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New Atwood Village Hall, Offices Move to Newly Renovated Building

Atwood Village Hall ribbon cutting. Diane Eagan, trustee, Stacy Welch, trustee, Roy Elmore, employee, Stephanie Wierman, Atwood Chamber of Commerce President, Miss A.L.A.H. Regann Bowles, Little Miss A.L.A.H. Harper Hale, Village President Bill Fleming, Kirby Medical Group CEO Steve Tenhouse, Amanda Barbee, Village Clerk, Scott Harris, trustee, Allen Kilber, trustee, Alora Murphy, AEDC President, Nancy Wierman, former Village Clerk, and Jeff Mercer, Public Works Superintendent. Not pictured: Jamie Simpson, treasurer, Daron Soard, employee, Mikie Stirrett and Justin Rosenberry, both trustees, and Atwood Police Chief Joe Duncan.

By DORIS ELMORE
Staff Writer

The new Atwood Village Hall has been officially open since the ribbon cutting on Monday, June 12 at 5 p.m.

The new village office has taken on a great new look after the diligent work of village employees, some trustees and local contractors.

For those who are unaware, the office is now located at 108 S. Main Street, the former office of Kirby Medical Clinic. The village board is very proud of their new surroundings and invite you to their board meetings the second Monday of the month at 6 p.m.

Following the ribbon cutting and open house, the regular meeting of the board was held at 6 p.m.

Village President Bill Fleming welcomed the board and visitors to the new Atwood Village Hall. He also wanted to thank Jeff Mercer, Daron Soard, Mike Cocoran, Amanda Barbee and Jamie Simpson for their work and efforts to make this possible.

Fleming talked about the drive-up drop box so residents can pay their water bills without leaving their vehicle. Fleming would like to assure everyone the drop box is a safe and secure way to pay their water bills. He added the board will make a decision on the future of the previous Municipal Building, but at present time it will be left as is.

In his report, Fleming reviewed the Sesquicentennial celebration that was held the day before the meeting. He said the Community Unity Service was well attended and it was a great. He thanked Diane Eagan for chairing the Sesquicentennial Committee as well as the other ladies who served on the committee: Mary Ellen Harris, Alora Murphy, Ronda Schumacher and Ginger Luck-Denton. He also wanted to thank Jeff Mercer, Daron Soard, and Roy Elmore for their work at the park to provide a clean and safe place to celebrate and for their assistance to uncover and open the 1973 Time Capsule.

Regarding ordinances on buildings, Fleming said board continues to pursue ordinance violations on the former meat locker building.

The Locker—Another violation notice and fine is being issued to the owner of the old locker building. This makes 3 of the $1,000 fines. In 30 more days, we will look strongly at pursuing legal action; Kel’s Place is on pause to provide time to make roofing improvements; 230 W. Cedar Street, two violations and fines have been issued; Daniel Raber, 115 E. Orchard, one letter sent that was returned. The board did not have a good mailing address for the property and used what was on the last tax bill. No further communication at this time.

The village continues to make progress on the downtown beautification project. Flower boxes have been installed and flower planted. Village employees have leveled the grassy areas that were higher than the sidewalks and have dug out the areas where the concrete tree borders and pavers will be re-installed. Once the areas that will be grass are leveled and tilled, grass seed will be planted. The goal is to have the beautification project completed prior to the Apple Dumpling Festival.

Letters have been sent to the Piatt County Clerk’s office recommending two locations as possibilities for the new voting places for residents on the Piatt County side of Atwood. The recommended locations are the American Legion and the Atwood First Baptist Church. When the clerk’s office has made their decision, they will notify voters.

A letter was sent to the Douglas County Board requesting financial assistance for their ARPA Funds to assist with the sewer plant project. The board received a response informing the board that a motion was passed at their May 17 meeting designating their remaining ARPA fund will be used for the Douglas County Highway Department. They will not be assisting Atwood.

A letter was sent to Todd Henricks, Chairman of the Piatt County Board requesting assistance from their ARPA funds. Their board was to discuss it at the June 14 meeting.

President Fleming and Jeff Mercer met with the General Manager and Head of Maintenance for the railroad to discuss the main street crossing. The railroad’s position is that they maintain pavement up to 4’ from the railroad tie on each side of the tracks. An agreement was made that when the Main Street paving project is underway, the Atwood board can contact them and they will work with the village to improve the crossing. There is no plan to replace the rail, ties or construction of the crossing, however, they can conduct maintenance and make some minor corrections when the repaving project is underway. Communication is being kept open for future work.

Good Energy is the power marketer that the village board approved so the village residents’ electrical power would be aggregated (combined) into 1 Energy Block in order to obtain a lower price per kWh. Back in September the contracted price was 1 cent per kWh below the Ameren price. The village received an update that effective with July rates, both Ameren price and Good Energy prices will lower. Ameren’s price will lower to 8.6 cents/kWh and Good Energy’s price will lower to 9.6 cents/kWh-meaning the Ameren price will be 1 cent/kWh cheaper.

The caveat is that Ameren’s lowered price is locked until September of this year and Good Energy is locked until December, 2024. Good Energy is mailing cards to Atwood residents giving them the opportunity to “opt out” of purchasing through Good Energy, return to Ameren rates, simply fill out the card and mail it in. This would lock the resident in to Ameren rates.

Bid requests for repaving Main Street from the railroad tracks to the bank have once again been approved and posted on the IDOT website for bid. The sealed bids are scheduled to be open on June 14.

Ordinance 23-0-7, an ordinance amending the village code of Atwood Illinois Section 52.37 of Chapter 5 regarding rates and charges for the Village of Atwood Wastewater System.

Action was approved for a contract with Farnsworth for engineering services for the Sewer plant project.

The board approved the recommendation of the police committee to hire Josh Ekiss as a parttime police officer for the Village of Atwood. Josh also services as Findlay Police Chief.

Regarding the garbage service providers in the Village of Atwood, the board decided to leave it as is. Each resident can make their own decision on which service to use.

The bid from 3 Guys Concrete was accepted at a cost of $7,033.58 to replace the curbs and the small walkways by the curb by July 31, 2023.

Diane Eagan, chair of Civic Improvement, stated the following: “A huge thank you to our village mayor as well as the village trustees and community members for their support during the planning and executing of the Sesquicentennial Kick-Off Event.

Even though it rained, we had a good attendance. There were several tents set up as part of the event. They were Piatt County History, Sesquicentennial History, Time Capsule Write with a Quill, Lollipop Pull, Archery, Puppet Show, Sesquicentennial Merchandise and Homemade Ice Cream Social from Lake Fork Church. Youth league sold food as well, which was a blessing due to the lack of attendance by food trucks.”

She continued, “The Sesquicentennial Committee would like to ask the village trustees to discuss whether to promote another time capsule at the Apple Dumpling Event and have it unveiled in 50 years. Lastly, I would like to publicly thank, my team of ladies, Mary Ellen Harris, Ronda Shumaker, Lori Murphy and Ginger Denton, for their time and talent to make the 150th a success.”

The next regular meeting of the Atwood Village Board will be held Monday, July 10, at 6 p.m.

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