Sycamore council marks progress on water plant

SYCAMORE – Sycamore Village Council received good news at Tuesday night’s meeting: the water treatment plant project will soon take a big step forward.

Village Administrator Chuck Clark reported that of about 30 items the village was required to get together for the United States Department of Agriculture loan application, nearly all have been completed by the village. One of the last pieces was to approve a resolution that allowed the village to proceed to borrow issuance bonds and to accept grant money for the $2.4 million project.

The loan would total $1.065 million and the grant would not exceed $862,300. The resolution gives Mayor Matt Boucher and Council President Vicki Weininger authority to sign the papers on behalf of the village.

Clark said the village may be finished with its requirements by the end of March, at which time the contract engineers, Sands & Decker, would put together bid requirements. Construction could begin this summer.

Clark asked council to consider having solicitor James Gucker look into seeking other prices on bonds counsel to see if the original estimate is in line.

Council gave Clark approval to have backhoes brought in on a demonstration basis to see their capabilities, with Clark inviting council to be present. A utility meeting was set for 6 p.m. Tuesday at the village hall.

Council member Dawn Needles announced the Sycamore Business Association is to conduct a reverse raffle Saturday, and encouraged participation as the association has been using proceeds to benefit the village. She showed a photograph of the shelter house roof at the park which is a direct result of raffle money. Council publicly thanked the association for its contribution.

Fire Chief Bryan Clouse reported a state grant was available to fire and EMS. A committee gathered a list of equipment which is paid for at 100 percent through a purchase period of July 11, 2013, through June 30, 2014. The total requested is $2,500.37, and the request to apply for the grant was approved by council.

Clouse reminded council of the annual fire meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at the fire station. The townships and other entities that they serve are invited to attend. He also reported the Lioness’ annual donut sale will be at 8 a.m. March 23, also at the fire station.

Council agreed to a request by Clouse to explore collecting unpaid monies from EMS squad runs. Solicitor James Gucker will send a demand letter to clients with money owed, then follow up by turning over non-responses to a collection agency. A meeting was scheduled for 6:30 p.m. March 21 at the fire station to discuss guidelines on how to handle such matters in the future.

The utility committee will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday and the next meeting of council is 7:30 p.m. March 26, both at village hall.