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Union Tank Car Co. Alton Evening Telegraph Thursday, Aug'.isl 24, 1972 A :> Operations curtailed, but dome stays EAUL MAUCKER Telegraph Staff Writer The huge geodesic dome that (or 11 years has been a landmark in the Wood Rtver area — will be "curtailed" almost to a standstill, the Telegraph learned today. Rumors that the superstructure was going to be demolished were quickly stifled by a company official who claimed destruction of the dome would be "absolutely ridiculous." The giant dome houses repair operations for the Wood River - based Union Tank Car Co. on Old St. Louis Road, near downtown Wood River. Jack Kruzenga, vice president of marketing for Trans Union Corp. of Chicago, told the Telegraph thiit operations at the Wood River plant would be drastically curtailed, but emphasized that the dome would remain intact and in operation, at least on a limited basis. Union Tank Car Co. is a subsidiary of Trans Union Corp. "That dome is one of the most modern facilities of its kind," Kruzenga said. "Its worth a lot more standing than torn down." He said that Trans Union Corp. plans to keep the building and continue a small cleaning and storage operation for railroad tank cars. Kruzenga said the staff of "fewer than 100" who are currently employed at the company would be cut to two or three men because of a reduction in the tank car fleet that required almost no repair operations for the Wood River plant. Many of the tank cars have bee scrapped or taken out of service and new 1 tank cars put into use can hold three times as much as the old cars, Kruzenga said, concerning the cut back. "Our fleet is actually larger In terms of gallons we can carry," he told the Telegraph. "But in terms of the number of cars needed to transport, we have reduced to the level where the Wood River plant is no longer feasible." Built in the late 50's, the geodesic dome was a construction marvel of its time and attracted wide - spread attention, being one of the first circular buildings con- structed in the world without internal support. The dome consists of 320 specially fabricated from specially Fabricated from standard one-eighth inch steel sheeting and four^inch tubing. Twelve basic sizes of panels were welded by workmen, working from its top down on an inflated air bag, used to support both the workers and materials. The interior of the dome encompasses 110,000 square feet that houses 36 sets of railroad tracks that link in the center of the structure. Kruzenga loM the Telegraph that "at some future time," Trans Union Co. may use the structure for other operations, including an expanded railroad repair point. "We definitely regard the structure as an asset and we will keep it," he told the Telegraph. "With Industrial sites in the St. Louis area being so expensive, it certainly would be a waste to get rid of it." Alton bans street vendors after dark An ordinance banning sales by street vendors between sunset and sunup was passed by the Alton City Council Wednesday night, in a move aimed at protecting children. The ordinance was sparkevt by complaints that ice cream wagons plying the city street i n the evening were dangerous to the safety of children darting out to buy from them. The ordinance makes it. unlawful "for any person, firm qr corporation to sell or offer for sale, to vend or to dispose of any merchandise, goods, wares, produce, vegetables, dairy products, food or beverage of any kind, from any vehicle or bicycle, upon the residential area streets or alleys of the city during and between the hours of 15 minutes after official sunset and official sunup." The ordinance against the night sales by the street vendors was passed unanimously by the Council. An ordinance calling for the Wood River board ofc's tax levy The Wood River Township Board of Auditors passed its levy ordinance, which calls for $300,000 in the road and bridge fund and $182,500 m the general fund of the township. The road and bridge fund is up some $20,000, but the general fund is lower by $27,700, according to Supervisor Rodger Elblc. He said the town fund totals $116,000 in comparison with $152,250 last year. The reduction is due lo eliminating the collectors ofifce, which now comes under the county. The general assistance fund Is $44,500. or $225 lower than last year, and the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund is $22,000, or some $6,225 lower than last year. Elble said that last year only $13,225 was levied, but an additional $15,000 had to he transferred from the general fund to the IMRF to catch up in (hose payments. In a report to the board, Elble said he is requesting a 90 per cent grant for the sewer project in the Forest Homes-Cottage Hills area, because a survey of the office of the Madison County K c o n o m i c Opportunity Commission shows that 22.8 per cent of the population is unemployed, and that of that per centage 85.8 per cent have been unemployed for over a year. The 90 per cent grant request will be made to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, whi-.'h previously told Elble that if the unemployment rate in that area was more than twice the national -average unemployment rate of 5.5 per cent, then the township woiud be eligible for the 90 per cent grant. installation of stop signs at the intersection of Locust and Elizabeth Streets to stop eastbound traffic on Locust and northbound traffic on Elizabeth was introduced at the council meeting. It will stay a landmark j Speculation that the huge geodesic dome in Wood River was going to be torn down was dispelled by company officials who claimed. the structure would remain intact and in operation on a limited basis. The facility is used for repair operations of the Union Tank Gar Co.,which is beirg curtailed because of a decrease in tank car maintenance. The structure is equal to a 10-story office building and has enough room inside to house a major league baseball diamond. v OUR SPECIAL "Thank You"! FREE GIFTS WHEN YOU SAVE TOP VALUE STAMPS! 104 W. 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