Schram City Applies For Small Business Grant


A public hearing regarding the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Grant  as part of the DCEO Community Development Block Grant preceded the Schram City Village Board meeting on Monday evening, May 11, at the village hall.

The village will apply for the $25,000 grant to provide working capital for the Canton Inn as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and it’s detrimental impact on small businesses.

All board members were present–whether in the village hall or at home via Zoom–with the exception of Trustee Sam Whitlow.

Upon entering into regular session, members of the board motioned to approve the IEPA loan ordinance authorizing the loan agreement for the water main replacement project as part of the IEPA Public Water Supply Loan Program.

The estimated cost for construction and installment for phase I is $673,750.

Trustee Kevin Tuetken asked if the village has ever applied for a similiar loan, with Oberle reporting that back in 2001, the village borrowed $90,000 from the IEPA to replace some water lines. He said the loan will be paid in full next year. The IEPA loan they are currently applying for is a 30-year loan to replace all old cast iron water lines. Trustee Jerry Woods made a motion to approve the ordinance and Trustee Kevin Tuetken seconded it.

Generating some discussion was the un-annexation of 7.9 acres of property. According to Oberle, the Eagle Zinc property–owned by TL Diamond–will be annexed to the city of Hillsboro. A portion of that land–7.9 acres–is in the jurisdiction of the village of Schram City  and Hillsboro is requesting it to be un-annexed so they could annex the land into their upcoming industrial park. A vote will be made during next month’s meeting.

A resolution for a highway maintenance code, which allows the village to appropriate $14,532.50 of motor fuel tax funds for the purpose of maintaining streets and highways, was approved. Board members would also approve a council resolution of support regarding the CDBG Small Business Stabilization Grant.

In addition to the CDBG grant to help fund the water main replacement project, the village will also be applying for a grant as part of the Rebuild Illinois program. However, when the village applies for the Rebuild Illinois grant, administrative services cannot be paid with the grant if awarded. The cost is roughly $24,000, which would be paid out of the water fund. 

In lift station news, Oberle reported that after a recent rainfall, four out of five lift stations performed really well, with the exception of the station by the DMV. Oberle said the station’s pumps are not performing at max capacity and he is working with Prairie Engineers and Flow Systems to fix the issue. 

Following the lift station project, the village found that two homes share one tap on and now, one home is leaking sewage onto the neighboring property. Oberle said past homeowners may have been related and decided to add a tap on, however the village should have not allowed it and should not force current homeowners to pay the expense. He suggested waiving the $325 tap on fee with the board in agreeance. 

John Masten, who presented his business Masten Mosquito Control in January, was on hand to discuss his proposal with the board. Masten said he is fully insured and after some discussion, trustees will review Hillsboro’s coverage and consider another proposal from Masten at next month’s meeting.

Following Masten’s remarks, Oberle shared a letter from World Harvest Church of Hillsboro, thanking the village for their donation to the food pantry. Oberle said he will continue to contact the local Meals on Wheels program, food pantry and CEFS during the COVID-19 pandemic and will also reach out to Pam Dawson of the Summer Lunch Program. They will also continue waiving the late fees on water bills for residents who are displaced as a result of the ongoing stay-at-home order. A donation of $150 to a local backpack food program, initiated by Erin Kistner for local high school students, was approved.

In new business, the village president said he has received several calls relating to the use of UTVs and side-by-sides within village limits.  Oberle said one resident stated he would volunteer his time to complete the inspections and offered a copy of Hillsboro’s inspection form. The resident also mentioned that surrounding communities have ordinances allowing the motorized vehicles to operate on roadways and that an ordinance would also generate revenue. If approved, the motorized vehicles would need to be street legal to include turn signals, windshield, mirrors, slow moving vehicle signs, seat belts for all seats, proof of insurance and any other criteria as permitted by the village. 

Oberle asked Granito what her thoughts were as she also works with the village of Taylor Springs, where an ordinance was passed. Granito encouraged the board to review regulations in Hillsboro’s inspection form and keep a copy of each operator’s insurance on file. She said liability shouldn’t be a concern, but advised the board to reach out to their liability insurance holder. Before the pandemic hit, Oberle said the state was addressing the issue on state highways, so the village would eventually have to address it as well. An ordinance draft will be created and presented at next month’s meeting.

In a few final notes, a decision regarding this year’s fall festival will be made during the board’s regular meeting on Monday evening, June 8.


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