Mayor Rod Randall reminds businesses to be cautious as they reopen
By ARIANA R. CHERRY
The Arthur Village Board continues to meet via ZOOM (Internet video chat application) as the Coronavirus Pandemic still continues to create challenges in our lives. As Illinois slowly begins to re-open, the board hopes to be back together again sometime soon (yet allowing so in a safe way). As they opened their the meeting, Treasurer, Mike Hilgenberg reported that the total expenditures spent were $122,829.51
Afterward, Mayor Rod Randal made a few comments about some of the businesses that had begun to open earlier than what the present guidelines advised. “I have seen a lot of reopening of stores, businesses and churches here lately,” he commented. Randall then asked Chief Goodman if he had any reports or comments about the openings.
“The openings are what they are. We are still speaking with attorneys and watching what will come out of the changes in the rules next week when they are in Springfield,” Goodman replied. “For now, we are still following the same procedures as we were last time that we met,” he added.
“The State Police were taking photos of the Yoder’s Kitchen parking lot on Saturday,” said trustee Matt Bernius. “I think everybody is waiting to see what happens on Wednesday in Springfield,” he said.
“I would just like to remind everybody to be cautious. I did read the letter from State Attorney Kate Watson. I think it is a good approach for all of us to take, although I would like to remind everyone the consequences about re-opening and see what liabilities they may fall under with their insurance. Our area has been blessed with low cases of the virus and I hope that we can move forward. I would like to be able to do it with the Governor and Legislature’s blessing,” stated Randall.
“I think all the businesses are doing what they can to be safe with their customers. I think that our numbers justify phase four without having to wait 28 days to get there.” commented Bernius.
Even though the pandemic weighed heavily on their minds along with the state of some of their local businesses, members continued to press on with other matters of the village.
Comptroller, Erica Carter, informed the board that she had grant applications available. The total amount of money available is 25 million dollars and the minimum they could apply for was $500,000. These grants were for “shovel-ready projects” that municipalities have (the engineering plans had to be already completed as well). “There is no deadline. It is first come, first serve. Once the money is gone, it’s gone,” she informed. Carter also stated that she had grants available for small businesses. She noted that the application process was extensive, but she was there to help them if they were interested in applying.
After discussing the grants available within the community, members of the board approved the 2020-21 Appropriation Ordinance 05-18A-20. They also discussed and approved Change Order #5 for the sanitary sewer lining project in the amount of $8,234.83. A request for Loan Disbursement #8 from the IEPA for the sanitary sewer lining project in the amount of $32,791.35 was approved.
Tastee Cup had made a request to place a sign on the sidewalk for the season. Their sign application was approved.
A bench was donated from Arlone Doan in the memory of her husband, Bob Doan. The board discussed placing the bench at the Welcome Center in his memory. A motion was made and approved.
Village Board members discussed extending their agreement with real estate company, Legacy Land for the Meadowview Subdivision. In a previous meeting, there had been comments that sales had been slow for that particular area of real estate. Rod spoke with Sue Falk, and she said it wasn’t a problem with the listing prices, it was just there hadn’t been any inquiries for building homes right now. Sue also noted that the market was slow. A motion was made to extend the contract for a year, since there will be a lot of lost time due to the COVID19 pandemic.
The motion was passed.
One final “matter” of the Village concerned the Ordinance 05-18B-20, which extended the authorization of Ameren Illinois Company to construct, operate and maintain an electrical utility system in the village of Arthur, counties of Douglas and Moultrie, and the state of Illinois. The authorization was for a 20-year agreement in which the village would be paid $10,230/year. If the population were to increase by 3%, then they could negotiate for a higher amount. A motion was made and passed.
Before the meeting ended, the board wanted to remind everyone that town clean-up day had been rescheduled for June 6.