By Doris Elmore
Allergy sufferers in Atwood have good news from the Atwood Village Board meeting on Monday, November 8. The board discussed opinions on the topic of leaf removal and disposal. Earlier in the year, the board made the decision to purchase a used leaf vac system and incorporate its use this fall to reduce the amount of leaf burning in the village. Due to the extreme cost of purchasing the trailer and labor to install this system, the board determined it was cost prohibitive at this time.
Village President Bill Fleming states, “For the consideration of our friends and neighbors in our community who experience breathing difficulties as a result of leaf burning, the village board asks that all residents be aware of this hazard of leaf burning to our older residents as well as those with breathing issues. We remind all residents that the burning of household trash and any burning after dusk is prohibited at all times.”
Residents are asked to consider following the options listed below:
1. Please don’t burn damp leaves or debris.
2. Leaves can be hauled to the village dump next to the sewer plant.
3. If you are unable to transport them, leaves can be placed in burnable yard bags (NO plastic) and place them in the boulevard. Village employees will pick them up on Mondays and take them to the village dump.
4. Rake your leaves to the boulevard, text your name and address to Green Wave Landscaping (217-841-1676) and your leaves will be collected on Mondays of each week starting on Monday, November 22, for a basic fee of $30 per visit. Payment will be due at the time of pick-up. No sticks, plants or other yard waste can be collected. Prices may vary for larger amounts of leaves.
The village had an agreement with the railroad since 1980 to pay them $100 per year for use of parking south of the tracks and west of Main Street, which was used for grocery store employees. With no grocery store, this area has not been used except during the Apple Dumpling Festival. The village recently received an invoice increasing the cost to $2,400 a year. The board passed a motion terminating this agreement.
A discussion was held to ratify the contract continuing to purchase electric power from a Power Marketer for village owned accounts for 7 cents a kilowatt hr. for two years. This is not for residents, just village accounts. It was agreed to ratify this action.
Trustee Diane Eagan brought to the board the Main Street railroad approach and crossing is very rough and she has had complaints. It was decided to contact the railroad company and discuss the issue with them.
She also told the board the Atwood Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a lighting contest again this year. More information will be forthcoming on this event.
The board was contacted regarding a drainage problem at Rajah Memorial Park and Veterans Memorial. Public Works Superintendent Jeff Mercer told the board the street department made some adjustments on the culverts east of the park to see if it would work to improve the drainage. They will report back to the board if it is going to work.
Trustee Chris Stoltz told the board the Douglas County States Attorney Kate Watson told Atwood Police Chief Rob Bross there was money available through fees collected through her office to assist in purchasing equipment. The village received $5,000 from Douglas County, which will be used on the cost of body cameras.
The police department has two new tasers at a cost of approximately $1,400. The ones they had quit working.
Trustee Allen Kilber stated the bank sidewalk has been completed and it turned out well. They will still need to work on the boulevard on the north side of the bank.
He said the street and alley department has a new walk behind snow blower for downtown sidewalks.
Kilber also said the stakes have been marked for tree planting. Fifteen of the 31 trees will be planted in the park. He said there was no date for planting, but it will be before the ground freezes.