Local officials from Camanche and Fulton, Ill., got a chance to meet with state legislators to discuss local and regional issues last week in Washington, D.C.
Camanche City Administrator Tom Roth, Mayor Ken Fahlbeck, City Engineer Dan Solchenberger and Fulton Mayor Larry Russell joined Clinton officials and the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce for the Mayor’s Summit.
Camanche officials attended a presentation on suicide prevention. There were multiple suicides in Camanche in the early 2000s, many of which were youths, according to Roth. While there have not been many suicides more recently, a teen death in the winter caused the city concern.
“Over the holidays there was a fear that it could happen again,” Roth said.
The city of Camanche is planning on holding a town meeting on April 14 to address suicide prevention.
Many of the other major regional issues involved transportation and industry. The Clinton Railport was one of the most discussed topics, according to Roth. U.S. 30 was another project that concerned the area. The highway is frequented by trucks coming from the major industries in the area such as Archer Daniels Midland.
“Highway 30 is extremely important for grain delivery,” Russell said.
Projects like these cannot be funded as easily as they were in the past, according to Russell.
“We’re in the playing field in a post-earmark era,” Russell said. “ We must go through other channels.”
There was a big push for railways at the Summit, according to Russell. Fulton and surrounding Illinois communities have been looking for support to get an overpass built over the Union Pacific railroad tracks in Morrison, Ill. The train tracks separate the north side of the town from the south side and trains can hinder emergency services from getting to the people who need them due to the train traffic. The amount of vehicular traffic also warrants the need for an overpass, Russell said. Several trips to Springfield, Ill., and Chicago are expected.
“It’s a great value to go as a region,” Russell said. “It’s a great way to get support on local issues.”