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From the Surface Transportation Board, Office of Environmental Analysis:

SERVICE DATE - JUNE 10, 2016
 
 
SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD NOTICE STB Docket No. FD 35952
 
GREAT LAKES BASIN TRANSPORTATION, INC - AUTHORITY TO CONSTRUCT AND OPERATE A RAIL LINE IN INDIANA, ILLINOIS AND WISCONSIN
 
 
Decided: June 10, 2016
 
Notice of Extension of Comment Period for the Draft Scope of Study
 
The Surface Transportation Board's (Board) Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a Draft Scope of Study, and a notice of scoping meetings in the above-captioned proceeding on March 18, 2016 and published it in the Federal Register on the same day. In the NOI, OEA invited public comments on the Draft Scope of Study, potential alternative routes for the proposed rail line, and environmental issues and concerns by May 16, 2016. In response to a number of comments and the extensive scope of the proposed construction, OEA issued a Notice on April 8, 2016 to advise the public and all interested parties that the comment period would be extended until June 15, 2016. OEA has received a number of requests for a further extension of the comment period and is issuing today's Notice to advise the public and all interested parties that the comment period will be extended again an additional 30 days.
Comments are now due by July 15, 2016. No further extensions of time will be granted.
 
OEA will issue a Final Scope of Study for the EIS after the close of the scoping comment period. Any comments previously submitted on the NOI and Draft Scope of Study need not be resubmitted.
 


Dixon… State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) passed legislation in the Illinois House before the end of May to extend the process by which wind energy devices are assessed for property taxes, providing stability for both the industry and local taxing districts.

“I am glad to deliver a stable, predictable method that both local government and wind energy developers can use for the next five years,” said Rep. Demmer.  “This helps communities and businesses plan for the future. That is good for taxpayers and good for wind energy employees.”

Prior to the passage of SB 2612, the assessment process for wind energy devices was scheduled to sunset in tax year 2016.  Under the terms of the legislation, the assessment process will be extended five years, until 2021.

Wendy Ryerson, Chief County Assessment Officer for Lee County and past president of the Illinois Chief County Assessment Officers Association, reacted the passage of SB 2612, “the continuation of the state-wide assessment standard provided by SB 2612 offers stability for taxing districts and wind project owners, and gives assessment officials a proven methodology to follow.  It is a win-win for everyone.”

Rep. Demmer’s legislation was supported by the Illinois County Assessment Officers Association, the Fair Assessment Information Resources Committee, and the Illinois Farm Bureau.

Rep. Demmer can be contacted at his district office located at 1221 Currency Court, Rochelle, IL 61068 or by calling the office at (815) 561-3690.

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Dixon… State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) on Thursday voted “Yes” on SB 2038, which provides over $700 million in stopgap emergency funding to human services agencies in Illinois not currently covered by consent decrees and court orders.

“As a member of two Human Services Committees, I understand there are many urgent challenges facing the human services safety net.  I am pleased that we could build on the higher education stopgap funding, passed several weeks ago, and shift our focus to providing this emergency funding to human services as well,” said Rep. Demmer

Rep. Demmer went on to say we still need to address some, “critical emergency funding issues with our state prisons and other human services agencies.”

The appropriation had a dedicated funding source, mostly from the Commitment to Human Services Fund that was set up as part of the temporary income tax hike in 2010 and contains unspent money.  The funding is estimated to provide approximately 46% of the spending those programs would have encompassed this fiscal year.

“I appreciate the efforts that are being driven by rank-and-file members in the Illinois House and I hope we can next pass full-year FY 16 and FY 17 state budgets to get our state back on track,” continued Demmer.

Rep. Demmer can be contacted at his district office located at 1221 Currency Court, Rochelle, IL 61068 or by calling the office at (815) 561-3690.

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Dixon… State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) announced the official launch of his Summer Reading Club “Monster Reader” Program for grade school students who live within the 90th Illinois House District.  The program is offered to encourage summer reading among local youth and promote the lifelong benefits of literacy.  Free brochures are available for download on Rep. Demmer’s legislative website at tomdemmer.com or by calling his Rochelle District Office at (815) 561-3690.

Participating students are tasked with reading eight books over their summer break.  Books from local library programs are accepted; and books of 150 pages or more count as two books.  After a student completes his or her reading list, they must have a parent or guardian certify the reading was accomplished and return the signed form on the brochure to Rep. Demmer’s office by the deadline of Friday, July 29.