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VG City Council hears of Ag days events for Aug. 6 and 7

The Villa Grove City Council met for their regular, voting meeting on June 14. In Mayor Eversole Gunter’s absence, Alderman Blaney led the meeting. All other aldermen, plus Clerk Osborne, Administrator Athey, Public works director Lake and Police Chief Rea were in attendance. 

After the pledge, Blaney called the meeting to order, and the first step was to approve the consent agenda which included:

* Minutes of the last regular City Council Meeting, held May 10, 2021.

* Minutes of the last closed session of the regular council meeting, held May 10. 2021.

* Minutes of the last committee of the whole meeting, held May 24, 2021.

* Minutes of the last closed session of the COTW meeting, held May 24, 2021.

* Authorization for the payment of bills in the amount of $308,491.94.

* Financial reports for the month ending April 30, 2021.

* Cash Balance report for the month ending May 31, 2021.

* Public Works purchase of a Stump Grinder for $10,055 from Bobcat of Champaign.

* Approval of Change order #1 for McCoy Water main re-routing for $11,732.13.

Next, Alderman Blaney called for public comments, and Bruce Allen, representing the Ag Days Steering committee and Chamber of Commerce, was on hand to discuss both upcoming and recent events. Allen stated that after being cancelled in 2020, Ag Days were back, scheduled for August 6 and 7. He reported that the car show would be back, but it might be scaled down for 2021. He also noted that the Carnival would be back, and Allen was also pleased to report that the VGHS Scholastic Bowl and FFA programs would once again be involved.  Allen then noted that there would be a Little Miss and Little Mr. Ag days competition. He noted that the Plaza would host bands on both nights, though he didn’t know which bands would be featured. He also mentioned that Connie Crist would be performing at the main street stage, and that Coach Woolley would be organizing a sand volleyball tournament. One change Allen mentioned was that the kiddie tractor pull would be held at 6 p.m. this year, rather earlier in the day as in the past. Finally, he noted that the parade would kick off at 11 a.m. and the annual 5k would be run at 7 p.m. Speaking on behalf of the chamber of commerce, Bruce then discussed the recent fishing derby. He stated that 44 kids, a new record, had participated. He also wanted to thank Public works director Lake and his crew for getting John Leon Park cleaned before the contest, and he also wanted to thank Jeremy Bennett and his scouts for their assistance. Finally, he noted that a future chamber speaker, whose company rents and sells Christmas decorations to municipalities, would be addressing the chamber and invited the council to attend.

Alderman Blaney then called on Administrator Athey to give her report, and Athey began by stating that clean up days went extremely well, and that the level of staffing by Waste Management was unprecedented. She also noted that the office was short staffed, due to some personal issues, and finally wrapped up her report by stating that all three current public works projects were proceeding, though the scrubber for the water plant was on backorder. At this time, alderman Johnson suggested that future engineering projects be opened for bid, if possible, and the general consensus was to look into the idea. 

Public Works director was next, and he gave a short report about what precipitated the need for the change order. 

Chief Rea then noted that Officer Tyler Drake had submitted his resignation and that they currently only had one officer with the required years of experience to serve as SRO. He was confident that he would be able to develop an alternative, if necessary, since the state was not currently offering required training for school resource officers. He closed by noting that his job posting had not generated much interest, and that he would seek alternative avenues. 

Finally, Alderman Blaney gave the Mayor’s report, in which she discussed the CARES act and the ARP conference. She then noted that Mayor Eversole Gunter hoped that the COTW meetings could be used as a time for discussing problems and brainstorming for ideas on how to achieve the goals that the council sets. Finally, it was agreed that the council would move back to their chambers for future meetings. 

Next, the council moved to new business, which included:

* Ordinance adopting the garbage franchise agreement

* Approval of Resolution 2021-R01-Resolution for maintenance under the highway code (MFT 2021) for road improvements in the amount of $210,000.

* Accepted the resignation of Officer Tyler Drake from the Villa Grove Police Department.

* Voted to continue consideration of cost of the RFP deadline to July 9, with discussion to follow at the July 12 meeting.

* Approve contract with ArchiveSocial for web services.

* Approval for Ag Days to use City Property.

All items were approved unanimously, and finding no other business, the meeting adjourned at 6:51 p.m.

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