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Arthur Village Board begins discussions about annual Cheese Festival in spite of the pandemic

Village of Arthur’s newest Police Officer. Officer Matthew Soria has taken the state exam and passed and is now a certified law officer. He is also coming to the end of his field training. Soria was awarded his certificate by Police Chief Michael Goodman.

Restaurants in Arthur begin to open back up

Staff Writer

On June 15, Stephanie Wierman, opened up the Arthur Village Board meeting with a public comment concerning whether Arthur would be having its annual Arthur Cheese Festival. She noted that it wasn’t just the businesses who wanted to have the festival, there were also several people who wanted to have it too. She felt that it would be something positive and boost morale. It would also be nice to have the festival- just for the sake of having a festival, since so much had been canceled already.

Stephanie noted that she had talked to Bill Singer concerning insurance, and there were no problems with it. With the pandemic though, the festival would have to change the way that the free cheese is distributed, as it would have to be prepackaged instead. There also would not be any inflatables for the kids, and there would have to be a different type of entertainment such as magic or puppet show. There also has been no word in issuing permits to food vendors yet.

Stephanie explained to the board that she wanted to start the discussion about the festival and see where the village would stand from a legal and liability point of view. She also added that downtown businesses and those that are in the country would benefit from the festival. With there only being one festival, there was a possibility it would be well attended. Stephanie pointed out that it could come together fairly quickly, but there needs to be a plan and needs input from the board. She appreciated them not taking it off the table yet, but it depends on health departments and how it would look from a legal stand-point. After the discussion, the board stated that they would revisit the idea during the first meeting in July. They also needed to see what “Phase 4” looked like in the Restore Illinois Plan and go from there.

Pressing forward, Matt Bernius informed the board that expenditures for the period were $68,017.05. Mayor Rod Randall told the board that he sat in a ZOOM meeting with Chapin Rose. “The state is borrowing $5 billion from the feds. Don’t expect on time payments from the state.

It is a good thing we got our EPA Loan when we did,” Rod Randall said.

Since canceling the recycling program, Christy Miller announced that she had contacted all of the current trash companies and had met with one of them. Presently, she has only found one so far that would consider Arthur for recycling.

Police Chief Michael Goodman informed the board that Officer Soria has taken the state exam and passed it. He is now a certified law officer. Soria will be awarded his certificate at his next shift and he is also coming to the end of his field training. Goodman also reported that there have been a lot of bicycle riders on the downtown sidewalks. There had been four incidents and most of them were young kids.

Grant Corum from Public Works noted that all of his staff was back to work and in rotation.

In new business, a change order for the sanitary sewer liner project was approved for $4,483.50. A loan disbursement from the IEPA for the sanitary sewer project in the amount of $12,592.65 was approved. Board members approved to enter into an agreement with Farnsworth Group for sludge press engineering in the amount of $35,000. An application from Timothy D. Singer and Clarice M. Singer was approved for variance at 321 South Elm Street. They requested that the zoning district be changed from a one-family residential district to a multiple family restricted district. David Phelps and Lora Phelps submitted an application for variance at 412 South Walnut Street. It was a request to allow a building over the lot coverage limits. It was approved.

Board members also discussed that they would be sending a letter to Governor Pritzker asking that he change the move between phases for the Restore Illinois Plan be 14 days instead of 28. In the letter, it was noted that down state statistics have been lower. They also presented information from the scientists as well. After discussing the letter, the board moved their talk towards COVID19 precautions for Arthur while it has been in “Phase 3,” which allowed outdoor dining in restaurants. Christy Miller explained that she had originally applied for a grant that would allow a tent to be set up near the gazebo with tables and chairs which would assist with outdoor dining. Although, since there was a lack of interest, she pulled the idea. Most bars and restaurants have opened up as “business as usual.” Village President Randall has gone around to discuss the possible risks with those who have opened. The village has also made sure that all of the restaurants are insured. Since all of them currently are, it won’t pose on Arthur for any liabilities. Randall informed everyone that gaming would be allowed again on June 27.

Restaurants have been informed to take precautions by making sure there is social distancing in between machines, such as allowing the use of every other one, or placing Plexiglas between the gaming machines – like Angela’s Food and Spirits will be doing.


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