On May 10, 2022 the Illinois Education Association - NEA (Region 4, Edwardsville) presented the 'Friend of Education Award' to Lt. Tim Buehler, D.A.R.E. Officer with the New Athens Police Department. New Athens Teacher's Association teachers Chris Bierman and Cathy Gaby were the nominators. The Awards Banquet was held at The Bullpen Bar & Grill in New Athens. Other award recipients were from: Sparta, Coulterville, Freeburg, Columbia, Centralia, Waterloo, Okawville and Red Bud. We are so proud of the dedication Lt. Buehler has to our youth and community. Congratulations!
The Village of New Athens is accepting proposals for the leasing, operation and management of the Marina venue on the Kaskaskia river. Please submit a detailed proposal to the Village Hall by May 31, 2022. A link to the Request for Information is available here: RFI Marina 2022.pdf
The HIGHLY anticipated New Athens Homecoming is BACK July 15th & 16th! The parade will be Saturday the 16th at 5:00pm. If you would like to register a float, please contact Village Hall at 618-475-2144. We cannot wait to see you there!
Energy Assistance Assessment Program
Village Clerk Amy Benwell and Superintendent of Public Works Chris Remick have reached out to the University of Illinois Sustainable Technology Center requesting membership in their Energy Assistance Assessment Program. Bill Auksel, Technical Assistance Engineer, Sustainability met with Amy and Chris on Tuesday, May 3rd to tour the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) to identify opportunities to participate in the Ameren Energy Efficiency program. Amy is working with Andrea Reiff, Ameren Illinois in preparing for the fall grant program. The grants will offer incentives, that will reduce the cost, of investments in energy saving devices. The WWTP requires a substantial amount of electricity, therefore, energy saving devices would be of real value to the village.
I am grateful for all the professionalism and work done by Amy and Chris along with Debby Politsch, village board member and chairman of the Grants Committee and the other active village board members.They are all true public servants who have the best interest of the citizens as their goal in all their activities.
New Athens Marina Arbor Day Celebration a Success
Over thirty volunteers planted 39 trees at the Marina Saturday, April 30 in celebration of National Arbor Day. The Heartland Conservancy donated the trees and Craig Weber, local landscaping business owner, donated his expertise and the use of his auger. Volunteers consisted of Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, FFA members, NA District Library, their leaders and teachers, village board trustees and employees.
The day started rainy and windy but turned out nice. Mayor Joe Behnken kicked off the celebration with a speech thanking the community for coming out and their dedication to the village. Festivities included face painting by local artist and Village Clerk, Amy Benwell and light refreshments. Eleven more trees are going to be planted at Okaw Valley Park. Mayor Joe Behnken stated “It was an inspirational, joyful event”.
Lydia Simburger was sworn in as our newest police officer on May 2, 2022. She started the full-time police academy on May 4 and will graduate on August 12. Lydia graduated from Freeburg High School in 2016 and will graduate from Missouri State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications at the end of this month. She currently serves in the Missouri Army National Guard as a Military Police Officer and has been deployed overseas.
She is very enthusiastic about being a civilian police officer and brings with her an array of skills and experience from the military. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to our newest officer!
Gary Kearns was sworn in at the April 4, 2022 New Athens Village Board meeting to replace Terry Hamon, who resigned as village board trustee. Mayor Behnken stated that Kearns will be a great addition to the team. He has expertise in infrastructure, construction, municipal government, law enforcement, and business and residential development. Kearns is a former mayor of New Athens, and his municipal experience will be very beneficial. He does a great job at marketing and will be a good supporter of the village's many attributes. "We have been fortunate in building a top-notch team consisting of village trustees and department heads of which Gary will be a great addition," Mayor Behnken stated.
Chief Leo Simburger presented Officer Jake Renner with a Letter of Valor at the March 21, 2022 Board Meeting. The letter reads: “On March 2, 2022 at 1408 hours Officer Renner conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in the Dollar General parking lot. Both subjects immediately got out and started walking toward the store. Officer Renner ordered them back into the vehicle. Officer Renner was speaking with the driver when he refused any and all commands while trying to reach for something. Officer Renner took control of the driver pulling him out of the vehicle as the driver attempted to swing at him so Officer Renner took him to the ground where a physical struggle continued. Officer Renner deployed his taser, but the driver still resisted. Officer Renner called for assistance and several neighboring police agencies arrived to assist and the driver was taken into custody. Officer Renner demonstrated bravery and a never quit attitude.” We celebrate our brave Officer and are so proud of his service to our community. Congratulations, Officer Renner!
-Amy Benwell, Collector and Clerk