Community center open, but senior citizens still can't use it for meals

LUDLOW — Village officials are wondering what it will take before senior citizens are able to eat their Peace Meal lunches at the town’s new community center.

Already open several months, the village is having trouble getting the site inspected so the meals can be served there.

Mayor Pete Walker said a little progress has been made, but not enough for Peace Meals to be served there.

“We had to do a soil test for our septic field. If that works out, ... it should have the green light,” Walker said, and a public health official will be able to inspect the facility.

“If Public Health gives us the OK, I’m going to try my best to work with them, be positive and get it going so they can start using it. We didn’t build it just to have an empty building.”

Ever since the April 2015 arson fire that destroyed the old center, Peace Meals have been held at the United Methodist Church.

The village had an open house for the center in February.

Water system replacement discussed
In other business at the April village board meeting, the board is taking the possible replacement of the town’s water system, including the mains, in phases.

The board has heard presentations from two engineering firms — the latest being Fehr Graham — and now must decide if it wants to hire a firm to conduct a preliminary engineering study, which is a necessary step before applying for a low-interest loan or a federal grant.

Walker said the most grant money the village could expect to receive for the million-dollar project — if one is approved — is about $450,000.

“Our focus is making sure the water plant is good for the next 20-30 years,” Walker said. “That’s the heart of the water system.”

He said the village hasn’t had any upgrades to the water plant since it was built in 1983.

“The media sand, the controls, we’re going to maybe check our wells out. It could be $20,000-$30,000 to have our wells inspected. We’ll check out the screens, get a camera down there and check it all out,” Walker said.

The water mains, many of which date to the 1940s, might be the most glaring need. Walker said the village would replace the 6-inch mains first, if the project proceeds, and then later the 4-inch mains.

He said the village won’t proceed with the project unless it receives financial assistance.

The board also discussed having electrician Mark Garrell, rural Rantoul, present a bid for a new water plant generator.

“The old (generator), he patched together,” Walker said. “That was something in the report. Companies (encouraged) us to upgrade the generator.”

The board also approved hiring Billy Schlueter to grind three tree stumps for $375.

The board set the tentative town cleanup day for 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, June 24. The alternate date is July 1. Cost for two 20-yard Dumpsters from Gene May will be $600.

The board discussed contents for the new building and opted to have it insured for $20,000. That amount will be increased if additional contents are added.

dhinton@rantoulpress.com

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