• BY MICHAEL MILLER

The Thomson Village Board will not proceed with placing the village’s participation in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund program on the April 2, 2018 ballot, opting instead to revisit the matter at a future date, per action on the board’s November 12, 2018 meeting.

President Pro Tem Charlotte Daehler explained that, if placed on the ballot, the item would need to be submitted to the county clerk by December 31st of this year, and the language of the referendum would need to be composed by December 10th.

The quote given the village by the IMRF is good until May of 2020.

Dr. Art Donart motioned to place the item on the ballot, to begin discussion.  He added that while the board had the authority to enter the IMRF without a referendum; he also said if the referendum passed, it would authorize the board to levy the necessary tax to fund the needed $30,000 to enter into the program.

“If the referendum passes, there’s no decision to make,” Donart said.

The question, he said, was “can we offset that somewhere else so that our overall rate is not increased?”

Board member Les Mitchell said that the board should “let the people know if their taxes are going to go up.”  He was also skeptical if there were any other accounts that could be adjusted in order to make up the $30,000.

Board member Tyler Vandendooren explained, “the three options with the IMRF are ‘no, don’t do it, it’s going to stop with us’…or put it up for ballot, and let the village residents decide if they want their taxes increased, or we decide the resident’s tax rate increases.”  He said in his estimation, by 2020 the village would not have the money to enter the program without levying for it.  

With no second to Donart’s motion, the matter did not pass.

The board decided to look at the matter in future when the census results came out and the village’s financial situation was clearer.  Daehler said they could send this to the Finance Committee by putting it on next month’s agenda.

“That way it’s not a dead issue, it’s just a postponed issue,” Donart said.

LIQUOR, NUISANCE ORDINANCES APPROVED

Public Safety/Ordinance Committee Chairman Linda Foltz said that due to issues with improper items being dumped at the village disposal site, an ordinance would be composed specifying that nothing larger than four inches in diameter for landscape waste could be dumped.  The board unanimously approved this new ordinance.

The board also approved an ordinance which would require a reissuance fee of $100.00 for each Class A to I liquor license that is reissued within the original license’s term.  This, according to Foltz, was due to several incidents where license holders requested reissuances of their licenses (due to errors on their own parts) within 30 days, resulting in financial costs to the village for this process.  The village will retain the right to waive the fee if they deem appropriate.

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NEW VILLAGE INSURANCE PROVIDER

Voted unanimously to award village insurance coverage to the Illinois Municipal League Risk Management Association at a cost of $29,000 with a one-time fee of $1,473.00 for prior acts coverage, making this coverage retroactive to 1994.  

“Is this the same coverage we had before?”, board member Jerry Hebeler asked.

“Everything we had before is still covered,” Donart said, noting that the deductibles were better with this coverage.

“If you can get the same coverage for less price, that’s a helluva cut,” Hebeler said.

NEW SIGNAGE, UTILITY POLES TABLED

The board tabled the purchase of a new sign for the yard waste area.   Chief Balk said the signage needs to be specific as to detail but open enough to accommodate any changes the board might make in terms operating procedures.  Donart said that since village property signage is a priority, it would make sense to do all the signs at once and suggested tabling this item till that could be determined., referring the matter to the Public Safety Committee for exact language.

The board also tabled approval of the installation of six replacement utility poles for Main Street.  The poles are owned by the village and have Jo Carroll Energy streetlights on them.  According to an email read by Daehler, Jo Carroll could replace the poles and bill the village, or the village could do the work.  Donart said it would make sense to install LED bulbs while replacing the poles so as to conserve energy.  Chief Beth Balk said that Jo Carroll would furnish as well as repair the lights, not charging for repair but only the electricity.  Under the assumption that Jo Carroll might be cheaper than a contractor, the board elected to table this item until they could determine what Jo Carroll’s cost would be to replace the poles and if it would be feasible to swap out the old bulbs for LED bulbs.

OTHER ACTION AND UPDATES

 The board approved a donation of $50.00 to the West Carroll After Prom Committee to help fund the annual After Prom Party in the spring.

The Village Christmas party and Festival of Trees will be held on Saturday, December 8th, at the village fire station, with no firm time set as yet.  

The village community dinner will be held December 9th, from 11:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the American Legion.  Board member Les Mitchell emphasized that all are welcome, regardless of economic status.

Treasurer Jean Beryl Smith told the board that the village has received a grant for the new camera and the new squad car in the amount of $4.495.00.

  1. Economic Development Committee Chairman Dr. Art Donart noted that the Lion’s Club approved the purchase of two wood benches with metal frames for Main Street.
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