Schram City To Extend Treatment Agreement

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Members of the Schram City Village Board met for their regular monthly meeting on Monday evening, June 14, at the village hall. President Albert Oberle was in attendance via telephone.

As the village prepares for Phase I of the water replacement project, the IEPA has upgraded the loan awarded to the village to the total of $793,693.46 and the loan principle to $9,982. As part of that, the IEPA is requesting the village to establish a water treatment agreement over the course of the loan.

According to Oberle, the village entered into a water treatment agreement with the city of Hillsboro for 20 years in 2015 or 2016. After discussion with the city of Hillsboro, the village plans to extend the current agreement to an additional 20 years to cover the request of the IEPA. The village president asked for and received the board’s approval to move forward. The IEPA loan will be awarded to the village on June 30.

In addition to the IEPA loan, the water operator contract with Roger Fath will expire at the end of June. While village employee Scott Spencer passed his certification test, he is still considered an “operator in training.” Tim Ferguson, operator for the city of Hillsboro, will mentor Spencer until he receives full licensing in August. Oberle will contact the IEPA to inquire about Ferguson serving as the village’s licensed operator until that time.

Members of the board approved the employee yearly insurance renewal at a 5.5 percent increase. Trustee Jerry Woods made a motion to approve the measure with Trustee Kevin Tuetken seconding it.

While trash service issues are ongoing in the village, Oberle said residents have inquired about a village-wide trash service instead. The village president said he found a trash service company transferring garbage in a private parking lot last week, and this company continues using alleyways. That particular company inquired about a designated transfer area within the village.

Trustee Earl Eller asked if the village received revenue from any of the service companies that come in, with Oberle stating no. Eller said he was not in favor of the village having one sole trash provider. Some discussion was had over whether they should allow a designated transfer area and whether it should be located at the old mine property dump or behind the village maintenance shed. 

Instead, the village president will create an ordinance prohibiting trash trucks from using alleys and will contact each service company to advise them of the upcoming ordinance.

As part of a veterans update, Oberle said the village is waiting on prices from Wayne Jansen of Jansen’s Monument and Boulder of Hillsboro. He hopes to have a quote for the board at next month’s meeting.

The Montgomery County Bicentennial celebration was a success. The village provided a display for the event that featured old photos of past businesses and staples. The display will remain inside the village hall and may be presented at Old Settlers.

Oberle said he learned in the mayor’s meeting last week that Montgomery County was awarded $2.7 million in federal American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funds. According to Oberle, every municipality will have an opportunity to present needed projects and compete for funds. The Montgomery County Board will then determine which projects will be approved and how much funding will be awarded. The village president suggested presenting Phase II and Phase III of the water replacement project, as well as replacement pumps for the lift stations, which would cost the village $30,000.

In addition to the ARPA funds, Oberle shared that there will be electronics recycling days on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Hillsboro Highway Department and Saturday, Oct. 23, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the former Litchfield recycling building.

In an animal control update, Oberle said the county wishes to bill the village at their current census, $2 per capita. The unofficial census, from 2015 to 2019, shows that the village has grown in population with a total of 674 residents. Oberle said the county wants to charge the village $1,348 per year to cover services, and will charge $50 per emergency call after hours. He also shared that Hillsboro and Litchfield have not signed a contract.

“Prior to us having a contract, I called them on two different weekends, never got ahold of anybody. I left messages and no one ever called me back,” said Oberle. “Why continue to pay for a service that we don’t really get?”

The village president asked Attorney Alicia Granito if the village should repeal all animal control ordinances during next month’s meeting. Granito advised them to do so, saying they can be re-instated should an agreement be reached. He then asked if court was back in full session as they need to address ordinance violations and village clean-up.

“It’s not about the money,” Oberle said. “It’s about getting the mess cleaned up.” 

Schram City Zoning Officer Mike Lee said he plans to work on derelict vehicles going forward.

In streets and alleys, the village plans to lay asphalt next week, and will begin oiling and rocking by the first of August. 

Resident Kayla Simonton was on hand to ask if the village would patch 18th Road with asphalt as it is broken up and thick weeds are growing. She said that she clears the weeds, but does not want to apply weed killer as it will make its way to the storm drain. Oberle said they can patch the road.

Members of the board briefly discussed this year’s Schram City Fall Festival. It was tabled for next month’s meeting, when they will decide if they want to go forward in planning the event.

In a few final notes, the board reminds residents that grass clippings are prohibited on public streets, alleys and other public properties which drain into the public sewer system. It is a public safety issue and will be enforced. 

As Independence Day draws near, the village also reminds residents that fireworks are not permitted within village limits and Oberle will contact the police department to advise them of such.

Local businesses are also asked to keep lids closed on their dumpsters. The village sprayed for mosquitoes just last week and will spray again before July 4.

Next month’s meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on Monday, July 12, at village hall.

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