LUDLOW — A public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, at which members of the community may voice their opinions on a proposed water main/pump house replacement project.

The village plans to replace most of the water mains, which were installed in the late 1940s, and the equipment at the water plant building.

Mayor Steve Thomas said if any residents oppose — or favor — the project, the village board wants to hear about it.

“The goal is if there was opposition from the town folk and it would persuade the trustees to go one way or the other on their decision,” residents are welcome to express their opinions, Thomas said.

He said the public hearing can also serve as an informational meeting for any residents who haven’t heard about the $2.8 million project.

USDA will pay 68 percent of the project cost — down from the 70 percent indicated earlier. The village will receive a low-interest loan to pay its share.

The board voted last month 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.

Fehr Graham officials indicated they would like to receive bids on the project this fall so work could start about this time next year.

The board discussed at last week’s monthly meeting that Fehr Graham had left Hickory and Walnut streets off the map of mains to be replaced, so engineer Matt Johnson was informed about the oversight.

Village trustee Ross Radke said he had requested a copy of the USDA guidelines book from Thomas and was told he didn’t have one for him.

Thomas said Johnson had presented board members that information at an earlier meeting.

“We entered an agreement with (Fehr Graham) two meetings back, and our engineer handed each of us a copy,” Thomas said. “It was pretty much the rule book about who would do what.”

Radke also questioned Village Clerk Sandy Langley on the formatting of the minutes of the board meetings. He said they are not accurate. He said he has prepared federal grants before and the minutes would not be accepted.

Thomas, however, said the day after the meeting, the last three months worth of minutes were sent to village attorney Marc Miller for his opinion, and he indicated the minutes were fine.

The board learned new windows had been installed in the water building. The village has paid for all of the improvements to the exterior of the building itself. The interior improvements, including the filtering and treatment equipment, will be paid from the USDA grant and loan.

Trustee Randy Alesia discussed plans for the town’s Fourth of July celebration.

The band Sapphire will play at the event at a cost of $800. There will also be food, bounce houses and games for children. The next meeting of the July 4 committee is 7 p.m. April 10.

Thomas said he was contacted again by officials from Ludlow Co-Op elevator company regarding construction of a new bin where the former American Legion used to stand.

Representatives from the cooperative were invited to discuss their thoughts at a future village board meeting.

It was announced the village cleanup day will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 8.

Two Dumpsters will be ordered from Gene May.  

Alesia discussed possible culvert cleanouts in the village.

The board approved the budget ordinance with the revised amount of culvert maintenance changed from $1,000 to $3,000.

The budget appropriations total $219,814.

Broken down by fund, the general fund totals $167,479. Of that, $55,776 is in general fund administration; $52,700 in streets and right of way; $59,003 in police fund; $8,000 for professional services; and $52,335 in the water department fund.

dhinton@rantoulpress.com