Details for $2.8 million Ludlow grant outlined

LUDLOW — Village trustees heard more details on a 70 percent USDA grant that will help pay for replacing the town’s water mains and water plant.

Meeting last week, the board spoke with engineer Matt Johnson of Fehr Graham, Champaign.

He said the USDA needs more information on inactive water accounts with addresses and the reasons why they are inactive. Johnson outlined the steps in the grant process.

The village qualified for having to pay only 30 percent of the total based on 1 1/2 percent median household income on 127 meters.

Johnson provided an initial project estimate cost of $2.8 million.

A village loan for the project will be at 1.3 percent to 1.8 percent interest, Johnson said.

He discussed plans for water lines going to the curb and right of way. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to pay for the water line from the right of way to the home.

If the old galvanized pipe begins to collapse past the right of way and no hook up can be made to it, contingencies will be required in the new water ordinance or project plans that require the homeowner to pay for the expenses.

He said Fehr Graham has seen this problem before, and the firm works closely with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and other agencies for public facility grants for low-income households.

The board voted to approve an ordinance to borrow $191,000 from Farmers-Merchants National Bank, Paxton, to pay the engineering fees.

Trustees also approved an engineering agreement with Fehr Graham.

Under terms of the agreement, the village would pick up about 30 percent of the cost.

Other business

— The board also heard from State Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur), who spoke about issues ongoing in the Illinois House and its effect on Illinois residents. He also answered questions from the audience.

— The board also voted to pay Champaign County Regional Planning $60 for electronic recycling in 2019.

— Larry Biggs Lawn Care was approved to again provide mowing service for $175 per mowing. Jeff Harper presented the lowest of four bids, but the board went with Biggs because the company has done a good job mowing for the village for the past 14 years.

— Trustee Ross Radke made a motion to table the minutes from the February meeting because he said the amended sexual harassment ordinance was unconstitutional and that Village Clerk Sandy Langley was not listed as absent from the meeting.
Radke is chairman of the police committee and said he felt he was in charge of village policies. Trustees informed him the police chair was only to head up the police committee. Radke’s motion to table died for lack of a second. The board then voted to approve the minutes.

— A Fourth of July committee meeting was set at 7 p.m. March 13.


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