County board approves bridge projects, hears committee reports

Mackenzie Freund, Online Producer

Former Eastern employees have begun to seek outside help to further their skills so they can get new jobs according to a Coles County Board member at their meeting Tuesday in the Coles County Courthouse.

Nancy Purdy, a member of the Coles County Board, says she belongs to the Workforce Investment Board, which functions under the recently updated Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act, or WIOA.

Purdy also mentioned the C.E.F.S building, which originally stood for Coles, Effingham, Fayette and Shelby, now includes 14 counties, offering services to people who need it. This includes people who have dropped out of school or have been laid off, along with former incarcerated inmates and veterans.

The services provided by the agency include ways to develop skills, work on resumes and find other employment.

“From what I understand from our meeting, after the last layoff of 177 employees we apparently approached Eastern to offer services,” Purdy said. “I don’t know if they have their own program for their employees, I just know they opted not to be an employer taking our services.”

Purdy said some of the laid off employees have been coming to different programs individually, such as the dislocated workers center.

The board members also voted to reduce the ratio of the food to liquor sales at the Meadowview golf course in Mattoon.

Jan Eads, a county board member and member of the Liquor Control Committee, said the board had approved a liquor license for the golf course in December and now they requested the ratio be changed.

“They wanted to come back to us and say ‘your ratio of food to liquor is too high for the food, we don’t want to have to have that much food’,” Eads said. “We changed the ratio (tonight) to match what Charleston does.”

The Liquor Commission voted in favor of the request and sent a recommendation to the board to vote on as well. The board voted to pass the request, which will decrease the ratio amount from its current 60 percent to 51 percent.

The board also voted on two petitions from the Road and Bridge committee for the Seven Hickory Township and the East Oakland Township.

Mike Zuhone, the chairman for the committee, said the committee was also presented with a local agency agreement with federal participation allocated money for structure replacement in Paradise Township. The board voted to approve of the agreement.

Zuhone presented the petitions for Seven Hickory and East Oakland townships to the board to be voted on.

The project for Seven Hickory Township will be on what is known as North 14th Street two miles north of Charleston and will cost $7,800. The East Oakland project will be about a quarter mile northwest of Oakland and will cost $5,800. The county and the townships will be sharing the costs equally.


Mackenzie Freund can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]