Indian Creek Newsletter

March, 2006

on the web at




American Legion Corn Beef and Cabbage Dinner

                                         The American Legion is sponsoring

                                          a Corn Beef and Cabbage Dinner


                                            St. Patrick’s Day, Friday, March 17


                                                Serving from 5:30 to 8:00pm.


                                                 Carry outs will be available.


Sick Raccoon


A sick raccoon was spotted this weekend near the intersection of Bent Tree Land and Eastwood Court.  Calls to many agencies were unable to locate anyone who was either open on weekends or willing to come take care of the little fellow.  So he may still be wandering around. 


He seemed dazed, uncoordinated, and was approaching and following people.  A search of the web found that, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), raccoons do not carry the rabies virus.  There have been no documented human rabies cases in the United States associated with raccoon rabies.  Raccoons are not listed as animals most susceptible to rabies. 


It appears that distemper is a much more likely possibility.  Next to humans, the second leading cause of death of raccoons is distemper. In the final stage of the disease, the raccoon may begin to wander aimlessly in a circle, disoriented and unaware of its surroundings, suffer paralysis or exhibit other bizarre behavior as a result of brain damage. Many of these symptoms are indistinguishable from, and therefore often mistaken for, the signs of rabies. Raccoon distemper is cyclical and can spread and wipe out entire colonies of raccoons.


Humans are not at risk from distemper as the disease cannot be passed on to people and presents no danger to humans.  However, unvaccinated dogs and cats that are allowed to wander unattended are at risk of infection from, as well as posing a risk of infection to, raccoons and other wildlife.  Make sure that your pets are current on all of their vaccinations.




Towanda Library News

(on the web at


TOWANDA READS book discussion group  Wed., March 15  from 6-7pm. 

Children's Blizzard by David Laskin, published in 10/05.

January 12, 1888, began as an unseasonably warm morning across Nebraska, the Dakotas, and Minnesota, the weather so mild that children walked to school without coats and gloves. But that afternoon, without warning, the atmosphere suddenly, violently changed. One moment the air was calm; the next the sky exploded in a raging chaos of horizontal snow and hurricane-force winds. By Friday morning, January 13, some five hundred people lay dead on the drifted prairie, many of them children who had perished on their way home from country schools. In a few terrifying hours, the hopes of the pioneers had been blasted by the bitter realities of their harsh environment.  David Laskin has produced a masterful portrait of a tragic crucible in the settlement of the American heartland.


Friends of the Towanda District Library  Wed., March 15 from 5-6pm


Next regular meeting at the library.  All are welcome!

Author Visit: Julia Durango, Monday, Mar. 20  at 10:00am

Julia Durango is the author of Cha-Cha Chimps, Dream Hop, and several forthcoming titles from Simon & Schuster.  She also co-authored Yum Yuck! A Foldout Book of People Sounds (Charlesbridge) with Newbery award-winner Linda Sue Park.  In addition to reading her books, Julia will talk about what it's like to be an author and how a story becomes a published book.  Julia's books will be available by pre-order (call 728-2176 to order by March 6th), and a book signing will take place after the presentation.  This event is free and open to the public.  No registration is necessary.

 The Dean of Green is Coming to Towanda!  Thursday, April 6th at 7pm

That’s right, folks, ISU’s very own Don Schmidt, star of WGLT’s Friday show “The Dean of Green,” is coming to the Towanda District Library in April! The Dean-O will offer all sorts of tidbits on flower gardening in Illinois. Bring your questions and be prepared to learn a lot because Don will give you plenty of useful information.  Please register by calling 728-2176. (To listen to the “Dean of Green,” tune in to WGLT (98.1FM) on Fridays at 8:50am and 4:50pm.)

Gardening programs by the Merritt Family Gardeners!  Sat., April 22

10-11am: Planning & Caring for Perennials with Mary   Merritt
11-noon: Pruning & Composting with Lyle Merritt

Meet at the Merritt’s fantastic garden at 300 S. Madison in Towanda, one block directly west of the library.  There will be some perennials for sale, all proceeds of which will benefit the library.  Mary and Lyle’s son, Jeff Merritt, manager of Sunburst Nursery in Bloomington, will also be on hand to answer your gardening questions.  Please join us!



Indian Creek Homeowner Association Meeting

March 7, 2006

Towanda Community Center

Filling of Open Board Positions

Brian Krause has been serving the remainder of Faith Russell’s term as VP/Secretary since last fall.  There was a motion to approve him for a 3-year term ending February 28, 2009 as the official VP/Secretary, a second, and the motion passed.


Tim Mogill announced he is retiring from the board effective July 1, 2006.  The board will need to solicit a replacement.  In the event that Tim is unavailable in the meantime for calls/issues related to water, Dave Schulthes may be contacted.


Jim Russell’s term as Groundskeeper is up February 28, 2007. Dave was researching when his term and Steve Jurovic’s term expired at the time these minutes were being published.

Water Report

Tim Mogill reported that 2005 was very satisfactory in terms of water use in Indian Creek.  Water usage overall was about the same as 2004;  8,937,000 gal in 2004 compared to 9,161,000 gal in 2005.  Heaviest usage occurred in June, 1,187,000 and the least in February, 546,000.  Routine maintenance was all that was needed at the tower handled proficiently by the water supervisor, Frank Cottrell.


Water softeners and local filtration systems require replacement periodically.  If your system is approximately 5 years old or older, and water quality is not what it should be, you may need to have your system evaluated and/or replaced.

Treasurer’s Report

Dave Schulthes reported that there is $92,327 in the association account as of the end of January, 2006.  He projects that as of February month end there should be approximately $97,136.  85% of this total is held in CDs, the remainder in cash.


During the treasurer’s report, Dave also mentioned that the association is now paying $2400 in mowing of much of the common areas, rather than leaving this to a small group of volunteers to do with the tractor/mowing deck.  There was additional discussion, and reiteration by Tim that despite what seems like a relatively large bank balance that the quarterly assessments continue.  The Farnsworth Group performed a study of the Indian Creek water tower and found the following. “The exterior of the tank top coat is 10 years old but holding up very well.  We recommend that the less expensive overcoat work be planned for 2007.  The interior of the tank should only require touch up at the same time the overcoat work is being done.  Major expenses to the interior should not be necessary until approximately 2013.  Costs in 2007 are expected to be about $70,000.  Delaying any maintenance until 2013 could easily drive the costs up to $150,000.  Other options for water should be explored whether it be via an extension of the City of Bloomington water transmission main from Lake Bloomington, or, an intersection with the Village of Towanda”  The mowing costs plus these other costs justify maintaining the current assessment level.


There was a little discussion about the clearing of the land just south of the tower and speculation that if that land were residentially developed, wells might be drilled that tap into the same aquifer that supplies our tower.  Hence there is the basis to continue to maintain the current water system as recommended plus vigilance in seeking alternatives should they be necessary.


This spawned more discussion about water conservation during peak usage months.  The association encourages cooperation with watering using the odd/even strategy…odd-numbered houses water lawns/etc on odd days and even-numbered houses on even numbered days.  While this has been communicated previously, violators of the policy may be contacted by the board this year since it is especially important that the capacity of the current system is not overly taxed/burdened.  Voluntary adherence to this policy enables all of us to have an adequate, cost-effective supply of water.

Groundskeeper Report

Jim Russell reported that there was a motion last year to allow the board to seek building a shed for the tractor not to exceed $10K. It failed for lack of a second.  There was discussion about investigating a way to better protect the tractor from the elements by supplementing the current 3-walled structure where the tractor is currently stored.  Jim will investigate these options.


The tractor required very little maintenance this year. Jim Kellenberger reported that a new battery was purchased, a lift arm was replaced, as were the mowing deck wheels.  Some welding was also performed.  Blades will need to be replaced before this mowing season.  It would also be prudent to repaint the mowing deck to keep it from corroding/rusting.


Jim Russell is obtaining an estimate to re-gravel the trail leading to the nature area from Zorn.  It was also decided to lay gravel where the trail bears left at the well head.  Since pricing has been favorable from Zorn, no additional estimate will be sought.  Drainage of the low spots in the trail area were briefly mentioned as perhaps needing to be addressed prior to laying the new gravel but this will not be pursued.


Jim also reiterated proper use of the common areas.  What prompted this was some individuals using ATVs to pull sleds during the winter.  No wheeled motorized vehicles are permitted or appropriate for use in the common areas.


Jim asked Sue Arnold to elaborate on the 2 workdays held last fall.  Sue reported that the area at the entrance to the nature area was cleaned up of many nuisance plants and trash trees on one fine Saturday, and on the other, work begun to clear out space to allow some of the nicer red oaks, hickory and other trees to flourish/propagate.  She recognized the individuals who assisted with this: Herb Todd, Mike Cunningham, Helen Mogill, Jim Kellenberger, Jim Russell, Dennis Maze, Brian Krause.  She hoped to get us back out there soon later this spring to continue.


Jim asked if we needed to continue to have “regular” workdays or if the nature restoration activities would replace them.  If homeowners have ideas for tasks that need to be done, they should send them to Jim Russell.


There had been evidence of beavers gnawing on trees up and down Money Creek.  The homeowner most concerned about this was not present.  To our knowledge, no action has been or will be taken to trap the beavers.  State law allows trapping until March 31st but not beyond.  Comments made indicated that once the flow of water in the creek subsided, the beavers would move on…as they have in the past.

Final Comments

Helen Mogill will organize an annual picnic, likely in September.


Homeowners agreed that Helen does a fantastic job putting together the newsletter for all of us and not only publishing it but sending it out via email as well.  We thank her for her efforts!! Thank you Helen!


Free Firewood


to anyone who wants to cut up a huge downed limb from a white oak in my yard.


                                       Larry Meyer




Towanda PTO Update

by Karen Showalter


Towanda Elem. PTO would like to thank everyone for our support of their annual Chili Supper and Basket Raffle!  It was a big success making a little over $5200!  As always, the money earned will go towards purchasing items to benefit the students and school.  We appreciate the assistance provided by the over 117 donors to the basket raffle and to Alexander Manufacturing,

Towanda Township, Towanda Grain Elevator, Windsor Frozen Foods/Bernardi's, and Walmart for their donations to the Chili Supper itself.


Also, PTO is happy to announce that our school has been chosen as the recipient of a $5000 playground improvement grant from Lowe's Toolbox for Education.  Thank you to Carla Von Dongen for writing the grant for us! Watch the playground this summer for some new equipment!


Reminder:  If you work at State Farm and volunteer 40 hours a year for an organization like the school, you are eligible to submit an application for the Good Neighbor Grant.  The deadline is March 31, 2006.



4th.jpg4th of July Planning


Suggestions are needed for Towanda’s 4th of July, 2006, parade theme and grand marshal.  A list of former themes and grand marshals is posted at the Community Building, Post Office and Library.


Theme:  Please include:

  • theme suggestion
  • your name
  • address
  • phone number


Grand Marshal: Please include:

  • name of person being nominated
  • information about the nominee


Suggestions are requested by Monday, March 27 to:

Towanda 4th of July Parade Committee, 112 Hunt St, Towanda  IL  61776



                                 Garage Sales


              Towanda Area Garage Sales are scheduled for

                     Thursday, April 6 – Saturday, April 8

           Thu, 4-7; Fri. 9-6; Sat. 8-2 (or other hours desired)

                               $5 fee for area-wide advertising

      Please call Gail Ann Briggs, 728-2187 with your questions!



College Scholarship


Applications for the 2006-2007 General Assembly Scholarship are now available.  Anyone who lives in our Senate District and will be attending a state university next fall may apply for the scholarship.

Applications and instructions are accessible at state senator Dan Rutherford’s website: Completed applications, along with letters of recommendation, must be returned to Senator Rutherford’s district office no later than April 1, 2006.


The General Assembly Scholarship is a one-year tuition waiver to a state university in Illinois. To qualify, applicants must live in the 53rd Senate District, which includes all or parts of Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, LaSalle, Livingston, McLean, Tazewell, Vermilion, and Woodford counties.  Rules for eligibility are posted on Dan Rutherford’s website.


The Robins are Back


The woods have a different kind of beauty each season of the year, but February seems especially dreary, with overcast skies, mud, and downed tree limbs unrelieved by any softness or greenness - a general grayness pervades.  We were walking the trail looking for any signs of spring, and then there it was – robins flitting through the tree tops, calling to each other.  What a joy it was to see them back.


Here are some robin facts gleaned from the web:

  • Robins can be found over nearly all of North America, from Alaska in the north in the summer, to Florida and Mexico in the south in the winter.  The robins in Illinois migrate along the Mississippi flyway.  Perhaps that robin in your yard spent the winter in New Orleans!
  • Robins in the wild have been found to have lived as long as 13 years.  In captivity robins have survived more than 17 years.
  • Pairs of robins will stay together the entire nesting season, but do not mate for life.
  • Robins nest two to three times a season, with 3 to 4 eggs in the first clutch and 2 eggs in subsequent nestings.
  • Robins eat large quantities of worms and other invertebrates, and berries and fruits.