At December's meeting on Monday, the board approved a resolution to place a referendum on the March 2014 primary ballot. The question is whether voters will impose an increase on its local sales tax by one quarter of one percent. This would mean that a consumer would pay an additional 25 cents in sales tax for every $100 of tangible personal property bought at retail.
The story coming in the fifth place is a cheer for area athletes, Mt. Vernon Rams Baseball team came in at fourth in the state.
The baseball Rams rolled through their season, with the postseason journey starting with the team rolling past Herrin in the opening round, then knocking off Centralia in the regional final. The Effingham sectional went to the Rams, and Mt. Vernon topped Triad in the sectional final. The Rams then faced Bloomington in the super sectional, and moved into the final four with a 6-1 win. The team entered the state finals with the school's record — 31-8-1.
The Rams took on Joliet Catholic, and took a 4-0 loss in the semifinal game. The team played Grayslake Central in the 3A third place game, coming in fourth place after a 1-0 loss. The final season record — 31-10-1. The team was presented with a fourth-place trophy and each player received a medal.
The story of 2013 in fourth place is the Interstates 57/64 construction — and finally opening.
Construction on the interstate began north of the two Mt. Vernon exits, and extended to the split between Interstate 57 and Interstate 64. After construction ended in late November, there are six lanes of highway through Mt. Vernon and two interchanges which are open.
However, the construction took over two years, and loss of tourism and retail sales from those stopping in the King City took a toll — not to mention the headaches experienced by motorists fighting backups to get through the construction zone.