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Walnut gets $50,000 DCEO grant

Village is courting a grocery store

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014 1:37 p.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014 1:39 p.m. CST

WALNUT — The village of Walnut has been awarded a $50,000 grant for capital improvements within the town.

In 2009, Walnut completed the necessary paperwork and applied for a $50,000 capital improvement grant. Rep. Don Moffitt, at the time, encouraged the village to make this application.

On July 22, notice was received by the village that it was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Under this grant award, it is possible for the village to apply for reimbursement for capital expenditures that have taken place within the last 18 months.

Acting President Dennis Grobe asked the board for possible capital expenditures already spent or ideas as to where to apply this $50,000. Several board members asked to see the listing of what can be covered under this particular grant. The village treasurer agreed to send out to the board members, via email, all the information she had received regarding projects that could be covered.

Grobe agreed any decision for the funds would be tabled until the members were able to review the paperwork, and possible uses for the funds would be discussed at the next board meeting on Aug. 18. Grobe stated this grant is certainly good news for the village, and he is confident the board will develop a plan for excellent use of the funds.

Chamber of Commerce representative Brian Smith was in attendance at the meeting to give the board an update on the next project the Chamber is promoting. The Chamber is committed to Main Street improvement and also to attracting new business to the community, especially on Main Street. The Chamber is aggressively pursuing a grocery story option for the town.

A grocery store representative recently visited the community and was given a tour of both the town overall and the former grocery store property. This representative was impressed with the cleanliness of the village, and when presented with demographics, was encouraged by the number of young couples and families in the area. No commitment has been made from this grocery store representative, but it was a positive visit. The Chamber was encouraged by the response during the visit.

Smith further stated village board member Ryan Rosenthal will be the liaison between the board and the Chamber. Rosenthal will be attending future Chamber meetings and report back to the board on activities. The next Chamber meeting will be on Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. in the bank basement.

In other business

• Grobe stated village attorney Rob LaSage, has again rewritten the proposed ATV and slow-moving vehicle ordinance for use within the village. The new ordinance will be provided to all of the members for review, and action is expected to be taken on this ordinance at the Aug. 18 meeting.

• Law and Order Committee Chairperson Deb Quinn reviewed the recent committee meetings. Quinn said due to the injury of two part-time police officers and the resignation of another part-time officer, the committee is in the process of interviewing new candidates for two part-time positions. By the Aug. 18 board meeting, the committee will have recommendations to make regarding these open positions.

• Finance Committee Chairperson Lee Sarver reported the village has received another franchise fee payment from Mediacom in the amount of $1,900.

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