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City Council discusses Public Works equipment purchases

The Villa Grove city council met on Monday July 12 for the regular monthly meeting, with all in attendance save Alderman Pangburn. Also present were clerk Osborne, Administrator Athey, Public works director Lake and Chief of Police Rea.

Mayor Eversole Gunter called the meeting to order at 6:01 p.m., and after the saying the Pledge of Allegiance, the mayor asked for a motion to approve the consent agenda, which consisted of:

* Minutes from the last regular city council meeting, held on June 14, 2021.

* Minutes from the last COTM meeting, which was held on May 24, 2021.

* Authorization for the payment of bills in the amount of $424,125.83.

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

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

The motion was raised, seconded and approved unanimously.

Next, the mayor called for public comments, and finding none, moved on to reports. 

Administrator Athey then reported that she was prepping for the annual audit, and that the audit team had arrived. She wasn’t sure how long they would be on site. She also mentioned that she had begun preliminary preparation for the annual budget, and Alderman Blaney then suggested that a special budget meeting be held so that newer department heads and aldermen could get acclimated to the process. A consensus was reached for such a meeting to occur. Athey then noted that bids for the community building were set to be open on Friday, July 16.

The mayor then called on Chief Rea, who said he really had no news to report. He did note that he had decided not to hire a new officer at this time due to PTI not being able to train new police until the fall of 2022. He said that he would continue to seek other, experienced officers through other means. 

Public works director Lake then made a lengthy report in which he informed the council that the Adams street pump station was inoperable, and that pw was using a temporary four-inch pump until the main unit could be repaired. He also indicated that a variable frequency drive had gone out at the waste treatment plant, but that he thought he could bypass the VFD and get the unit back up and running soon. Next, he noted that the Pine street pump had also failed, and that repairs were underway. He then noted that OSHA had informed the city that the hand railings at the waste treatment plant were a violation, and that the period of time granted for repairs had almost expired. It was decided to request an extension before the repairs would be made. Next, he commented that the Water tower refill process had quit working over the weekend, and that he and Dylan Campbell spent most of the weekend manually turning on the refill process. 

Next, mayor Eversole Gunter made her report. She praised public works for their efforts during the Celebration of Freedom on July 2. She also thanked Thomas Electric for their assistance in making sure power was properly in place. She thanked Jamie Morse and her family for all their efforts regarding the bike parade and she thanked Bruce Allen and the chamber of commerce for providing train rides as well as overseeing the kiddie tractor pull. She thanked the fire department for their participation in the celebration, as well as thanking both fire chief Chuck Black and Police Chief Rea for being good sports and participating in the dunk tank. Chief Rea quickly noted that the water and the air temperatures were both cold! Eversole Gunter then thanked Jackie Wells from the Library for having fun activities for the kids, and thanked the state bank for participating in the event, handing out water. Finally, she thanked Melrose Pyrotechnic for putting on a great show, and Rory Gunter for making sure that the music and fireworks sync properly. “Our community came together and put on a good post-pandemic event,” Eversole Gunter noted. 

Eversole Gunter then moved to new business which included:
* Approving a request from Mike Beesley for a variance at 208 Bruce Street.

Although all aldermen are in favor of doing so, the council was unable to vote at this time, so it was tabled until the next meeting.

* Voted to continue consideration of extension of the RFP deadline until 8/6. 

Motion passed unanimously.

* Approve pay request No. 1 for Schomborg & Schomborg Construction.

After much discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

* Voted no to using sod rather than seed and straw on old water plant site.

* Approved a rental agreement proposal, as brought before the council by Melanie Brooks, the director of the Zest for Life Center. This motion passed unanimously.

* Unanimously approved the purchase of a dump bed for the public works dump truck.

* Unanimously approved the purchase of a large deck mower for public works.

* Unanimously voted to replace valves at the Adams Street lift station.

* Discussed the virtual newly elected officials conference and OMA compliance training issue.

* Unanimously approved the attendance of officials to the IML conference in September.

* Accepted the resignation of Libby Neathery, office clerk.

Finding no other business, the council then adjourned at 7:16 p.m.

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