THOMASBORO — The 2019-2020 budget approved by the Thomasboro village board at the April 1 regular meeting is “very similar” to the previous budget, Village Treasurer Leon Albers said.

Anticipated revenues into the general fund for 2019-2020 total $344,100 compared to $311,700 budgeted for 2018-2019. Anticipated general fund expenses total $324,345 compared to $390,846 in 2018-2019.

Revenue into the water fund in 2019-2020 is anticipated to be $158,900 with expenses of $147,616. Sewer fund revenues are anticipated to be $366,850 with expenses of $366,640.

Renewal of a contract with Republic Services was delayed to give Trustee Ronda Scott time to sound out rates with a representative from Area Disposal.

The three-year contract with Republic ends in the fall. The village has the option to renew the contract, at a 3 percent increase, for two more three-year periods. Recycling is included.

Scott had suggested trash services be put out for bid. Trustee Tony Grilo said he doesn’t oppose that, but is concerned the declining market for recycling would result in costs greater than the three percent increase.

“Three years ago, they made a lot of money on recycling. Actually they lose quite a bit now on recycling,” Grilo said. “I am fearful that now if you want a recycling tote you’re going to be charged. It’s not the end of the world, but I think it may cause a (problem) for some people.”

Mayor Tyler Evans agreed, noting Republic had been “very responsive” to village needs, especially on clean-up days. Republic has also donated to the parks and sent volunteers out to help build a playground, he said.

“I think if we locked in, in the next six months we will get a cheaper overall rate than if we put it out for bid,” Evans said. “I think we’re getting the better end of the deal moving forward.

Old squad car use

At the suggestion of Interim Police Chief Mike Martinez, the board agreed it would not be a good idea to use an old squad car as a multi-purpose village vehicle.

“As I looked up close (at the car), it’s a police car, no doubt about it. We can put ‘Village of Thomasboro’ on it, but it will still look like a police car,” Martinez said.

He was concerned that perception could result in hostility toward a village employee using the car, even for non-police purposes.

“There are some aggressive individuals in this town,” he said.

The vacant public works position was rehashed. The board now appears to be leaning toward once again hiring and training someone without the required water operator license.     

“At the last meeting I was under the impression that we are not hiring without a water license. Now we’re talking about hiring without one,” Trustee Kyle Henegar said.

He suggested contacting initial applicants who had been overlooked because they weren’t licensed.

“There are people in town who might be interested in training for that water license. I think people are under the assumption we’re going with AmericanWater if (we can’t find someone with a) license,” he said. “I think we need to give them a chance.”

Currently, water treatment is being managed under a contract with former Public Works Superintendent Tyler Martin, with assistance from part-time public works employee Gary Rosenbeck. The village also has the option to contract with Illinois American Water Co. to operate the plant in the short term.

“Before, there was such a sense of urgency to fill the obligations to the EPA,” Evans said. “Now we’re filling that. The good news is we don’t have to feel the pressure to do something tomorrow.”

The pressure to reach a solution had been compounded by the word that the EPA may soon prohibit communities from hiring unlicensed employees to work under supervision of a licensed contractor.

Evans called for a special meeting on April 8 for further discussion of the topic.

Other items on that agenda include repair estimates for public works vehicles, rain gutters and changing locks on village buildings.

Other business

In other business, the board approved a resolution to update the signature card at Gifford State Bank to add Village Clerk Jasmyne Boyce and remove former employees.

Martinez reported residents made 48 calls to METCAD, 24 of which were handled by the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office. Five formal reports were generated. There were no ordinance or traffic citations, but three warnings were given for moving violations.

The community garage sale is scheduled for May 4 and community clean-up day from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on May 11.