Arthur Village Board approves TIF Grant for Dicks Pharmacy renovations

Village adopts a temporary resolution for employee COVID19 policy

By ARIANA R. CHERRY
Staff Writer

“There have been some notices from IDPH (Illinois Department of Health) going to Arthur and other area businesses. I want to let the public know that the village has had nothing to do with initiating any of the letters,” stated Mayor Rod Randall at the last Monday, November 16 meeting.

Village board members also spoke about what their policy should be when employees have to take time off from work should they contract COVID19 or are waiting on testing results. First there was discussion on how they should handle a situation if it was a work-related or non-work-related exposure, but even with contract tracers, it was difficult to know exactly how a person contracted COVID, especially with so much of it being community spread. They discussed how other area businesses and employers were handling their policies – some offering up to a certain number of days/weeks’ pay or allowing employees to use vacation, sick or temporary disability pay. After a bit of conversation and considering a variety of solutions, the village decided on a temporary resolution during the COVID19 Pandemic: Village employees will receive up to two weeks’ pay when they are quarantined and full pay when they are waiting on test results if they were told by a supervisor to get tested.

Village Treasurer Mike Hilgenberg reported $405,568.33 in expenditures. Comptroller Erica Carter reported a balance in the checkbook of $3,650,964.16. The TIF account currently had $195,952.83. The Village presently has 77% income and 37% expenses.

Chief Mike Goodman told the board that they have slowly begun to start the trap, neuter, and release program that had been discussed before the pandemic began. There have been some veterinarian students who needed the work and time, so they have been participating in the program. Recently, they have taken in four cats who were spayed, neutered and received their necessary shots. He also mentioned that the police department has a new truck.

Public Works reported that the entire water system was flushed in October. They have been doing a lot of neighborhood sweeping with all of the leaves falling. A storm sewer was installed on Vine Street. A total of 38 applications were received for the open position and Grant said they would be interviewing about three or four of those applicants.

In new business, a loan disbursement of $67,041.90 was approved for the sanitary sewer lining project, a sale of Lot #3 Meadowview Subdivision was approved for $15,000,000 and the board agreed to purchase an alarm system for the Dogwood Lift Station from the Vandevanter Engineering in the amount of $1,135.70 as it was park of the “package deal.” Village board members also agreed to renew their health insurance with Blue Cross Blue Shield since there were no increases and they also renewed their vision and dental insurance with Delta Dental.

Cindi Reed and David Reed approached the board with their plans and requested a TIF grant for renovations at 122 S Walnut Street for Dicks Pharmacy. David Reed presented the board with a floor plan of the building’s renovations which included just the interior. He said that the exterior would come later. Presently, they have hired a design firm that specializes in pharmacies that are working on some preliminary drawings. David told the board he would have those for viewing later on as well.

“We always knew we needed to do something with the building’s structure but we didn’t know what. It had been on our mind, but we didn’t know what direction. Then some weeks ago, when the ceiling fell, we realized we couldn’t wait anymore,” noted David Reed as he spoke to the board.

“It is estimated that the renovations will take about five to six months. We need space for patient consultation, immunizations, filing, prescriptions, retail area, health/wellness area and easy access to the pharmacy. We also need off-street parking,” said David. David also explained that the health insurance companies want pharmacies to be the front line of the health and wellness education of its customers.

“Currently, the soda fountain is up in the air,” he added.

“The Illinois state law requires that a pharmacist be present at all times when the pharmacy is open,” David explained. “In order to keep the soda fountain running, we would have to pay for a pharmacist to be there too,” he stated.

“In my opinion, ice cream and pharmacy don’t go together anymore,” added Cindi Reed. “This is one area that I have been challenged with. I believe we have passed an old era. I wouldn’t want to see it gone from the community, but I was wondering if possibly someone would be interested in taking that over?” she contemplated.

“It definitely has been a major attraction for the community,” Mayor Rod Randall replied.

“The people in Arthur have been super loyal and I have appreciated the town’s support during all of this,” Cindi said gratefully.

After the presentation and discussion with David and Cindi, the Village Board voted to approve a TIF Grant in the amount of $40,280 for the renovations of Dicks Pharmacy for the location at 122 S. Walnut Street. The lease will run out on January 1 at the old building.

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