By CHRISTY JANKOWSKI
During Cerro Gordo’s regularly scheduled village board meeting on Monday, August 17, Tina McCarty swore in Jeff Frydenger for trustee. Last month, Trustee Mike Martin submitted his resignation, thanking the board for the opportunity to serve. Frydenger has been present at most meetings. Trustee Aaron Weldy appointed him, and Trustee Jeff Powers seconded the motion.
Updates to the water project:
Village President Tim Allen read for Tom Overmyer, Engineer for Fehr and Graham, about updates to the ongoing IEPA water and sewer project. “The project will be advertised on the 18th of August in the newspapers and pre bid meeting with contractors on September 9, and contractors on October 7.”
The village audit review:
The village had their annual audit review. Blank had mostly good news to share. “Up 40,000 in Motor Fuel Tax as result of increase in tax that is now trickling out to the municipalities.” He added TIF district was up 24,000; and there was a time the police department was up $38,000 in expenses due to switching from village police to a contract with Piatt County. Overall he stated, “Overall not a big difference in other funds, as far as the increases or money expanded, so not a lot of fluctuation there.”
As for finances he added, “Just suggesting that someone overlook the and sign off on bank reconciliations on however your treasurer is.” Adding while not required, “Cheapest internal control you have is bank statements..sometimes you see in audit procedures you see someone got two checks and then got three and then liked it so well they did it for another month..not saying that has ever been an issue here, just saying these things happened so be aware of that.”
The Depot Requests More Outdoor Events
The Depot hosted it’s first outdoor event on July 25. Overall it went well, and they have hosted a few since. Sunday, they hosted a band and a food truck. Amanda Rinckner and Mark Kaufman were present to ask for permission for more outdoor events, citing profit as a big reason. “We are showing a huge difference between doing inside bands and outside bands, because now the weather is nice, everyone wants to be outside, nobody is coming when we have them inside.”
There was much discussion. Kaufman noted that they really would like to put on more Sunday family friendly events adding that the last event, “We had kids dancing in the street and lots of families up here, not just people drinking.”
Rincker stated, “For October we have two bands scheduled outside, but I would like to get an open door to have outside bands as long as we follow through….I feel like we have done a really good job keeping it clean. It’s a lot cleaner than when we started all of this.” Allen stated while he liked the Sunday idea, he did not approve of an open door.
Trustee Beth Medlen added that possibly, “The whole reason that the board and the village, and even people that attend your events are comfortable….because you said you’re making more money outside. Well, number one, people don’t want to be inside, you know because even right now people that are concerned about the COVID situation are more comfortable coming to something outdoors, so they can maintain their own social distancing.” Adding, “I think there is a tremendous advantage there, but also I like the idea that you have not taken up the whole block.”
The board liked the idea of adding two Sundays as family days per month. Trustee Frydnger stated about their one last Sunday, “It was nice, I peered in and looked to see if things were being adhered to. I had some pulled pork nachos and they were good.”
The village discussed whether their insurance policy would cover everything, and it was discussed to change Kauman’s liquor license from a Class A in the future to a combination license. Trustee Aaron Weldy was the only trustee opposed to adding an extra outdoor event night. He stated he would like them to keep it at a minimum of two per month during Fridays and Saturdays. He was not opposed to the Sunday family day concept.
The village approved adding September 12 for an outdoor band night, and the possibly adding another Sunday event with a food truck on August 30.
The Village Saves $88,000 plus per year by refinancing
The village board approved ordinance 660 which authorizes General Obligation bonds Series 2020 for the village which, “ for the purpose of refunding certain outstanding bonds of the Village and providing for the levy of a direct annual tax sufficient to pay such principal and interest if the pledged revenues are insufficient to make such payments. The State Bank of Cerro Gordo is refinancing the bond, saving the village $88,000 per year plus an extra $500 per year just in renewal fees cited by Allen. Their refinancing rate is at 1.5%
Medlen stated, “Yeah, no brainer.”
Last month, Jarrod , from Good Energy came to speak about municipality rates with them compared to Ameren’s rates for village customers. This month the board finalized which companies will change the Street lights and lightning in the Municipal buildings. The went with Homefield Energy for the Municipal buildings and ANP Energy for the Street lights.
Medlen has been on top of this project. “We have researched just to make sure everything that we were just doing the village due diligence just looking into all the companies and possible avenues.”
She cited the difference between Ameren’s rates were astounding. “The difference between saving per resident $15-20/month versus charging an extra $15/20 per month.”
The village board is also looking for a treasurer to fill Stacey Henderson’s shoes. She resigned prior to the board meeting. There will be a post on the website. The board is looking for someone to work 8-12pm more than likely Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. If interested, send your resume to Tina McCarty, Village Clerk of Cerro Gordo. She will be taking over treasury duties until the village fills the spot.