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Beautification Project on schedule for Downtown Atwood

Jeff Mercer, Superintendent of Public Works for Village of Atwood, Gingerich Tree Farm representative, and Atwood Village President Bill Fleming discuss the tree planting in downtown Atwood on December 7.

By Doris Elmore
Staff Writer

The look of beautiful trees on downtown Main Street in Atwood will continue with the recent planting of nine new trees. Of course, it will take a few years for them to grow, but downtown will look better as the beautification project continues.

During a discussion of downtown beautification, Fleming stated that he senses there might have been some questions about the expenses for the downtown improvement project being paid for by the funds from the TIF fund. Fleming put together figures listing how the quotes the board has accepted and are either paid or in process of being paid. This shows the quotes that the board has accepted but are awaiting payment, and the quotes that are still outstanding.

Quotes accepted and paid include: conduit installation: $11,628; tree removal: $3,900; new flower boxes: $3,750 for a total of $19,278.

Quote accepted, not paid yet: tree grates: $6,440; new tree planting: $3,472; concrete tree border: $8,000; Ameren light replacement: $6,000 (paid by Street Lighting Fund) for a total of $17,912. Total obligated to TIF Fund: $37,190, Total obligated to street lighting fund: $6,000; total cost of project to date: $43,190. Quotes outstanding: electric meters and receptacles & purchase flower box bases. There is remaining work to be done in the spring and summer. Most of the work will be done by the village, some contractors and Ameren.

Fleming stated TIF started the fiscal year at $98,375.69. As of the December 12 meeting, the total was $109,519.

Village President Bill Fleming opened the meeting by thanking the Atwood Chamber of Commerce, participating churches and organizations and all who donated their time, talents and Christmas decorations to help make the Christmas Dreamland At-the-Woods a great success. Also, thanks to the food trailers for being on hand. A big Thank You to Santa and Mrs. Claus for taking time out of their busy schedule to greet the kids.

Ordinance violations on buildings were to begin the week after the meeting. Violations will be issued weekly with copies to the village attorney. The first offense will be $75; 2nd $150; 3rd $1,000 and $1,000 thereafter.

The Atwood Village Attorney Ken Crossman will provide the village with a method to send unclaimed security deposits for water/sewer service to the State of Illinois.

Trustee Ron Wallace told the board the parking lot at the park is finished for the year and will continue in the spring.

The board agreed on a new logo for the village out of four sketches. This logo will appear in the paper in the near future.

The board passed a motion to opt out of the civic fee for the Electrical Aggregation program.

TIF applications from Valerie Henson of Top Knot Grooming and Randall Henson of DGA Design were approved by the village board in the amount of $1,676.02 for Top Knot Grooming and $11,201 approved for DGA Design. These were separate applications and the TIF grants are 50% of material cost for each. This does not include the purchase price of the building.

Following a discussion by the board, a quote from Kingdom Concrete of Hammond on four (4) approximately 6’x26’ pads for ball diamond dugouts at the Atwood ball diamonds was approved. Concrete will be a 4,000 psi mix no less than 4” thick, reinforced with #4 rebar, and finished in a broom finish. Crack control joints will be installed via grooves. The quote in the amount of $4,850 includes demo and disposal of existing concrete.

President Fleming stated the state grant has been approved for land purchase to expand the park. Village Attorney Crossman will handle the transaction and will provide the board with the contract between the village and the current owners. The village will pay the full price of $30,000 for the sale and the state will reimburse the village after the sale is completed. This will be roughly 2.4 acres 160’ x 650’.

A financial update was given by President Fleming and he said through November the village was at 58%. Fleming said he was pleased the total budget was at 40% (18% under budget) year to date.

Ordinance 22-0-15, an ordinance approving the 2022-2023 tax levy was approved.

On behalf of the Atwood Chamber of Commerce, Doris Elmore thanked Trustee Chris Stoltz for her work in getting food trucks to town. They have been well received. She also thanked the board for allowing the community use the former Kirby Building for Christmas Dreamland. They were pleased with how it was accepted by the community and area.

Fleming told board members to review items projected for this year; and plans for 2023 will be discussed at the January meeting.


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