Effingham lowers minimum employment age for its employees

Apr. 10—The City of Effingham is lowering the minimum age for its employees, citing a desire to help younger citizens get valuable job experience with the city.

The City Council unanimously approved the measure Tuesday night, which lowers the minimum employment age for seasonal workers to 16 from the traditional 18. Full-time jobs are unaffected; with the minimum age remaining at 18 years old with the exception of police and fire employees, who need to be 21 in order to be hired.

Deputy City Administrator Dennis Presley said that the move will help with expansion of the city's worker pool in addition to providing area students with needed experience as they progress into their careers.

"We saw the need to lower the age to give us a larger pool," Presley said. "It also gives some of our youth a chance to work with the city and gain some experience."

In other matters, the council:

—Approved an agreement with Mid-State Construction and Roofing of Beecher City for repairs of the walkway canopy roof at Village Square Mall. The city will pay $95,000 to the company for the repairs, which building official Michelle Lilley said were the final steps in repairing the building's roof, which had fallen into disrepair in past years.

—Heard from Tourism Director Jodi Thoele about a new logo for the department, the first redesign of the branding in 10 years. Thoele said that the new logo and branding exemplifies what the city has to offer tourists, from the Midwestern hometown feel to the many spaces for people to visit to events for people to partake in.

—Approved an agreement with Milano and Grunloh for continued repairs of the streets in the Rollin Hills subdivision. The city plans to pay $57,562 for the roadwork, with funds coming from the Triangle Business District fund.

—The council also approved a proposal to apply for grant money out of the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program. The $5 million grant would help to pay for the planned extension of Ford Avenue, with the city also planning to match 20% of the grant if approved.

—Approved a request to extend an agreement with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development's block grant program for another year. The city is looking to refurbish 10 homes for low to moderate income residents.

—Discussed a renewal of contracts for three billboards promoting the city along major highways. Billboards produced by Lamar Companies in Champaign, Mt. Vernon and Putnamville, Indiana would see updated vinyl as part of the one-year extension.

—Held a public hearing on the 2023 fiscal year budget. No one provided feedback on the budget, which will be voted on by the council on April 19.

Zach Roth can be reached at zach.roth@effinghamdailynews.com or by phone at (217) 347-7151 ext. 132 or (217) 899-4338.