LUDLOW — The village will receive an additional $24,450 in state funds over the next three years for infrastructure improvements.
Fehr Graham engineers informed Mayor Steve Thomas that a new grant program through Rebuild Illinois will be distributed for Illinois Department of Transportation and motor fuel tax funds.
The money must be put into the village’s motor fuel tax fund bank account for funding of infrastructure improvements.
In other business at the June village board meeting, water bill collector Carol Chenoweth said she had created an informational pamphlet to provide to new residents.
The minimum water bill for residents will climb to $45 per month beginning in July for in-town residents and $67.50 for residents living outside of town. An additional rate hike will take place in 2021.
The water rate hikes were necessitated to enable the village to pay off a loan for the new water main replacement project.
No small-scale July 4 event
The board, responding to a query by Thomas, said it would be best not to hold any type of small-scale village-sponsored Fourth of July festivities such as a street dance. Thomas broached the idea since Gov. J.B. Pritzker has relaxed some of the restrictions from the COVID-19 stay-at-home order.
The board earlier had announced there would be no parade, car show or other July 4 events sponsored by the village.
Thomas told the Press that does not preclude any private individual or business from hosting a band with a beer garden downtown for the holiday.
Thomas reported village employee Rick Chenoweth had mowed on state property near the four entrances to town along U.S. 45 because vegetation was getting too high for motorists to see oncoming traffic.
He said Illinois Department of Transportation crews then began mowing roadsides about three days after that.
“IDOT is the largest landowner in the state of Illinois,” said Thomas, himself an IDOT employee, speaking of the amount of roadsides. “We’re in no way trying to replace the state and their responsibility.”
Thomas said he had received a number of complaints from residents about the tall vegetation at the U.S. 45 intersections.
“I would just hate to see somebody taken out” due to a blind spot, he said.
Thomas also reported he and a few trustees are working on a solution to get absent property owners to mow their properties.
He also said there are new residents in the village, and water service to a few of those homes had been turned on.
Thomas said there are about 10 homes that are occupied now, in various parts of town, that hadn’t been until recently. A few of them are owner-occupied. One home that had been damaged by fire was fixed up by the landlord.
Police Chief Joe Navarro reported he had helped with a motorcycle accident call on U.S. 45 and had responded to a report of domestic violence; a home break-in on Orange Street; and a report of a juvenile trying to touch a moving train.
Waiting on the railroad
The board learned the village is still waiting on approval from Canadian National Railroad on boring plans on railroad property to replace existing water lines.
“They are wanting the liability insurance policy on our behalf, which we ... had built into our (Illinois Municipal League policy) that we belong to. We’re just waiting for them to sign off on it.”
The board set the town cleanup day for Saturday, June 27. Three roll-off containers will be brought by Central Illinois Disposal and Recycling of Paxton. Village residents only will be able to dispose of items that normally could not be picked up with regular trash.
Village Clerk Dawn Good swore in newly appointed Trustee Tom Fultz, who was appointed to the seat formerly held by Nancy Cox.
The board learned a tree in the new Marguerite Walker Park needs to be removed. The village will likely use a $750 donation from Ludlow Township to help pay for the work.
The board learned the fee charged by Champaign County for animal control services will increase to $1.47 per capita, and the fee for animal impoundment services will climb to 97 cents per capita.
The board also learned Chenoweth had repainted the handicap parking space at the village office and will paint the parking spaces in town on street where it is the responsibility of the village.