THOMASBORO — The cost for extending water and sewer lines to serve the proposed Dollar General store east of Thomasboro caused consternation to some Thomasboro residents.
Trustee Tony Grilo reported the village would be responsible for half the cost, or approximately $85,000.
“For one building?” resident Jim Richardson asked.
“Where will that money come from?” resident Jeff Robertson asked.
Dollar General plans to build the store on the northeast corner of U.S. 45 and the Flatville Slab on land leased from the developer, Overland Group. The board plans to annex and zone the area with an eye to additional future development.
Paul Brown, land-surveying manager for Farnsworth Group, was at the meeting on behalf of Overland Group.
“Time is money, so part of the reason I am here tonight is to see if there is anything we can do to keep the process going along,” Brown said. “(The developer) started the process last spring. They want to keep it moving.”
Brown said once the developer had the necessary permissions, construction would move quickly, about three or four months.
“I think we are holding them up at this point,” Grilo said.
The board can move ahead as soon as a checklist of actions is received from village attorney Jason Bartell, Grilo said.
Both Richardson and Trustee Ronda Scott expressed disappointment that the store would not be located within existing village limits.
“I think they did a traffic study and decided that would be the best point,” Grilo said.
As to the question about where the village would find the money to pay its share of the sewer and water extensions, Mayor Tyler Evans said he didn’t know yet.
New police chief introduced
Also at the meeting, Eric Shumate was introduced as the new full-time police chief, and Mike Martinez was thanked for serving as interim police chief for more than two years. Martinez has returned to duty as part-time patrol officer.
Martinez told the board the police department computer must be replaced because the operating system for the present computer is no longer supported with security updates. He also said it is time for the department to update its record management system.
Shumate said later the updated system will allow the department to share information more efficiently with other rural departments.
Trustee Dustin Rhodes reported the county emergency management agency will be checking to ensure that signals from its updated emergency notification system will be able to reach Thomasboro sirens. The new system is digital, and Rhodes said it will require new sirens.
“It’s not going to be cheap,” Rhodes said. “I didn’t have the guy give me a number until we know if it will work.”
The new system would eliminate the need to have someone on the spot to turn on the sirens, though Rhodes said the village would continue to need for the redundancy of storm spotters and an ESDA structure. The matter may be taken up at the March board meeting.
Actions taken by the board include:
• Approving a $1,000 annual contribution to Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County. The money is spent to stock the food pantry. Evans said 39 Thomasboro households were served last year.
• Setting 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, as the date for the annual budget meeting.
• Approving a pay increase for part-time police officer Blake Carey to $18.50 per hour.
• Approving repayment of $96,009 toward a state EPA infrastructure bond.
Evans told the board he plans to attend a rural economic development conference later this month. Registration cost is $175.
Martinez reported that during January, the police department issued three traffic citations and two written warnings for moving violations. Three formal reports were made. Of 35 calls for service, 16 were handled by the Thomasboro Police Department and 17 by the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office.
Robertson asked about road maintenance, pointing out that the condition of Schluter Drive is one of several roads showing significant deterioration. Evans said those roads are on Public Works Superintendent Chad Polsky’s list for maintenance.
Another resident, Robert Derr, raised concerns about speeding in his neighborhood and about litter, inoperable vehicles and discarded furniture piling up around town. Shumate promised to make such nuisance ordinances a priority.