THOMASBORO — Village trustees thought they had solved the dilemma of operating and maintaining the water treatment plant, but could not reach an agreement with the man they wanted to hire as public works supervisor.
Jim Richardson, Thomasboro resident and former trustee, expressed his frustration at the board’s regular meeting last week.
“I think it’s asinine Tyler (Martin) quit in December and we haven’t solidified anybody to work here in town,” Richardson said.
Richardson suggested the board contract with Illinois American Water Co., but there are two problems with that. Mayor Tyler Evans said his contact at the company has taken a job out of state and the position is vacant.
“So any discussion with American Water is at a lull until that position would be filled,” Evans said.
The second problem is that a contract with Illinois American Water would be short term. The company normally contracts with municipalities as a step toward buying the system.
Richardson was concerned about the costs of holding special meetings as each meeting costs $300 if all six trustees attend at $50 per trustee; the mayor, who is salaried, does not receive extra.
Richardson was also concerned about the ongoing cost of maintaining and operating the plant and of emergency repairs. Currently, the village contracts basic maintenance and supervision to Martin, who is the former public works superintendent, with assistance from part-time public works employee Gary Rosenbeck. Emergency repairs are outsourced.
“I feel your pain on that,” Evans said. “The facts are we are saving money and handling what needs to be handled.”
Evans promised to reopen the discussion with Illinois American Water if the board is unable to fill the public works position. Trustees consented to placing ads once again.
Actions taken by the board included 5-0 votes to buy picnic tables and benches and approve appointments to the planning and zoning committee. Trustee Kyle Henegar was absent.
Two tables with benches will be purchased from Global Industries at a cost not to exceed $3,000.
Martin, Trent Wolken and Trustee Tony Grilo were appointed to the planning and zoning committee. Grilo will serve as zoning officer. Those recommendations came out of a special meeting of the committee June 24.
Evans also suggested village ordinances be examined for needed updates so the village would be prepared for future commercial development. His suggestion was prompted by a recent inquiry from a development company regarding liquor licenses and expansion of local utilities. No details were available.
There was a brief discussion about upgrading emergency equipment. Sam McCall, a former dispatcher who will assist ESDA Director Laurel Zook, said the equipment is so outdated that it is not usable. Grilo suggested replacing the activation system.
Trustee Dustin Rhodes said there had been a call from a resident about emergency sirens not being tested last month.
“It’s not a requirement to test these things,” Rhodes said.
Trustee John Curry reported police officers had issued one traffic citation and three warnings for moving violations. METCAD calls totaled 39, 17 of which were handled by Champaign County sheriff’s deputies.
Scott reminded residents about eliminating standing water to reduce mosquito activity.
Treasurer Leon Albers told the board the annual audit was in progress.
“So far, so good,” he said.