2020-2021 tentative budget approved
By ARIANA R. CHERRY
Treasurer Mike Hilgenberg reported that there was “nothing out of the ordinary,” as he stated there was $22,726.75 in expenditures during the Arthur Village Board’s meeting on April 20. Once again, the meeting was held via ZOOM while everyone is still “sheltering in place,” and given that the governor extended it until May 30th, it is possible that future meetings will also be held this way.
Trustee Christy Miller gave a quick update regarding the updates on the Arthur Welcome Center. “They are almost done. The counter-top and cabinets need placed and there are a few things left in the restroom. Then it will be finished afterward,” she stated.
Mayor Rod Randall mentioned the letters from Homefield Energy that everyone received in the mail. Some residents had called into the office with questions. “We won’t have an answer for those letters until May 1. The new rate is slightly better than Ameren’s rate (unless you are spending $60 or more on your electric bill). Ameren won’t be posting their new rate until May 1. You can opt in or out anytime with Homefield Energy, although with Ameren, if you opt out, you won’t be able to opt back in for a year,” he informed.
Chief Michael Goodman told the board that he was still continuing DARE lessons by including them I the packets that get sent home with students at the Arthur and Atwood Grade schools. He will be doing “make-shift” graduations by mailing out student certificates and t-shirts since they won’t be returning to the school buildings.
Erica Carter, the village comptroller reported that Arthur received a local share of the cannabis use tax which was $160.78. The next disbursement is estimated to be at $200.
Stephanie Wierman attended the meeting to speak about the new Route 36 sign that will be placed. The present sign is quite aged, as it has been there since the 1970’s. The new sign was created by A.J.’s and is black and red. The Association of Commerce is investing $3,000, and there has also been money funded from the Tim Trust Fund. A motion by the village was made and approved to give $4,500 towards the new sign. A question was made to Wierman about upcoming events in Arthur. She stated that currently, they are waiting on what the governor plans to do. With the Strawberry Jam Festival scheduled for June 5 and 6, Wierman said she “doubted” that it would take place, as it required health permits, and the health department was not presently issuing permits.
A tentative budget for 2020-2021 was reviewed, discussed and approved. Year to date expenses were totaled at $2,389,115.58. Expenses for 2020-2021 were estimated at $3,888,503.15.
In light of a new situation with a TIF application that dealt with a business being self-insured and not having a way for them to provide proof of insurance, the village board felt it was necessary to discuss and look into the issue- especially if similar possible situations were to arise in the future. They all agreed that just having proof of insurance at the time of a grant request really provided no protection of the TIF funds that would be awarded. After coming to a decision, a new resolution was added to all future TIF applications. The new resolution was approved as stated: “If a property is sold, the new owner will be assigned the same agreement, but it will be pro-rated according to the number of months left on the three year commitment.”
E.Z. Trail was approved for $71,000 in TIFF funding providing they produce project invoices of at least $142,000.00.
A change order (#4) was also made for the sanitary sewer lining project. An amount of $13,504.57 was approved. A loan disbursement in the amount of $82,961.70 was requested and also approved for the sanitary sewer loan project. A landscaping contract between the Village of Arthur and the Great Pumpkin Patch was made.
Towards the end of the meeting, Trustee Jenni Marner brought up some questions that she had heard from residents in Arthur. Some of them had discussed their worries about food security with her. Jennie said some were wondering if it there could be a possibility of raising their own chickens, even if they lived in town. Mayor Rod Randall said it was an issue that could be discussed at the next meeting.