By: Braunwyn Feil
On the morning of April 3, eleven-year old “J.C.” Sells and his younger brother were home alone when a burglar attempted to enter their house. J.C picked up the phone, calmly called 911, and proceeded to provide important information to dispatchers while comforting his younger brother during the incident. At one point, J.C. could be heard on the 911 tape telling his brother “The cops are here buddy, it’s going to be okay.” The bravery and composure that Sells displayed during that 911 call caught the attention of the Chief of Police and Mayor of Monmouth, and a Citizen Commendation was announced at this month’s Council meeting.
After Police Chief Bill Feithen replayed the 911 dispatch tape for the audience and council.
Mayor Rod Davies presented Sells with the Citizen Commendation certificate, in “recognition of outstanding bravery in the course of a residential burglary in progress.” It was a dramatic moment in what otherwise was a routine city council meeting.
The meeting continued with the approval of the 2013 Budget and the City Administrative report on the Enterprise Zone bill. City Administrator, Eric Hanson, reported about his meeting with an Illinois Senate Committee last week where enterprise zones were the main focus. “Our zones are set to expire in 2015,” Hanson explained. He talked about the Senate Bill 3688, which gives the right to further extend those zones. In the last five years, activity from our enterprise zones have resulted in 42.5 million dollars worth of development and 3,000 jobs being created or retained, which is one third of the Monmouth population. Enterprise zones are not found everywhere, and some are set to expire as early as 2013.
“If we did not have an enterprise zone, it’d be safe to say many of those things would not have happened. They quite simply are the most important economic development tools that we have,” Hanson said.
The bill “will likely pass, but it won’t pass easy,”
Hanson said. The state of Illinois currently owes four months of revenue to Springfield, with the state ultimately behind on bills to us. Enterprise zones are the “best tool we have in the city,” Hanson encouraged.