Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Hello Friends!

Here we are in July and it is a hot one! I know I don’t have to tell you that for sure! Please remember to check on your neighbors and pets in this heat. If there is a heat advisory in effect, the Bushnell Recreation and Cultural Center is our cooling center and is available for those individuals who need a break from the heat.

As I write this it is the day of our magnificent fireworks display. I know that it will be incredible and hope that you all were able to see the beautiful display and enjoy the time with your friends and family. We could not put on this display without the generous donations of so many! Thank you all so much! A special thank you to the Pendarvis family for the use of their property and Midwest Control for the use of their property to set off the fireworks. We could not have made this happen without the hard work of the City employees in mowing and setting up the area for us to use. You all rock!!

This past Saturday, the Reid Brewer Memorial Splash Park held their Family Fun Day. Even though it was a hot, hot, hot day – those that were in attendance had a great time! They raffled off a 1966 Ford Mustang with the winner announced that evening, Jeanne Clark from Henderson, Illinois. I know that Jim and Katie are so appreciative of everyone who helped pull this event together! Looking forward to the next fun activity! This Splash Park will be amazing!!

Your City Council met last night and discussed many items. Please see the minutes in this issue of the McDonough Democrat for details. We are so fortunate to have the space allowed us in the Democrat for the updating of the City Council – thank you so much to them for everything they do for our Community!

The Fall Festival is fast approaching! The dates are August 22-25. The parade will be held on Thursday as always. Please start thinking about your entries into the Arts and Crafts Show held at the Recreation Center-I know there are so many talented folks that we would love to see your creations! The Flea Market that was such a huge success will hopefully be back this year! The planning committee is meeting soon to get things going – can’t wait to see what they are bringing us this year!!

Art of A Social Nature is doing their Movie in the Park on the 14th – Coco will be on the big screen! Join us for a FIESTA night in East Park! Sandra's Authentic Food Truck will be on hand to sell tacos, elotes, aguas frescas and candy, and kids can make & take free craft projects starting at 7:00PM. Then set out your blankets or chairs for a free showing of the beautiful movie Coco at 8:30PM, which follows young Miguel on a journey to discover the love of family and the joy of music during Mexico's annual Day of the Dead celebration.

Do you have ideas about what Bushnell needs? We would love to hear what your thoughts are! And better yet – how can we achieve it!! Contact us and let us work together to make things work!!

Please remember the detour on Route 9 for the bridge repair work. The detour is Waco Road going north and it is a curvy road so slow driving is required! Please be mindful of your driving and courteous of those that live on the detour.

Our City Crews are going to start getting the roads ready in town that will be tar and chipped in August. This is a crucial part of the final product. Please be patient with them as they work hard to make our streets easier to maintain!

Stay Cool and Safe!


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

June 20 - Almost July!

Hello Friends!

Well here it is almost July!! How in the world did that happen? Time marches right on even when we are not ready for it to happen!

Please remember that the Bushnell Recreation Center is available as a “Cooling Station” in the event of heat advisory’s in our area. Please be that good neighbor during these times and check on the elderly and those with health concerns to make sure they are alright. And don’t forget about our 4-legged friends! They need to be in shade and water available always!

Our Community has some exciting events coming up and I hope you can attend some if not all of them!

·         On June 30th, there is a Family Fun Day and Car Raffle scheduled in the East Park! This event is being held to help raise funds for the Reid Brewer Splash Park! There will be a “Bags” tournament, inflatables to play on, food and the announcement of the car raffle winner at 7pm with music to follow. Tickets are still available for the car raffle – get yours today!! You can contact City Hall to purchase a ticket.

·         On July 3rd is our Annual Fireworks Display – the best around!! The Big Bang Boom starts at dusk. We will have glow sticks and necklaces available for purchase.

·         July 14th – Movie in the Park! Coco will be showing starting at dusk! A great family event for sure!

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, Vaughan and Bushnell will be moving in some of the equipment from the company they have merged with – Dasco, Inc. Davis Street will be temporarily closed during some of this move. They will also be moving out a press from one of the Norforge buildings. What a great way to close out June – lots of exciting movement upward in our Community!!

The bridge on Route 9 one mile west of Bushnell over the north branch of the Lamoine River will be closed for repairs starting July 2 through November 1. The detour route will be Waco Road. Please keep this in mind during your travels. These detours can be frustrating at times, but we are so thankful that the bridge will be repaired for our traveling safety!

I know that it is early – but start thinking about the Fall Festival!! Do you or a friend or family member have anything you want to enter in the Arts and Crafts Show? We would love to see what you have been up to all year – and you may be the best of the best!! What about an entry into the Parade? Are you a member of a group or organization and want to be involved? Are you a baker? The Pie and Cake Auction could really benefit from your talents! Keep the Festival in mind and get involved in our Community!

Keep Cool!



Happy June!!

Hard to believe we are almost half way through the year already! Before you know it, school will be starting and then the holidays! Please remember to take time and enjoy the summer days! I know that we will all be taking a few precious moments of rest and relaxation this summer; our hope is that you spend some of that time right here in Bushnell! The Bushnell Swimming pool is open full force with offerings of swimming lessons and good times splashing and playing in the cool water! I made many memories growing up in town at the pool – the best of times! Don’t forget the adult swim at noon – a chance to enjoy the water without all the “fun” splashing and hollering! Our Community is so lucky to have this gem – please patronize it often!

Did you know that the City must pay for all of the utilities that they use here in town? It is not just a given commodity to the City – we pay monthly for those services just like every citizen does for their own personal use. The City pays for 12 utility services and the Utility Company also pays for their services – 5 services for them. Monthly costs for all 17 services average out to be $11,816.48 per month! That is an annual cost last year of $141,797.75. I had no idea that this was how the utilities worked here in town! The properties that are covered include all City Offices, the Bushnell Recreation Center, the Police Department Complex, all City security lights, City street lights just to name a few! Just food for thought!

The Economic Development Committee of the City Council (Chaired by Alderman Steelman), is focusing on bringing back “life” to our downtown area. I am so excited at this prospect that I can’t tell you enough about it! We need to bring our town back to life and focusing on our downtown area is the best place to start! While we have quite a few ideas that will hopefully be implemented soon – we also rely on you, our Citizens, to give your input as well! Do you have any ideas/thoughts on what we can do to Build up Bushnell? Please contact us and let us know your thoughts! What would you like to see downtown? What have you seen in other communities that you would like to see in ours? No idea is too small or too big – tell us what you are thinking! Together – we will make a difference, I just know it!

This weekend is the first in a series of “Movies in the Park”! I hope you had the opportunity to attend, Guardians of the Galaxy 2! If you did not, there will be more opportunities coming up the 2nd Saturday of the month – try and make an appearance and enjoy some family fun! They are held in the East Park starting at sundown. July 14th will feature Coco – I cannot wait!

Upcoming events around town include Family Fun Day on June 30th in the East Park. This day is for the Reid Brewer Splash pad and is featuring a bags tournament and food to purchase as well as the drawing for a 1966 Ford Mustang. Tickets are still being sold for this gorgeous car – please see any member of the Team Reid project or contact City Hall. Our fantastic Fireworks display will be held on July 3rd. Please make plans to be somewhere to enjoy this fabulous light show! We will be selling glow sticks and necklaces at the display area and are hoping to have food vendors there to satisfy your cravings while you watch the show!

Be safe and have fun!


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Hello Friends!


May is over and we are jumping into June! Our Community has had a busy couple of weeks! It feels so good to have so much going on that is good in our Town!!  Summer is kicking off and I hope you have a safe and successful Summer! I know our Park District will be busy with baseball and softball games and our wonderful Community Pool will be up and splashing in fun! Please be a good patron of both of these wonderful zones of Bushnell’s Summer!


Our Graduates have had their pomp and circumstance and are moving right into their next chapter in their books of life! I would like to extend the Congratulations of the City of Bushnell to them all and to ask them to remember us as they move forward.  I know that they can’t wait to get out and spread their wings and move forward to bigger and better experiences. I ask them, however, to not forget their Hometown. We want you to come back and share those experiences with us! We want you to come back to your Hometown and help us make Bushnell stronger! Your ideas and your talents are what Bushnell is in desperate need of. Please don’t forget us! Remember that there is no place like home, and we can’t wait to have you back!


Vaughan and Bushnell has announced the acquisition of Dasco Pro out of Rockford, Illinois! WOW is the word for this fabulous new journey for Vaughan and Bushnell! Bushnell is so excited that Vaughan has acquired this new manufacturing line, Dasco Pro. With this new line brings the prospect of not only new jobs to our community, but also new residents in Bushnell. The city looks forward to working with Vaughan and Bushnell in making this transition to our community. We know that a lot of hard work has gone into this project, and we appreciate it tremendously. Congratulations Vaughan and Bushnell.


Jeep Blitz is over for this year as you read this. I know that it was a great experience and a total success! I hope that you were able to attend some of the incredible activities that they had planned!  I’m sure that they are busy planning for next year’s event and I know that I can’t wait to hear what they have in store for Jeep Blitz 4!


Your City Council has been busy! At our last meeting we approved the running route for the Backpack 5K that will take place during the Fall Festival on Saturday, August 25. And while I am mentioning the Fall Festival – I hope that you are making plans to enter your wonderful creations at the Arts and Crafts competition during the Festival! It is always such a joy to look at the terrific creations that our Community Members display! There will be more information about how you can enter in the upcoming issues of the Democrat.


The Council also approved the budget for 2018-2019. We are going to meet within the next month to review memberships that the City is a part of as well as watching our Capitol purchases. Monitoring the budget is as important of a task as approving it, and our Council is making every step in the positive direction to make sure we are spending it wisely.


BAMA (Bushnell Area Ministerial Association) is partnering with Genesis Garden to bring summer meals to our school aged children at the Community Christian Center. This will begin June 11 through August 10 from 11:45 to 12:30pm. This is a free service for children and teens under the age of 18. Please make sure that those in need of this service are aware of it! What an awesome program for our Community!


4th of July will be here in a blink of the eye!! Our Community is so blessed with one of the most premier showings of fireworks in the area! We will have our display on July 3rd with a rain date of July 5th. The boom boom will start at dusk! I hope to see you all out there oohing and ahhhing at this magnificent display highlighting our Freedom!


With the onset of summer, we have to be mindful of our Community members during the hot days. Please remember to check on the elderly as well as our four-legged friends! It is our responsibility to make sure they are taken care of as often times, they neglect themselves or don’t have the ability to take care of themselves.

Until next time!


Hello Friends-

Can you believe that May is halfway gone?? I fear that we will zip right through Summer and then Fall will be on our doorsteps again! (which is okay with me, Fall is my favorite season!!}


Your City Council has been busy with our City Budget, new Ordinances, and planning for our future within the City. While the Council struggles with many decisions, we also look to our Citizens for input as well as help in achieving the many goals we set for ourselves. Money is always a tight concern – as we are spending the money of our taxpayers and trying our best to manage it well. We are always interested in your ideas and concerns and I invite you to contact your Alderman or myself with what is on your mind. While social media is a wonderful invention, I prefer not to talk about City business on it. I encourage you to contact me at City Hall or send me an email. My email address is: rwilt311@gmail.com

The phone number at City Hall is 772-2521. While I do not currently have office hours, the Ladies at City Hall would be happy to take a message and I do promise to call you back.


We recently approved a contract to have our phone system within the City upgraded. This is a much needed improvement to help with our communication. I am so excited to get this upgrade as I will be able to have an actual phone line at my desk in the Council Chambers! We hope to have this upgrade done within the next couple of months. Phone systems at all the City properties are being upgraded, the Municipal Utilities Office, Recreation and Cultural Center, Police Department as well as the City Workers Shed and the Power Plant. Many thanks to Justin Griffith for all his hard work in getting this organized!


I had the honor to attend the DARE Graduation last week and shake the hands of each Graduate as they walked across the stage. Three young inspiring people read their winning essays – AMAZING!! Officer Hood spoke about the program and all that they do – what a task!! One thing Officer Hood didn’t mention was that the High School students who mentored the class, were in the very first class that Officer Hood instructed for DARE. What a great group of students and teachers we have in B-PC!! Our DARE program can always use money to keep this program going. If you can, please help by contributing to our DARE program. Any donations can be sent to City Hall with the notation of DARE program. Thanks in advance for any help you can give!


I attended an MDH Roundtable discussion in April that was moderated by Kenny Boyd, President and CEO of MDH. It was an enlightening overview of MDH and how it affects our Community. The next day it was announced that Mr. Boyd was leaving MDH for a position in another state. They will have a national search for a replacement.


Our May Play Days are coming up – and will be over by the time this is published. I’m sure that everyone attended and got their fix on a corn dog and the amazing rides provided by Boden Amusements! I will be speaking on Rotary Radio Days being held this year during May Play Days at the Depot – I hope I did okay!!


We have so many wonderful events coming up. We have Graduation – what a new adventure awaits these students who are our future!! Congratulations to them all!! Jeep Blitz at the end of the month – I hope you all get the opportunity to participate in some of the activities they have planned – even if you don’t have a Jeep! The Park and Shine will be uptown on the Square – I hear they are expecting a bigger crowd than ever before! There will also be a Jeep Parade on Saturday . They will be downtown around 5:45 going down West Main Street to Hail and Hail to East Main Street. They are expecting around 500 jeeps during the festivities with 50-100 participating in the Parade. Please take the time to check out Jeep Blitz!!


And finally, Mother’s Day will have passed by the time this is printed. However, I would like to take the opportunity to wish all Mother’s a Happy Mother’s Day! You all deserve the best!!




Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Hello Friends!                                                                                        April 18, 2018

Spring – what Spring?? Fingers crossed that we don’t jump right into Summer – but it’s Illinois, so all bets are off!!

I had the honor of touring one of the Mosaic facilities here in town last week. Our Community is so blessed to have them here! They provide such an invaluable service to their Clients. My hat is off to everyone involved with Mosaic – they are all so wonderful! 

Our Big Bang Breakfast was a smashing success!! So many thanks to those folks who contributed to our outstanding Fireworks!! City Clerk Tashina Bradford was the force behind this amazing event and amazing is what she pulled off!! We raised over $2100!! The food was outstanding – Linda Bradford, Tashina’s Mom and Marietta’s Village President, is one fabulous cook!! Mary Brown (Deputy City Clerk) and Tashina worked side by side with Linda cooking (starting at 4 am I might add!), Mike Ebbert was a man of many talents making sure all the details were attended to, Brent Glisan (Alderman Ward 2) stepped up and washed dishes all morning; Dawn Duckwiler (Utility Office) and Donna Coates (Alderman Ward 1) set up and tore down tables and chairs and many other tasks to make this Breakfast come off without a snag! We ran out of food – we have some good eaters here in Bushnell!! And then there were those folks who donated items for our Silent Auction – all great supporters of Bushnell!! I know we learned a lot and will make this an annual event!! Thanks again to those that supported us!! We still have a way to go to reach the $10,000 cost for the Fireworks. If you would like to donate, please contact City Hall to make a donation – every dollar counts!
Our Bushnell Clean-up days are fast approaching! The City will pick up brush as well that week. Please have your yard waste to the curb on Monday by noon as they City workers will be around Monday afternoon and Tuesday to pick up and dispose of your yard waste. Limbs no bigger than 6 inches in diameter are allowed. Also, if you have a neighbor that isn’t able to collect their yard waste – it would be a nice gesture if you asked to help them get it to the curb! Clean up days are the week of the 23rd, with yard waste Monday afternoon and Tuesday and other household items on the curb for your regular garbage pickup days – Thursday or Friday. 

On Friday, April 27th, The Bushnell Women’s Club will be hosting their 2nd Annual Card Party at the Bushnell Recreation Center from 6:30-9:00. Their fundraising this year is for playground equipment in the West Side Park. The cost is $10 per person. There will be a book sale, snacks and door prizes! Games that will be played include Pitch, Dominoes, Canasta, Court Whist and more! A Fabulous way to spend a Friday night and help support our Community!
The School year is starting to wind up in the next month – another year down for our youth – really our future! Award nights and programs and ending with Graduation for our Seniors. Please keep these people in your thoughts as they wrap up another school year! 

The Bushnell Park District will be holding their own Park Clean Up Day on Saturday, April 28th at 9 am. Please bring your own tools (rakes, hoes etc.) and trash bags! We need to get it all ready for the upcoming season!! We have a gorgeous VFW Park and need YOUR help!

I have spoken to two families that were originally from Bushnell but moved away  - they are moving back home! I love that they are coming back to our Community!! We need the growth and the life they will be bringing with them to our town! Please let me know if you know of someone new moving into Town. I would love the opportunity to Welcome them!
With growth also comes loss unfortunately. We have lost some wonderful people young and old from Bushnell.  Please keep these families in your thoughts as they take a journey that no one wants to travel. And to these families, please know that the contributions that your loved ones made to Bushnell, big or small, do not go unnoticed but often unspoken. Let me take this opportunity to thank you for sharing their lives with us.  
Be Kind Bushnell!



Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Wanted: Spring!!!!!

Where in the world is our Spring!! Seems like Mother Nature has other plans for us!! Snow on Easter? Does that mean *gasp* 7 more Sundays of snow?!?! I truly hope not!! Don’t let the weather get you down friends, I really think that Spring will be here before we know it!! Keep the faith!!


Our Community has been busy these past few weeks, and I know it’s just a taste of what is to come! I had the honor of being a judge at the Pool Chili Cookoff on the 24th of March. What fabulous cooks we have in our area!  The auction was a success as well! Our Community is so blessed to have the Community Pool and it is truly heartwarming to see us all pull together to keep it up and running!  So many thanks to all you put this together to make it run smoothly! The Easter Egg Hunts were well attended despite the cold weather. Thank you to Ludlum’s, The Park District & Lions Club, and the folks in Prairie City for hosting the hunts this year! There was a Fun Run for the John Martin Benefit that looked like it was a blast, and the main event-benefit will be this weekend – April 8. I know that the Community will pull together as we always do to help John and his family.


April 14th, the City will be hosting a Big Bang Breakfast at the Recreation and Cultural Center from 8-12. We will be serving all the delicious breakfast foods and treats as well as have a silent auction. This is to benefit our AMAZING fire works display on July 3rd. The cost of the fireworks is around $10,000, so we need all the help we can to pay for this fabulous show! Please come out to the Rec Center and fill your bellies up and support the City in the fireworks show! Tickets are adults - $6; children - $4 and those under 3 are free.  That evening, the Presbyterian Church is having a spaghetti supper at the CCC. What a great day – supporting your Community and not having to cook!! Please make plans to attend these events and get together with your friends and neighbors!


The City is in the process of updating our phone systems at City Hall, the Utility Office, Police Complex, Recreation Center, Power Plant and the Street and Alley Shed. We are meeting with a prospective company this week. Our systems are outdated and need the updating to keep up with the City business. This upgrade was in last years budget and we hope to have at least a partial upgrade done within the next month.


The Real Estate Committee is continuing work on cleaning up some properties in town. All avenues of funding for this work are being probed so we can get this done. Hopefully we will have a plan set in place soon.


Our Economic Development Committee has secured a webinar series with the help of the Chamber of Commerce in updating our downtown area. I watched the first of a series of webinars and it is going to be a wonderful tool for us to use to make our downtown a more appealing place for business and shoppers! Think about it, Bushnell has changed so much in the last 50 years, and we must change to make it a better place for our Community. Spending time and money in our hometown is essential to its growth. We need to attract out of town shoppers to keep us going – and I know that we can do it, but it must be a group effort! And by group effort, I am including all citizens in that job! Look for much more information in the future on how you can help make a difference! And though the emphasis is on the downtown area – we won’t leave out any businesses that are not downtown! We want to include all in this effort! Do you have ideas on what we can do? Please call City Hall and let us know! If you want to speak to me, leave me a message at City Hall and I will call you back!


Our Bushnell website is almost finished, and I can’t wait to share this incredible site with you all! It is going to have so much information on it and be so easy to navigate! I will let you know the minute it is live!! Jonny Miller and Jill Griffith are the creative minds that are making this happen, so many thanks to them for their hard work!


Stay positive friends!


Hello Friends! Here we are in July and it is a hot one! I know I don’t have to tell you that for sure! Please remember to check on yo...