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Atwood Village Board Sets Trick or Treat Night to Coincide with Additional Halloween Festivities

Staff Writer

The Atwood Village Board voted at their regular meeting on Monday, October 9, to hold the Village Trick or Treat on Sunday, October 29, from 5-7 p.m. in conjunction with the annual Chamber Halloween parade and community Trunk or Treat in the United Church of Atwood parking lot. This is a community event and the board wanted to participate with setting trick or treat on the same night.

Andy Hanfland of the Farnsworth Engineering Group addressed the board regarding a contract between Farnsworth and the Village of Atwood relating to the sewer plant upgrade required by the by the Illinois EPA to reduce the levels of ammonia in the water leaving the plant after it has been treated. Village President Bill Fleming stated the following, “This contract will hire the Farnsworth Engineering Group to provide professional services to the village including the design and estimating of the improvements to the plant, to lead, coordinate and oversee the bidding process and to ensure that all activity will be in compliance with the requirements of the Illinois EPA and the IEPA loan the village is applying for. Farnsworth will also coordinate with the IEPA throughout the process in order to fulfill the requirements of the IEPA loan.

This contract covers all Farnsworth involvement up to the point that construction physically begins at the plant which is expected to start at the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025.” Fleming continued, “Once construction physically begins, a second contract based upon time and material will be executed with Farnsworth relating to oversight, administration of the IEPA loan activity and compliance. We expect to save money on the oversight portion by allowing our village superintendent to perform substantial oversight instead of Farnsworth.”

The cost of the contract totals $146,960.00 and will be paid at $10,000.00 per month from the village Water & Sewer Fund. Once the IEPA loan is approved, the remainder of the Farnsworth contract will be paid in full and the water & sewer fund will be reimbursed for payments made towards the contract. The board unanimously passed a motion to approve the contract.

Fleming gave an update on ordinance violations as follows:

He stated, “The former locker at the corner of Main and Central Street has been issued fines totaling $3,220 for ordinance violations. I met the gentleman who we believe is purchasing the locker building on contract. He is interested in selling it. He has another prospective buyer that he wishes to provide the first right of refusal before offering the building to the village.” He continued, “After a follow-up the owner will not be ready to consider a sale until spring of 2024. We are continuing the ordinance violations.”

Property at 230 W. Cedar St. has been issued 4 fines totaling $450 for ordinance violations. The village will be going to court to obtain a judgement on this. Also, 130 E. Orchard where the village is still attempting to obtain valid contact information on the owner.

E-mails have been returned to the state which included legal documents that the park land purchase is finalized. Fleming expressed his frustration to them that the village grant has not yet been received. Fleming received a return e-mail stating the village grant has been fully executed and the village payment will be forthcoming in 4-6 weeks. The village was into the four-week time frame the date of the meeting.

A report was given on the Main Street repaving project: 1. The repaving project including new curbs, gutters and pavement is completed; 2. Paving project will be completed when the striping is done.; 3. There are still handicapped sidewalks and other sidewalks to install. Three Guys concrete has this work on their schedule. Three Guys also plans to recoat and restripe the asphalted areas on the north and south side of the new village hall this week. The board also passed a motion to approve the bid from Three Guys Concrete for the installation of the carriage walk on Main Street for a total of $12,618. This was not included in their first bid.

The village received a copy of a legal document explaining that METRO Communications has been authorized to expand their service territory to include the Village of Atwood. The village also received e-mail notifications that they planned on beginning their project to install their new facilities in the village immediately. Fleming requested a meeting with the company and on September 25, Jeff Mercer, Village Attorney Kenny Crossman and Fleming met with their representatives. Fleming told them the village is supportive of their project to provide Atwood residents with additional choices for their internet and streaming, however before any work begins, they are to work through the village attorney and the village board on the development and approval of a Franchise Agreement stating their rights to install their facilities in village right of ways and the conditions on how their facilities are to be installed, maintained or removed. Secondly, Fleming explained that while the village also has a contractor in the village with a project to install new underground facilities, the village is not staffed to deal with two contractors working at the same time. The village would like the Consolidated contractor work completed before the METRO contractor begins. Fleming also told the representatives the board has not received any plans or drawings showing where they plan to install their new facilities and they have to be presented to the village before the work begins so the village has ample opportunity negotiate any changes based upon possible conflicts with the water and sewer facilities. The METRO reps agreed to work with the village attorney to work on the franchise and to provide a drawing when available and not to begin until at least after the first of the year.

The following financial report was presented by Fleming: 1. The village is in 42% into this fiscal year and expenses are at 26% to budget compared to a 33% target. The Admin Fund is a little overbudget due to some engineering costs for the sewer plant. That will be paid back after the IEPA loan is secured; 2. Admin is on budget; 3. Police is 5% under; 4. Street Dept. is 5% under and Water & Sewer is 19% under. The auditors are planning on attending the November meeting to review the 2022-2023 audit.

In other business before the board:

•Expenditures totaled $63,299.21 with $42,072 of that amount annual insurance.

•The board approved a motion to approve the purchase of equipment by the water & sewer department totaling $12,667.88 for use during the lead copper project.

•A resolution was passed approving the TIF request from the Village of Atwood and entering into an agreement for the funds for the village carriage walk.

•The board approved the bid from S Cubed to install Christmas light drops at a cost of $4,025,

•Approval was also given to have S Cubed to install a transfer switch for the generator at the sewer plant.

•The board approved the usage of the village ball diamonds for the ALAH Junior High Girls softball teams for practices and games.

•Approval of a quote for a concrete pad at the park for a 14×24 ft. storage shed at a cost of $5,885. The Youth League will pay for the building.

Trustee Diane Eagan reported the former Municipal Building was open on Saturday, Oct. 7, for any individuals who were unable to visit the Sesquicentennial display during the Apple Dumpling Festival. This was to view the history and capsule contents. She reported only three people attended the display. Afterwards, everything was packed up and taken to the A-H Library for storage until it can be displayed. The new time capsule has been received and is in the new Municipal Building ready to be filled. Diane gave a big thank you to Hilligoss Funeral Home/Tim Hilligoss for the donation of the new time capsule. Watch for an upcoming article on the new time capsule.

Eagan said two new benches have been purchased for the Atwood downtown area from Sesquicentennial Committee funds. She thanked everyone who contributed to these funds. The remaining funds totaling $1,110.77 will be deposited into the Atwood Chamber of Commerce account to be used for community events by the chamber.

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