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City of Champaign

Champaign County health care group demands EPA look at pipeline

By Illinois Public Media News - A health care advocacy group is renewing its call on the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to investigate an underground pipeline in Champaign’s Fifth and Hill neighborhood.

Champaign County Health Care Consumers held a news conference Tuesday in the neighborhood, and cited a recent report that identified chemical waste in the pipeline know as “coal tar” as petroleum-based. The group’s executive director, Claudia Lennhoff, said the toxins are likely linked to a gas manufacturing plant that had been in the area from 1887 until 1953.

Dan Petrella/CU-CitizenAccess - Dan Petrella/CU-CitizenAccess - The 5th & Hill Neighborhood Rights Campaign believes this pipe once carried waste from the manfacutred-gas plant to Boneyard Creek. The city of Champaign plugged the pipe, but officials doubt it's connection to to the Ameren Illinois-owned site.
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Safe Haven residents seek other options

By Dan Petrella/CU CitizenAccess — Behind an annex art studio on the University of Illinois campus sits an 8-foot-by-8-foot wooden structure, lying on its back and filled with dead leaves and dirt. Not long ago, some hoped this small, cabin-like shelter would serve as a model for a new way to house some of the area’s homeless.

Dan Petrella/ Former Safe Haven member Valentino Plaza, 55, digs a hole Friday, Oct. 22, as part of a project to solve a flooding problem at Restoration Urban Ministries, 1213 Parkland Court, Champaign, where he now lives. Plaza was working on the project as part of the work hours required of all residents of Restoration's transitional housing program.
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Citizens to feel impact of cuts in Champaign city budget

CHAMPAIGN — The proposed city budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 has a line item that is easy to overlook but is worthy of attention.

The fiscal year 2010 budget, released Tuesday, projects spending in the general operating fund, the city´s main account, of $67.5 million.

That´s $2.3 million less in spending than was budgeted for the current fiscal year, and $900,000 less than the city actual expects to spend this year — after the city implemented a hiring freeze and other cost-saving measures last fall.

Reductions in city spending don´t come easily, according to city Finance Director Richard Schnuer. He said the city needs revenue growth of 5 percent annually just to stay even in terms of numbers of employees.

The City of Champaign/ City officials anticipate a decline in revenues next year due to the economy.
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