By CHRISTY JANKOWSKI
Prior to Cerro Gordo’s regularly scheduled May village board meeting, the village website released this on their agenda: “Citizens will be offered an opportunity to communicate to the Board during the public comment portion per the agenda below and in alignment with Board Policy 03.17 – Public Comment at Board Meetings. To facilitate this, citizens may submit public comments by email prior to the Board meeting, to be announced by the Village Acting President during the public comment portion of the meeting. Email submissions should be submitted by Noon on MAY 18, 2020, and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. To insure social distancing as directed by Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order 2020-10, physical presence of citizens at the meeting will not be authorized to keep the number of people gathered at less than 10 However, the Village will live stream the meeting via FACEBOOK LIVE.”
Village Board President, Tim Allen, stated they may look into other options if the need persists to hold meetings virtually.
Multiple summer activities for families have either been cancelled, or postponed across the State. The same is true for the village of Cerro Gordo. Parks and Rec, an entirely volunteer run organization where kids meet up each morning during a majority of the summer to make crafts, play on the playground, have water fights, and more is officially cancelled. The playgrounds will remain closed for the time being. Tennis Courts are open, with using social distancing guidelines. The area wide rummage sale is put on hold, as far as doing one together as a community.
The Cerro Gordo Youth League cancelled all of it’s summer sports from t-ball to high school baseball and softball. The village office will remain closed for the time being.
The biggest news concerned, besides things revolving around Covid-19 changes, is the IEPA project which has been continuously discussed in the past several months. Tom Overmeyer, engineer from Fehr Graham, updates the village board and water committee frequently.
The 1.451 IEPA application for numerous water and sewer work throughout the village was submitted. Overmyer stated, “Planning on 60% principle forgiveness with a 800,000 cap so with that project we maxed out the 800,000 dollars. That left 651,000 that would be the responsibility of the village of Cerro Gordo, assuming everything came in at budget. Of course we anticipate it will come under budget, that is the way set up.” Later on adding, “Let’s hope they keep the same rules.”
Following that, the Fast-track Public infrastructure grant application fee $5,500 was approved unanimously.
“There is another component of the rebuild illinois program where they are soliciting projects that can be ready in the next 90 days. And we should have your EPA permit, so able to go out for bids in the next 90 days.”
If the village were to apply for the Rebuild Illinois funds, there is the possibility of $800,000 in loan forgiveness stated Overmyer. “It would lower your out of pocket around $650,000 to $435,000.” “That is based on the program as we know it today,”
Ovemyer let the board know of some new information as well, stating that around a week prior he was sent a letter from IDOT. He stated Cerro Gordo had around $100,000 coming. “You don’t have to apply for it, it is deposited in the MFT account.” Village Clerk Tina McCarty noted that the village had received the first installment of the six. The funds can be spent on anything MFT eligible. Overmyer added, “You don’t have to rush on how you are going to spend it…”
Adoption of Ordinance #657 adopted unanimously.
There were 4 water adjustments, all approved: Edmonds $152.01-$96.02; Joella $251.06-$124.74; Likins (Ron and Janice) $465.24-$151.09; Powell $470.42-$239.53
During a recent storm a tree from the village boulevard fell into a citizen’s home. The Village President read from the letter sent in, “She is asking for us to $840 for the cost of the tree that was on the boulevard that fell and did some damage to her house.” After consulting with Attorney, Susan Nicholas, the board decided to turn down the request for 322 E Durfee Street as Illinois law states that in the event of a storm the owner is responsible for the damage to their own property, village theirs, neighbors theirs as well. Trustee Beth Medlen stated, “ I think when we have things come up like this come up obviously we don’t have a choice we have to follow the law…It’s terrible, that was a huge tree, that was a nasty mess, we don’t have much of a choice.” Medlen went on to discuss with other members about putting out education on the website and Facebook about discussions involving possibly a tree needed removed, and other things involving property.
Allen brought up one of the fire hydrants that recently malfunctioned during a house fire in Cerro Gordo. It was apparently turned the wrong direction. “We didn’t do anything with the other one, but venture to guess that it’s the same. I understand how it happened, but it wasn’t a failure on our end.”
The village is looking into hiring someone for Animal Control. Board Member Beth Medlen will be contacting Macon and Piatt County to see the cost for their services.
The village approved Casey’s liquor license and The Depot’s curbside license. The village can revoke it for reasons such as it violates the current executive order. Allen stated, “I have no interest in revoking it, as long as he is closed…” Adding to “Basically make a motion to sell packaged liquor in the Class A license would terminate in the event the Depot bar opens for in building, in person service.” Which at the time was unanimously approved. On Friday, May 22 owner Mark Kaufman opened The Depot to the public.