The Soldiers Grove Village Board met last Thursday, May 4 to discuss the topics of the month.
Accountant Melanie Lendosky met with the board to review their yearly audit report.
Through this standard process, it was learned that to stay afloat in the village’s general fund, a significant increase to sewer charges would need to be implemented sometime in the future.
For the last several years, the board has raised the sewer rate by three percent each year. But they learned that those increases have not helped enough for the sewer fund to be self-sustaining.
“We are going to recommend a big increase on sewer,” Lendosky stated. “You haven’t had anything wrong with your sewer, but if you did, having that fund built up is going to be important.”
Currently, because the sewer fund is unable to cover its own expenses the money comes out of the general fund for the village, Lendosky noted. That’s a concerning trend because the general fund is also responsible for large, unexpected purchases that the board may have to make, as well as items that are budged for.
The board seemed to be in agreement that it is an issue that needed to be examined more closely.
“We need to show the public what we are looking at here,” said village trustee Shayne Chapman. “I hate to raise it, but its something we need to look more closely at.”
Trustee Paul Nicholson shared an example of billing for a household only on sewer.
“I am only on the village sewer, not water, where I live and my bill is only about $30 bucks a month,” Nicholson stated.
“So, adding ten percent will only be like three dollars for you, but it makes a big difference to us,” trustee Vicki Campbell said in response.
The board agreed to continue to examine options regarding changes to the sewer rate to help the fund be self-sustaining.
Brian Copus updated the board that the Soldiers Grove Fire Department was looking at the costs of a new brush rig.
“We aren’t buying one right now, just looking into what they cost,” Copus said.
The board was in agreement that “it never hurts to check.”
During the CDC report, the board learned that the individual with the outstanding loan had sent $200 in good faith for paying his bill.
“We have received a letter from the one individual who has an outstanding loan,” Campbell told the board. “He sent a check for $200 and told us in the letter he is in the process of selling and will pay the rest off with in 60 days, but wanted to show good faith with the $200.”
Campbell informed the board that the letter was received on April 20.
The board also learned that the Soldiers Grove Village Clerk Tammy Kepler would be sending out a letter for delinquent room tax from the fourth quarter for the Old Oak Inn and The Roth House. Although first quarter had also not been sent out, it was not yet considered delinquent.
The CDC fund would again this year be buying flowers for the barrels. It was also decided that some of the tourism fund money would be used to purchase new barrels.
“Some of the barrels are looking pretty rough, they’ve been through the floodwaters,” Campbell observed. The board agreed to purchase new barrels.
The board also learned that work would need to be completed on Third Street before paving would be able to begin. Currently, water rushing down the ditch from Third Street is carrying sand into the highway. The board agreed that they would contact the State and Clayton Township and ask for help and suggestions to mitigating this problem.
It was agreed by the board to change the wording in a village ordinance regarding riding ATVs and dirt bikes. The current ordinance reads that neither ATV/UTVs or dirt bikes are allowed on village streets. However, since there are now routes to go through town on UTV/ATV routes, the wording was updated to reflect that.
In other news:
• Picnic licensees for liquor sales were issued to the Lions Club, BMW Group, June Dairy Days and the Driftless Art Festival
• A new computer was approved for the village clerk’s office.