CLINTON - DeWitt County's Operation Homefront wants signs in and around Clinton to honor DeWitt County residents serving in the Armed Forces.
Last week, Operation Homefront officials Debbie Douglas and Dave LaRue asked the City Council for help with installation of the signs once the project is completed.
Douglas said about 150 DeWitt County residents are serving overseas and the local volunteer organization would like to erect signs bearing their names. Once a soldier returns from duty, the sign would be theirs to keep.
"We feel it's a terrific way to honor those that are serving," Douglas said. "It has been very successful in other communities."
LaRue said the organization plans to go to local clubs and organizations to ask for donations to help pay for the cost of the signs.
The signs would be located on AmerGen utility poles. The organization has the approval of the utility company to display the signs, but the city's crews would be in charge of installation.
"Regardless of your feelings about this conflict, these are our kids," Clinton Mayor Ed Wollett said. "As mayor, I will help you."
Public Properties Commissioner John Wise also offered his support.
"These aren't only our kids, but these are great kids," Wise said. "They are terrific. They are the best we have. They don't have to go. They volunteered and you've also got my help and support."
The group has been compiling names of those serving from DeWitt County and say the list is always changing with additions and deletions. A date for the signs' completion has not been announced.
Water bills lost in mail
Wise said some Clinton residents have reported lost water bills in recent months. The bills are mailed on the last Friday of every month and residents should receive them within one or two days following the mailings.
If residents don't receive the bills in a timely fashion, they should contact the water department office to report the problem, Wise said.
United Way distributes funds
The board of directors for United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois approved the distribution of $47,000 to 10 non-profit organizations in DeWitt County.
The biggest benefactor was the Clinton YMCA, which received $10,000. Peace Meals and the Friendship Center each received $6,000. Also receiving funds were the Central Illinois Economic Development Corporation, American Red Cross, DeWitt County Assistance Exchange, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, The Salvation Army, Dove and the Child Advocacy Center.