City of Springfield

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder signing a Declaration of State of Emergency
City of Springfield

Patrons of bars and restaurants must have an assigned table or seat, and shouldn’t leave their seats unless they’re going to the restroom or leaving.

Olivia Mitchell / NPR Illinois

Two city of Springfield employees who work in the Public Works garage have tested positive for COVID-19. City officials said they haven’t worked since Sunday. 

Thousands of cars circled downtown Springfield Sunday afternoon to protest recent police killings.

Springfield Municipal Center West
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Springfield is looking for input on its plan to spend nearly $800,000 from the federal aid package approved in March for coronavirus relief efforts.

The draft plan outlines five priorities – rental assistance, grants to small businesses, support for the food bank, health and safety equipment, and funding for public services.

The city held its first public meeting Thursday via Zoom to listen to input from residents and businesses about fund distribution.

Springfield Municipal Center West
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Pension payments are the biggest financial challenge facing Springfield. At Wednesday’s first city budget hearing, officials agreed on that much, but argued over what to do about it.

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

The owners of the Pillsbury Mills site will have another day in court. The Illinois attorney general’s office claims the owners have not properly secured the site against trespassers, despite a court order to do so.

That’s according to a petition filed in Sangamon County Circuit Court in Springfield last month. A hearing is set for Thursday, December 19.

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

There’s some new lighting and patched fencing around the abandoned Pillsbury Mills plant on the north end of Springfield. But residents say more work needs to be done to make the area safe. 

NPR Illinois went on a perimeter walk with them over the weekend and has this report.

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Many cities across Illinois are struggling to meet required police and fire pension payments. In Springfield, every dollar homeowners pay in real estate taxes goes right back out to cover that cost. Next year, as payments grow, the city needs to come up with an additional $1.5 million dollars.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

A community group wants the city of Springfield to take over the Pillsbury Mills Plant, tear it down and redevelop the site.

But, first, they want the city to make sure the area is closed off to trespassers.

Springfield Municipal Center West
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Springfield city leaders set the dates for public meetings in each ward. Dates, times and locations are below. This post will be updated as locations are announced.

To find out which ward you live in, you can search for your address at the Sangamon County Clerk’s website here.

Wards 5 & 6: Monday, October 28, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., Hanson Professional Services, 1525 S. 6th Street

springfield.il.us

NPR Illinois talks with State Journal-Register City Reporter Crystal Thomas about the week in Springfield city government news:

*Candidates for city council shared their views on a resolution naming Springfield a welcoming city and consolidating Capital Township at the first candidate forums.

*Springfield firefighters have a new contract with a raise and a compromise on residency requirements.

WIkipedia commons/taken by W. Wadas

NPR Illinois talks with State Journal-Register City Reporter Crystal Thomas about the week in Springfield news:

*Aldermen are set to vote this week on an agreement with a bike-sharing company to get 75 bikes for rent available around the city.

*The proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts March 1 doesn’t have tax hikes like last year’s spending plan. It does include funding for more police and fire vehicles.

UIS Brookens Library Archives

The site of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot could soon become a National Historic Monument.

Sean Crawford/NPR Illinois

With 600 miles of road within the city, getting a heavy amount of snow removed can take time.  But an online service allows you to monitor what's been plowed and what hasn't.  

TaxCredits.net / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Illinois continues to see big box stores close. That means lost jobs, less tax revenue and often empty store space.

Still, Joe Fackel – with the Canvass Group – says he’s optimistic about the future of retail. The city of Springfield recently hired his firm to look at vacant shopping space in the capital city.

NPR Illinois talked with Fackel about the retail trends he’s seeing.

Below is a lightly edited transcript.

NPR Illinois: What’s the problem you’re trying to solve?

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Illinois and Springfield officials gathered in the capital city Sunday to dedicate a new plaza celebrating the state’s 200th anniversary.

The pedestrian walkway spans a block between the Lincoln Home National Historic Site and the Illinois Executive Mansion.

WIkipedia commons/taken by W. Wadas

The latest employment numbers show Illinois is adding jobs, and the rate of unemployment across the state is dipping below 4 percent.

However, Jim Clifton, CEO of the research firm Gallup, says those reports can be misleading because they count people who have part-time jobs, but who would prefer full-time hours and pay.

springfield.il.us

The Springfield City Council voted this week to raise the tax on landline phones and internet service, but rejected a second proposal to raise the sales tax. 

Money from the higher telecommunications rate will fund Lincoln Library, Springfield’s public library. The 6 percent rate, up from 4, could take effect July 1.

The hikes were part of a proposal from Mayor Jim Langfelder to plug a multimillion-dollar hole in the city’s budget for the fiscal year that starts March 1.

SJ-R.com

Sean Crawford talks with State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis.

NPRIllinois

As state lawmakers again consider expanding the number of casinos in the state, Springfield could wind up in the mix. 

NPR Illinois

Sean Crawford talks with Tim Landis, Business Editor for the State Journal-Register.

    

The City of Springfield Office of Public Works has announced that due to the International Route 66 Mother Road Festival, the following areas will be closed to traffic starting at 12-noon on Friday, September 23:

Sarah Mueller

Cities in Illinois and across the country have laws regulating panhandling. But courts are tossing them out, and Springfield’s ordinance could be next. How can local governments balance First Amendment rights and maintaining public order? 

Supreme Court Won't Hear Springfield Panhandling Case

Feb 29, 2016
WUIS

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday declined to hear an appeal from Springfield over its anti-panhandling law. That means the capital city is barred from enforcing the ordinance because of an injunction.

Springfield's ordinance allows panhandlers in its downtown area to hold signs, but prohibits them from verbally asking for an immediate donation.

Two Springfield residents, who regularly panhandle, filed a lawsuit in 2013 saying the law violates their rights. Attorney Mark Weinberg represents the residents.

flickr/Kharim Ghantous

The City of Springfield announced that on Wednesday, February 10, parking will be prohibited on the following streets due to the Presidential visit:

Springfield Wants State To Pay Utility Bill

Jan 12, 2016

The city of Springfield is pushing for the state of Illinois to pay its electric bill.

wuis.org

The city of Springfield is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on a downtown panhandling ban after it was declared unconstitutional by a federal appeals court. 

Springfield's new mayor is promising to work in a collaborative fashion to address the city's needs.  Jim Langfelder took the oath of office Thursday afternoon in a ceremony at Sangamon Auditorium.

He says his administration will be transparent and will work for all parts of the city.  He says his top priority is stabilizing the utility CWLP.  He also called for establishing wi fi downtown and developing a second water source.

WUIS

Springfield Mayor Mike Houston will leave office  Thursday, when his successor Jim Langfelder is sworn in.  

Langfelder won the primary in March and the April general election. 

Houston, who served two terms about 30 years ago, returned to city politics to win in 2011.  But voters denied his latest effort.  

Houston says he has told Langfelder that he will help him in the transition if asked:

"By the same token, I know he has a father who has served as mayor of Springfield for 2 terms, that he will be relying on very very heavily," he said.

Lisa Ryan/WUIS

A day of remembrance was held at the state capital Wednesday for President Abraham Lincoln, on the 150th anniversary of his death.

The ceremony included a 21-gun salute, music from a military band and a prayer from Chaplain Maurice Buford of the U.S. Navy.

"We honor him because his flame of leadership still kindles, his seat at the eternal table of prominence is permanent and because he continues to teach this great nation to always have the faith that might makes right,” Buford said.

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