Rockton Village swears in trustees, road project started


Trustee Dan Baumgartner and newly elected trustee Dave Winters were sworn in at a Rockton Village Board meeting on Tuesday evening, May 2, 2023. Photo: Marianne Mueller

As a result of the April 4, 2023 election, Rockton Village trustee Dan Baumgartner and newly elected trustee Dave Winters were sworn in by Rockton Village Clerk Christina Stewart on Tuesday, May 2, 2023. Trustee Jodi May also won her bid for reelection but was unable to attend the meeting.

Dan Baumgartner is serving his first full term as a trustee. Jodi May is in her third term.

Dave Winters had served four previous terms as a Rockton Village trustee - a total of 16 years - and now starting his fifth term.

Trustee Dave Winters will work on the Public Safety and Legal and Budget committees. Trustee Scott Danielson remains on Community Development. Trustee Jodi May will continue to oversee Water, Sewer and Garbage. Trustee Justin York will oversee Administration, trustee Arianne Honkamp will oversee Buildings and Parks, and trustee Baumgartner will oversee Streets and Walks. Trustees May and Danielson will be co-chairs of the Public Works committee.

Village President John Peterson said that he would like to start having a guest speaker at Village meetings. One example might be an update on schools.

Trustee York shared the Rockton Police Department activity summary from the dates of April 16-30. He said, “There were 49 warnings given, 65 tickets issued, seven accidents- one with an injury - and 13 criminal arrests.”

Village President Peterson read a “Poppy Proclamation.” Every year members of the Rockton American Legion Auxiliary offer poppies to the public.

The poppy flourished in European cemeteries and fields after World War I.  From the dirt and the mud, a beautiful poppy grew. The red poppy became a symbol of the blood shed during battle, following the publication of the poem In Flanders Fields. It was written by Canadian Lt. Col. John McCrae, M.D, while he was serving on the front lines. Scientists attributed the growth to soils in France and Belgium becoming enriched with lime from the rubble left by the war.

On September 27, 1920, the poppy became the official flower of the American Legion family to memorialize the more than 116,000 American soldiers who fought and died during the war. In 1924, distribution of poppies became a national program of the American Legion.

Rockton's American Legion Auxiliary gives out poppies each year in exchange for a possible donation to be used to further help support all veterans. The purpose of the poppy program is to elevate awareness and respect for our veterans by educating about its significance.

Millions of poppies are produced by our disabled veterans to help them retrain and to gain strength and mental sharpness.

The Village Board approved distribution of poppies on May 26 and 27, and on June 2 and 3, at Blackhawk and Main Street from 9 a.m. until noon and from 1-4 p.m.

Work began on street projects on May 10, as DPI Inc. is reconstructing Center Street from Mechanic to Union/Rockton Road in addition to Chapel Street from Center to Prairie. Included in the job is complete removal of the existing roadway and reconstructing roads with a new alignment that includes curb and gutter, storm sewer, and sidewalk ramp improvements. These sections of Center and Chapel St. will be closed to thru traffic for the duration of construction, but residents will have access to their homes.

Residents within the project limits of Center and Chapel St. have been notified that any landscaping, decorations or sprinkler systems in the right of way are at risk of being damaged. Residents are being asked to remove or relocate any and all features that you would like to keep. DPI Inc. and the Village hold no responsibility for damage to yard features or equipment that is within the Village Right of Way during construction.

Work is to be performed from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Construction is estimated to take up to eight weeks. This project is being completed from “Rebuild Illinois” funds.

Any residents who have questions may call C.E.S. Inc., the civil engineers for the project, at 815-547-8435.

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