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Atwood Residents…Help Beautify Our Town by Cleaning Up Your Property

By DORIS ELMORE
Staff Writer

The Atwood Village Board continues to work with businesses and residents to clean up around their stores and homes.

At the regular meeting of the Atwood Village Board on Monday, August 14, Village President Bill Fleming said that he and Attorney Kenny Crossman drove the Village of Atwood and noted several properties which are in violation of village ordinances.

This includes overgrown brush/weeds, open trash in sight and other items.

President Fleming has asked Atwood Police Chief Joe Duncan to follow-up on these with an informal request for owners to address these issues prior to any actual ordinance violation being issued. The former locker located at the corner of Main and Central Streets is also on this list.

The paving contractor has begun the project with performing the saw cuts at the curb gutters. Work will begin on Monday following the festival, the contractor will begin removing and replacing the curbs and gutters, and then will remove 2” of pavement followed by installing 2” of new asphalt. After that work has had time to cure, the street will be painted with parking spaces. Following the paving, the concrete contractor will remove some of the remaining crosswalks and install new handicapped crosswalks in the downtown area.

Following the main street repaving project and handicapped sidewalks are installed, the final items to be completed on the beautification project will be to reinstall the brick pavers on each side of the new trees. Once the pavers are installed, this will be the end of the repaving and beautification project.

Additional approvals from the board included:

Updated ordinance to meet IEPA requirements for the application sent for IEPA funds for the sewer plant project.

Using TIF Funds for 3 Guys Concrete to remove some various sidewalks and replace them in the business district at a cost of $19,978.58.

Using TIF Funds for S Cubed to install the receptacles at the bottom of each new decorative street light at a cost of $2,547.28.

Using TIF Funds for 3 Guys to seal and stripe the asphalt parking areas on the north and south side of the new village hall.

Approved an ordinance to authorize President Fleming and each village trustee to make expenditures not exceeding $200 per month.

An ordinance to amend the personnel policy to include wording relating to the State of Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act.

An ordinance to add President Fleming as an authorized signatory to specific bank accounts.

The board decided to outsource the village payroll functions to Kim West of Tuscola at a cost of $400 per month.

Discussions continued on various properties in the village which are in need of owner’s attention to clean-up to meet the requirement of village ordinances. These requirements are related to trash, fall weeds and junk in the yards. Additional discussion was held on the status of the old locker building.

Douglas County has hired a company, American Environmental Corp. (EC), to assist them in updating their All-Hazards Mitigation Plan. Having an updated plan meets federal requirements and also provides benefits for:

1. Funding for mitigation projects and activities before disasters occur.

2. Funding for projects and activities following declared disasters.

3. Increased awareness about natural hazards and closer cooperation among the various organizations and political jurisdictions involved in emergency planning and response.

Participation by the village will make it eligible to access FEMA/IEMA funds for mitigation projects both before or after a disaster event. A meeting will be held on Thursday October 5, at 1 p.m. at the Douglas County Annex, 209 East VanAllen, Tuscola.

President Fleming plans on attending this meeting.

Since the board implemented the raise of sewer rates to pay for the upcoming sewer plant, Village Clerk Amanda Barbee conducted a study of area water and sewer billings for comparison purposes. The results showed the following for a minimum bill using 2,000 gallons water:

1. Hammond: $55.14

2. Atwood: $49.91

3. Arcola: $49.00

4. Arthur: $43.32

5. Tuscola: $39.00

President Fleming thanked Amanda for her extra efforts to bring the village finances current and for compiling the financial reports. The village is 3% under budget on their expenses.

The auditor confirmed they would be at the Atwood Village Hall beginning August 23 to begin the audit of the 22-23 fiscal year.

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