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By DAVE HINTON
Rantoul Press editor
LUDLOW — The village board will decide whether to seek bids for water tower renovation or go a less-costly route to hire a contractor.
Mayor Pete Walker said if the board had a super majority of the board agreeing, it could eliminate going out for bids.
“If you already have a company (that can be trusted) ... you’d rather go that route,” Walker said.
He noted that not putting the project out for bids would eliminate engineering fees.
Walker said the water tower hasn’t been cleaned and repainted for about 17 years. The project would call for the tower to be drained, sandblasted inside, recoated and the exterior repainted.
“It’s been on the table for about two years,” Walker said, “and we’ve tried to go at it from several ways.”
Walker said the company being considered, Hanfland Painting of Sigel, has worked on the water tower in the past and has done a good job. He said the company is also doing water tower work for other area communities, including Paxton.
Village Attorney Jack Waaler has indicated he has some concerns about not going through the bid process.
Walker said the project cost has been estimated at $80,000
The board is considering taking out a loan with Bank of Rantoul. Another option is seeking a low-interest EPA loan with Foth Engineering administering the loan application process.
“I’ve already talked to Bank of Rantoul, and you don’t have to do bonds if you keep it under 10 years,” Walker said.
The village board earlier raised water rates to pay for the work.
Walker said engineer Greg Gustafson of Foth Engineering, Champaign, had resigned, but Walker said the company can still oversee the project.
“They have a structural engineer on staff,” Walker said. “We’re still negotiating with them.”
He expects the process to begin this summer, with work to be done next year.
The board also discussed plans by the American Legion post to hold a Fourth of July celebration in the community.
Walker said the celebration could include a parade and music downtown.
The board approved a 10-year cable television franchise agreement with Mediacom, the current provider. The company’s current 10-year agreement is expiring.
Walker said the board turned down a Mediacom proposal to switch payment of the village’s 5 percent utility tax money from a quarterly to a yearly basis.
Walker said the tax generates from $300-$400 for the village every quarter.
The townwide cleanup date is set from 9 a.m-2 p.m. Saturday, May 5. Dropoff site is the community center.
New this year, residents can bring electronic items, including computers and batteries.
No tires, construction material, paint or oil may be brought to the site. Ludlow residents only may drop off items.
The board voted to retain Biggs Lawn Care, Paxton, to mow village property, for $135 per cutting.
Ralph Cox discussed water issues and tests. He said there are several large outstanding bills.
Walker said the outstanding bills amount to about $4,000.