoining walkways and a fountain for no more than $70,000. 
    Van Till explained that the county has a 75-foot easement on either side of the creek which prohibits any building on the site. 
    He said Lowell's American Legion, which was grandfathered in before the easement was established, was currently for sale and suggested the town approach the veterans with a plan for downtown park development on the property. 


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