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  • Evan Booker, Officer Clay McDonnough and his K-9 partner, Jari Booker, Lora Booker and Austin Booker pose together at the K-9 officer’s introduction ceremony.
    K-9 Named for Former Chief Booker

    Stephanie Waller
    Friday, September 2, 2016

    The Du Quoin City Council and attendees at the August 22 meeting welcomed the Du Quoin Police Department’s newest four legged officer, Jari Booker.

    “Where as it is only appropriate that the first Police K-9 be named after a man who both faithfully served the people of Du Quoin but who also faithfully cared for the homeless and less fortunate four legged citizens of this city,” said Du Quoin Chief of Police Jamie Ellermeyer. Ellermeyer continued by saying, “Booker as he will be called gets his name from retired Chief of Police James L. Booker who served on the Du Quoin Police Force from 1977 where he was hired as a officer then being promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1985, promoted to Assistant Chief of Police in 2001 and was appointed to Chief of Police in 2004 until he retired in 2007. Chief Booker continued to work as a part time officer until his untimely passing on November 5, 2007. Where as during his thirty years of service to the people of Du Quoin, those who knew Chief Booker knew that his compassion and empathy for the less fortunate was not limited to his fellow man but also extended to many cats and dogs that he came into contact with where as Chief Booker was known to be a faithful supporter of the Perry County Humane Society and countless other animal welfare charities. It was well known that Chief Booker took it upon himself to feed and attempt to find homes for homeless cats and dogs which he could encounter in the discharge of his duties. For years Chief booker cherished the hope of establishing a K-9 Unit for the Du Quoin Police Department where as almost ten years after his passing Chief Booker’s dream of a K-9 Unit for the Du Quoin Police Department has become a reality. Present during the meeting and standing with Chief Ellermeyer was Chief Booker’s wife Laura and son’s Evan and Austin. Laura thanked the council and the police department saying “ Jim would have been so proud, he brought so many dogs and cats home that was his passion.”

    Guests present were Kevin McCrary and Tom Murray who presented a $500 check to Mayor Alongi on behalf of the Knights of Columbus for the Pool Restoration fund.

    In other resolutions the council gave final approval of the condemnation of property located at 513 W. Main Street. Health Officer Ron Darnell was present to answer questions. Commissioner Whitley asked if the property was salvageable. Darnell said it was questionable, sighting that the roof is caving in, sheet rock is falling off the ceiling and there is mold present. Darnell went on to say there had been a recent change in ownership and hopefully they will work with the city to get the issue resolved, meaning the owners would need to decide to either demolish or renovate. Darnell said once a property has been condemned, it will have to go through a inspection process as far as electrical and plumbing. The owner will have to look at cost to see if it’s worth turning the property around or if it will be cheaper to demolish it. Final approval was given in the renaming of the Pool to the Swimming Indians Pool with a minor correction to add that it was at the Robert M. Armstrong Complex.

    During public agenda a decision was made to table discussion on the possible sale of property at 211 W. Park St. for a later date.

    Final approval was given on an ordinance authorizing entry into an intergovernmental agreement between the City Of Du Quoin and the Illinois Comptroller’s Office to become a member of the Local Debt Recovery Program (LDRP). An ordinance amending ordinance 23-4-2 (H) providing for the including of cell phone usage in “duty of due care” classification was given final approval. Mayor Alongi explained that this meant the city would no longer be writing this violation on a state ordinance but rather on a city ordinance. The city of Du Quoin will find more funding from those fines instead of writing it on a state violation. Put on public display was an ordinance authorizing entry into Small Cell Master License agreement.

    Commissioner Whitley reported to the council that the sewer lagoon slope is starting to sag and there are a couple options they will need to discuss at a later date. He also reported that the water meters were going along as planned and four are in so far. Commissioner Whitley also told the council that grant has been submitted that may cover ninety percent of the cost to fix the Grant Way lift station. On a final note Whitley reported that the outside walls of the pool have already been shored up. Mayor Alongi reported that the City had just received a $7,000 for mine subsidence project. Alongi also told the council that he had reached an agreement with the new laundry mat next door to city hall in regards to the city purchasing the back lot behind the laundry mat for $4,900 with some TIF money. Mayor Alongi said this would become the employee parking lot and have a handicap slope. Mayor Alongi expressed that the employee parking now is something he has always considered should be customer parking. Lastly Mayor Alongi reported that they received a letter from the State Of Illinois last week because a bill went through two fiscal years and wasn’t submitted on time and now they will have to file a document through the Court of Claims to get it paid. Mayor Alongi explained that the bill is through the Illinois Department of Agriculture and basically sat out at the fairgrounds after it was signed for ten months and went through two fiscal years. Alongi said they thought the bill had already been processed and put in computer. Alongi stated that the city is still owed $58,000 with $32,000 of it sewage pump on the fair grounds. He does report that the city is getting a little bit of money from the boot camp and the State Police seem to be caught up. The next meeting will be September 12 at 6 p.m.

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