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Village of Atwood receives Park Land Grant

Staff Writer

Village President Bill Fleming announced the Atwood Village Board received the park land grant in the amount of $23,911.20 at the regular meeting on Monday, November 13. Fleming said this is 90% of the appraisal of the land. It appraised at $10,800/acre equaling $26,568. The village paid $13,000/acre x 2.46 acres equaling $31,980. The village cost was $5,412 or $2,200 acre.

President Fleming gave a special thanks and his personal appreciation to Kim Wierman of United Contractors Midwest who provided on-site supervision of the crews and the entire project. Kim is a native of Atwood, a graduate of Atwood-Hammond High School and still has family ties in the village.

Fleming stated, “Many may remember that the village went 2 years without any company bidding on the project. After some discussions, Kim advocated for our village with his company and they agreed to bid on and complete the project, and they did so very professionally, safely and provided great cooperation with village engineers and the village. Their final product looks great and I appreciate all Kim and UCM did for the village and how they conducted their work.”

There are still handicap sidewalks and other sidewalks to install. Three Guys Concrete has this work on their schedule. The asphalted parking areas on the north and south side of the Atwood Village Hall have been sealed and re-striped. There are a total of three handicapped parking spots in these areas.

Bill announced the striping of the downtown street was completed, however there were some areas that received poor workmanship. Bill contacted Village Engineer Ryan Staley who addressed these areas with the contractor. The company returned to correct their errors.

Kevin Buckley of McGuire, Yuhas, Huffman and Buckley, PC, was present to discuss the FY23 audit. After discussion and questions and answers, Buckley said the village is in a good situation and should be even better next year after some of the issues the village went through this year were resolved. The audit was approved.

Fleming stated that the following report on village finances: The village is 50% into this fiscal year; admin is 5% under budget, police, 6% under, streets 10% under, water & sewer 23% under.

Expenditures totaled $439,853.64 for October.

The board approved payment of $354,329.02 to Illinois Valley Paving for the completion of Main Street. This money came from Motor Fuel Tax, ARPA and Business District Fund.

The police department received the Cops Hiring Grant and will be advertising for another full-time officer.

A motion was passed to adopt Ordinance 23-O-13 declaring certain real estate surplus and authorizing the sale of such real estate. This will be the old Municipal Building, which is no longer needed by the village. A Public Notice will be published advertising for bids. Bids will be opened at the regular meeting on December 11.

The board approved a motion to adopt Resolution 23-R-20, a resolution to open a new bank account and adding authorized signatories to specific bank accounts. This will be for the sewer plant project.

Carolyn and John Tournear were present to ask about their special use permit for the Bethel Tabernacle Church. The board approved a motion for a two-year permit.

The board approved an increase to $14.00/hr. for all part-time village employees beginning January 1, 2024.

As most residents are aware, the Consolidated Communications project of burying fiber optic cable is underway.

METRO Communications is working with Atwood Village Attorney Kenny Crossman on the proposed franchise agreement to come into Atwood to also bury fiber optic cable. The board already told METRO they have to meet village guidelines and they cannot start until after Consolidated has completed their project.

The concrete pad has been poured for the new storage shed for the ball league to be delivered after January 1.

Fleming told the audience Douglas County is to begin the Hazard Mitigation Planning Process. American Environmental Corp. has been hired by Douglas County to update the county’s Hazard Mitigation Plan. This is being coordinated by the Douglas County Emergency Management Agency in Tuscola. Fleming said he attended the first meeting to represent the Village of Atwood. These meetings will take place over 2024 for the purpose of updating the plan as well as determine opportunities to reduce or mitigate the impact of storms or natural events on the various cities and agencies in Douglas County. In recent years, the Village of Atwood has been susceptible to severe storms, lighting strikes and other natural events that has affected the water/sewer operations as well as created flooding in some area of the village. A future benefit of the village participating in this process is that it makes the village eligible for possible future grants that would be available to improve village facilities to help reduce the impact of these naturally occurring events.

A quote from Trimmed Up Trees for $9,500 was accepted for removal of village trees throughout town. This includes trees behind Caseys.

The next meeting of the board will be Monday, December 11 at 6 p.m.

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