A familiar landmark that has graced the southeast corner of Main and Miami Streets in DeGraff was razed Monday.
The building that housed the DeGraff United Methodist Church for decades was torn down after the UMC constructed and dedicated a new building on County Road 24 north of the village last spring.
(Left: The old site of the DeGraff UMC gets razed Monday. Photo submitted)
The old church had become much too expensive to maintain and proposed renovations to the building made it much more cost efficient to construct a new site rather than repair and maintain the old church. The fixtures of the church - everything from window frames and wiring to the pews - were auctioned off several weeks ago and the building had been gutted prior to the razing. As of Tuesday night, all that remained of the church was a 15-foot high pile of bricks and framing that is expected to be loaded and carted off in the next several days.
In other DeGraff news, the Village Council met Tuesday and asked Village Solicitor Bob Bennett to research and write an ordinance that, if enacted, will force those who own horses that leave droppings on the village streets to clean up the manure themselves or face being cited. This has been a topic of discussion at the village council for several months. With no progress being made in asking those who own horses to clean up after themselves, Mayor Gary Comer said that it is time for the council to take action.
The Council also approved a three-year renewal of mutual aid contracts with the Indian Joint Fire District, Miami, Pleasant, and Union Townships in Logan County and Harrison Township in Champaign County. The total of the five contracts comes to over $17,000 for the next three years.
Another item, which has been discussed at virtually every council meeting for the past several months, is the matter of the sewer district and treatment plant that DeGraff shares with the village of Quincy. At the crux of the dispute between the two villages is how to pay for staffing the plant, which federal law requires that an operator with a Class II license be on duty for a minimum number of hours each week. Without exception, the DeGraff Council members are unhappy with the ongoing negotiations with the village of Quincy on how the salary is to be split between the villages. Mayor Comer reported that he has contacted State Senator Dave Burke's office about the impasse and that DeGraff will be recommending that the matter be brought before a mediator.
The next DeGraff Village Council metting is scheduled for Sept. 4 at 7 pm.