Water treatment discussions continue in Thomasboro

THOMASBORO — Former Public Works Superintendent Tyler Martin will continue to perform basic water treatment duties as the Thomasboro village board pursues a long term solution to water treatment management.

At a special meeting last week,  trustees voted 5-0 to approve a contract with Martin for up to 60 days at a rate of $33.50 per day. At the regular meeting on Jan. 15, trustees approved a rate of $50 per day. That contract ended Jan. 31.

The board is considering outsourcing water operations and maintenance to Illinois American Water. Mayor Tyler Evans said he had received a quote of $29,000 for one year. That is slightly more than half the $57,000 paid to the public works superintendent in salary and benefits last year, but the superintendent is also responsible for street cleaning, minor street maintenance and plowing snow.

Much of the discussion at the special meeting centered around additional water treatment tasks not included in initial talks between Evans, trustee Tony Grilo and a representative from Illinois American Water. Evans asked Martin to compile a list of those tasks.

Trustee Dustin Rhodes wondered how much that would change the quote.

“Is it safe to assume with all this stuff we are adding, that it’s not going to be less than $29,000?

Evans said he didn’t know if $29,000 was the bottom line for Illinois American Water.

“I don’t see why they would give us that number for the scope of work they provide and then that number would magically trim down to $20,000. It isn’t going to happen,” Rhodes said.

Evans said he hopes to meet with the Illinois American Water representative soon and asked for trustees available to accompany him.

In the meantime, the board agreed to resume advertising for the public works superintendency, which has been vacant since Dec. 31. There wasn’t much optimism that an applicant would be found with street experience, a water operator’s license and the willingness to work long term for what the village can pay. That’s what prompted the investigation into outsourcing.

“I don’t know anyone qualified to do streets and water and willing to move to town, to obtain a Class B (water operator) license. As soon as they get that license, they can get more money (elsewhere). I don’t blame them,” Evans said.

Trustees discussed hiring a part-time employee to supplement outsourcing and possibly investing in water operator training for that person. They also discussed hiring a part-time employee who would be responsible only for streets.



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