Walnut moves forward on $1.9 million sewer project

WALNUT — Approval has been received from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Financial Assistance Section for the improvements in the village’s sewer system. The sewer project has an estimated project cost of $1.9 million.

At Walnut's Village Board meeting Monday night, village engineer Matt Hansen of Willett, Hofmann and Associates of Dixon discussed with the board the next steps in the sewer improvement project. The approval letter from the IEPA represents the acceptance of the village into the financing program of that agency. The next phase of this project will be to submit the actual loan application for the funds needed.

This phase includes a variety of projects, including the adoption of an ordinance by the village authorizing the borrowing of funds from the IEPA Loan Program and obtaining the IEPA loan agreement.

Receipt of the loan agreement usually takes about three months from the date of submission of the final design. After the agreement from the IEPA has been received, construction on the project will begin. If everything falls into place, construction could be completed by spring/summer of 2015.

The board discussed the need for a rate increase to cover the payments to the IEPA loan. Hansen was asked to do an analysis of the village’s current rates and to then prepare some recommendations for rate increase. The increase can be done in one larger step or in multiple, smaller steps. Following the receipt of this information from Hansen, the board will reach a decision on how it wishes to proceed.

In other business, Police Chief Tom Ptasnik provided copies of ordinances from other municipalities with regard to the operation of sport vehicles within village limits. Ptasnik had been asked at the Nov. 4 board meeting to check out other ordinances in use. In reaching out to other communities in the area, Ptasnik feels if the board decides to enact this type of ordinance, it can be done and enforced. This ordinance would include a fee for a village sticker, operator insurance evidence, and the necessity to be a licensed driver, as these vehicles would be considered a motor vehicle and thereby covered under the same regulations as other motor vehicles. He said the towns and village he talked to have had very few problems. The board will review the ordinances.

Also, Superintendent Carl Minks reported the water tower maintenance project has been completed, and the tower is back in use.

Minks also reported the tree donated by Modern Woodman for the cemetery has been planted as well as two trees purchased by the village were also being planted. These trees were placed in the same general locations as some other trees that had to be removed earlier in the year.

Alan Beaber, Republican candidate for Bureau County Sheriff, asked and received permission to address the board. Beaber introduced himself to those present and outlined his plans if he is elected.

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