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Daron Soard Completes Water Plant Licenses

Staff Writer

Daron Soard, Atwood Village Employee for the village for a little over 7 years, was congratulated for his work in getting all three of his EPA licenses to allow him to operate the water plant. This is quite a coup for Daron and a big step in his career. His next step is to get his licenses to operate the sewer plant. He is waiting on a test date. Village President Bill Fleming announced the news at the regular meeting of the village board on Monday, September 11.

President Bill Fleming reported on the ordinance violations on The Locker, 230 West Cedar St., and 130 E. Orchard.

Fleming said he has returned emails to the state which included legal documents that the park land purchase is finalized. He expressed frustration that the grant had not been received yet. He said he received a return email stating the village grant has been fully executed and the payment will be forthcoming this month.

Bill gave an update on the Main Street repaving project. He said the curbing has been replaced. The street has been milled with patching to begin the day after the meeting, followed by repaving. 3 Guy Concrete has been given the go ahead to begin the sidewalk work for the handicapped crossings and the 2 foot sidewalk running along the inside of the new curbs. Preliminary news on this project is that Farnsworth Engineers have inspected the concrete base of the street and estimate that only 40% of the estimated patching costs will be used. Once the concrete work is completed from 3 Guys, the brick pavers will be installed on each side of the new trees. Once the pavers are installed this will be the end of the repaving and beautification project.

Jeff Mercer and Fleming met with an engineer from Consolidated Communications last month. They have approved a project to replace and upgrade their fiber optic lines in the village south of the RR tracks as well as the northeast side of the village.

The work is to start around October and be completed before the end of the year.

It was reported by Fleming that the village is 1/3 into this fiscal year and expenses are at 26% to budget compared to a 33% target. The Admin Fund is a little over budget due to some engineering costs for the sewer plant that will be paid back after the IEPA loan is secured. Other funds include: Police is 5% under; Streets 5% under; Water/Sewer 7% under; and all other funds are way under budget.

Fleming recently sent a Letter to the Editor expressing thanks to the chamber, sesquicentennial committee, village employees, social and church group for their outstanding work and for the significant amount of time given to make this year’s festival one of the best in recent years. He added, “I’d like to say again how much I and the board appreciates the work and time given by all volunteers to make this year’s festival a great success.”

Trustee Diane Eagan gave a report on the new Housing Committee chaired by Diane and Scott Harris. She said there are several unoccupied, rundown properties in Atwood. They feel the village should look to acquire these properties at a discounted price. This would allow the village to clean up the properties and market them for new family housing. She listed the following incentives to offer: 1. No water or sewer hookup fees; 2. Short term discounted water/sewer rates. Eagan also listed what the community offers.

Eagan also serves as chairperson of Civic Improvement and was made chair of the Sesquicentennial by the board. She reported that the 29th Apple Dumpling Festival was a huge success. She thanked all the members of the chamber and the 150th committee and discussed the many positive events that took place during the festival. She added there was positive feedback from those that visited the Rajah tent. She feels it should be included in future events.

Diane said that after a conversation with Marsha Burgener, A-H Library Director, the capsule contents and history will be stored at the library after Saturday, October 7 and until it can be displayed.

Jeff Mercer congratulated Daron Soard on all the work he has done, especially for the Apple Dumpling Festival and for the town. He also thanked the board for the cards and phone calls following his recent shoulder surgery.

Expenditures totaled $7,020.99.

In other business before the board:

•The board approved Resolution 23-R-13 adding Scott Harris as an authorized signatory to specific bank accounts. Harris is also president pro-tem.

•Resolution 23-R-14 was approved. A resolution amending the policy to require dual signatures on checks to specific bank accounts.

•A motion was passed to approve the quote from Bob’s Super Service to repair the squad car.

•A motion was approved to permit ALAH School District to use village ball diamonds for the high school girls’ softball practices and home games beginning in 2024.

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