Schram City Trustees Get New Assignments

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A new year brought new assignments to members of the Schram City Village Board as President Albert Oberle designated new areas to trustees during their regular monthly meeting held Monday evening, Jan. 11, at the village hall.

During January 2021 to April 2022, Kevin Tuetken will oversee area one; Sam Whitlow, area two; Jerry Woods, area three; Earl Eller, area four; Pat Rhoades, area five; and Kelvin Stewart, area six.

President Oberle advised he received information regarding an abandoned property program through the Illinois Housing Development Authority and revitalization and repair programs from the Montgomery County Economic Development Committee. 

According to the village president, applications must be submitted by Feb. 16. Upon agreement with the board, Oberle will review information to see if there are any resources to pursue. Oberle said the Stillman property, located near the DMV, would be a good candidate for such a program; however, it is still in the court system. 

Once the county gains access to the property, they are interested in deeming it back to the municipality should the municipality have plans for it. Oberle said he has an interested buyer, but there is currently a nursing home lein against it, which can be resolved at the expense of the village.

A one-year contract will begin with Mac’s Fire and Safety, Inc. for alarm systems at the Munchler and Big 4 lift stations. Trustee Rhoades asked if the village will be charged $644 per year with Oberle stating that the village will pay $348 for the first billing and $148 quarterly.

“It’s only for one year, then we can re-evaluate adding them at the other lift stations or see how this works out for us,” said Oberle.

The Schram City Veterans Memorial is well underway as Wayne Jansen of Jansen’s Monuments collects bids for the project. According to Oberle, Jansen will negotiate with a company for a better pricing for stone. Oberle said he hopes to have quotes for next month’s meeting. Tuetken asked if the village only received one bid with Oberle advising that Jansen is assisting with bidding and has received several.

“If anyone would like to give to the Schram City Veterans Memorial, we will accept donations,” said the village president.

Residents who wish to make donations to the memorial can make checks payable to Schram City Veterans Memorial and place it in the village hall drop box.

As part of a grant update, Oberle said the village is still waiting to hear on the DCEO and Rebuild Illinois grants, as well as the IEPA loan. The truck, which was purchased with assistance from a USDA grant, is currently on order and may not arrive until late March.

Board members were encouraged to participate in a leadership photo session on Saturday, Feb. 13, for the Bicentennial event. Oberle advised trustees that group photos will be taken on the south steps of the historic Courthouse, beginning at 11 a.m. with a formal reception to follow in the lobby.

During the treasurer’s report, Treasurer Lois Guinn reported that overall, funds look favorable. While the sewer fund is low, she and Oberle said the village finished paying Prairie Engineers, as well as Brown and Roberts for administrative fees, as part of the lift station replacement project thus depleting funds. 

Payment to Haier Plumbing is on hold until the Munchler lift station pump is repaired. Oberle has been in contact with Flo-Systems, Haier Plumbing’s sub, who are gathering proper equipment to pull the pump. Trustee Rhoades agreed to withhold payment upon repair.

A police report should be available during next month’s meeting, Oberle said. Hillsboro Police Chief Randy Leetham will email the report to be included in the monthly trustee packet. Trustee Tuetken inquired about completion of street signs, and Oberle said there are five more to install next week. Tuetken also advised that some alleys need attention.

While late fees have been waived since COVID-19 began last March, Oberle proposed decreasing the late fee percentage to 10 percent instead of 15 percent.

“The water and sewer fund is not designed to gouge people, and I realize that if we don’t have some kind of penalty, some poeple won’t pay their bills, but I really think 10 percent would make it in line to where it should be,” said Oberle.

He noted that a few years ago, the village reduced the fee from 30 to 15 percent, however, he feels 10 percent is sufficient. Rhoades questioned the percentage of people who don’t pay, and Oberle said out of 300 customers, there are roughly 30 they have to reach out to at the end of the month. The board agreed and will amend the ordinance during next month’s meeting.

In  a few final notes, the village president reported that the village will see roughly $9,000 less this year from gaming and that he lowered the budget to reflect that. 

“Hopefully things will work out there,” he said. “Time will tell.”

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