It was a busy business year in Piatt County, particularly in Monticello. The year included the opening of two medical establishments – Decatur Memorial Hospital’s local clinic and Preferred Medical and Chiropractic.

On a tastier note, the FroYo Factory also opened after remodeling a former gas station on Market Street in Monticello.

Entrepreneurs also presented some unique business models, like the Moon Grove Farm B&B, which opened on four acres of Piatt County land in rural Mahomet. The facility offers not only rooms to rent, but a you-pick flower farm and other offerings.

Kirby Medical Center in Monticello continues to bring in the awards, including one for being named one of the top 20 critical access hospitals for 2018 in the category of patient satisfaction. Kirby Medical Center Director of Marketing Heidi Apperson also received the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network’s "4 Under 40" Hospital Leadership Award.

The hospital also finished up phase two of a three-phase addition and renovation to the medical center.

Here is a summary of business news for Piatt County in 2018.

Jan. 24 – Decatur Memorial Hospital held a grand opening at its new medical clinic in Monticello. Staff members helped guide tours, including physician Zachary Shipp and nurse practitioner Megan Shelton, both Monticello residents.

Jan. 31 – Could 2018 see a housing boom in Monticello? Possibly, with new lots up for sale. Realtor John Frerichs told the city council that 124 homes were sold in the city in 2016 and 2017, and felt a stagnant market was partially due to a lack of home sites. Sage Meadows was announced in 2017 and broke ground on several of its 100 single-family lots in the spring.

Monarch Brewing Co. in Monticello closed for a week for a kitchen remodel and staff training. The move was made to help improve the efficiency for servers transporting food from the basement kitchen to the first floor dining area.

Feb. 28 – Preferred Care Medical and Chiropractic opened in Monticello. Dr. Matthew Stringer sold his Champaign practice and opened the Monticello provider.

April 25 – A zoning variance needed for a 10-bed assisted living facility in Monticello to expand by six beds was approved by the Monticello planning and zoning board. The variance for Arbor Rose, which houses residents with Alzheimer’s disease, was approved by the city council the next month.

May 23 – The FroYo Factory, a frozen yogurt establishment, opened at 106 S. Market St. in Monticello. The ownership group purchased a former Amoco gas station and remodeled it into the FroYo Factory.

Texas-based Panhandle Milling President and CEO Peter Bisaccia said the jobs of all 26 Viobin employees were safe following the company’s purchase of the Monticello wheat germ oil manufacturer.

Kirby Medical Center in Monticello was named one of the top 20 critical access hospitals for 2018 in the category of patient satisfaction.

May 30 – The Moon Grove Farm B&B was set to open on four acres of land in Piatt County in rural Mahomet. Jen Quinlan hopes the facility will offer not only rooms to rent, but a you-pick flower farm and other offerings.

July 25 – Construction of a new maintenance building is an initial step in expansion efforts at Monticello’s Tatman Village. Also planned are an 8,000-square-foot clubhouse and amenities center, as well as the eventual addition of condominiums.

First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust was named 2017 Central/Southern Illinois Community Bank of the Year recipient by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Aug. 1 – An open house was held for the new Sage Meadows subdivision in Monticello on July 26. There are 104 lots available in the 32-acre subdivision.

Aug. 29 – Kim Alvis was named the Chief Financial Officer at Kirby Medical Center.

Monarch Brewing Company in Monticello worked with the University of Illinois Extension and Prairie Rivers Network to establish a pollinator pocket at the brewery in downtown Monticello.

Sept. 19 – The Kirby Medical Center board announced that Mike Atwood of Monticello had been named to the hospital governing board.

Bob Wells of Bement was announced as the Illinois Soybean Association’s new Yield Challenge Coordinator.

Oct. 3 – Christie Clinic announced it would move from its current location at 107 W. Main St. across the downtown square to 100 W. Washington St. in Monticello on Jan. 1. It will be the first tenant for the remodeled former bank building, now known as the Moore Building.

Oct. 10 – The Monticello Shopko building is up for sale, but the store itself is expected to stay open.

Oct. 17 – Kirby Medical Center was recognized as a Top 20 Critical Access Hospital in the United States for Patient Satisfaction by the National Rural Health Association.

Nov. 7 – Scott Heffley of Monticello is showing off the artistic side of his carpentry skills at Pin Oak Tiny Homes. His first tiny home build was a 396-square-foot mobile home that includes two lofts, a second floor outdoor deck, full standup shower, full kitchen and several multitasking spaces.

Michelle Gross was named to the Kirby Medical Center Governing Board.

Nov. 14 – Kirby Medical Center Director of Marketing Heidi Apperson received the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network’s "4 Under 40" Hospital Leadership Award.

Nov. 21 – The Hartfield Book Company opened up in downtown Monticello by owner and Cerro Gordo High School graduate Nicole Stewart.

Dec. 12 – Sandy and Leonard "Len" Sabato opened up Central Golf Cars at 109 E. Front St. (U.S. 150) in Mansfield.