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Sewer Project, Liquor Licenses Approved by Village Board

By Travis Volz

Sewer work and liquor licenses were on the agenda for the Okawville Village Board meeting Monday night.

The board voted to accept a bid for the sewer line replacement project at the EVWR Railroad crossing on Front Street near Top Ag.

Haier Plumbing and Heating’s bid of $128,445 was accepted for the job. It was the lone bid on the project, and the cost does not include railroad flaggers.

Drew Hesker of the Finance Committee also reported that he had been in contact with EFS about the malfunctioning solar panel at the village lagoon.

Hesker said that the panel did not generate any power from August 1 through September 20, costing the village an estimated $5,500 in higher power bills.

“I was told that the village is the first line of defense, which is the opposite of what Eric Nelson told us,” said Hesker. “We need to be the first line of defense on this.”

The outage was only discovered when the village received the August power bill from Ameren. It was Hesker’s understanding that EFS would monitor the output, but that was not the case.

Due to the lengthy outage, EFS will not invoice the village for the service trips or the cost of repairs. Additionally, EFS plans to start a service plan for about $500 a year, which would be offered to the village free of charge for the first couple of years.

The good news is that the solar panels will pay for themselves faster than originally forecasted due to the spike in energy costs, Hesker said.

In other Water and Sewer Committee news, the village standpipe was repaired at a cost of $4,800. and Curry and Associates will begin engineering on the waterline replacement project on Elm, Henrietta and Mascoutah streets.

The board also approved annual liquor licenses for the Original Springs Hotel, as well as semi-annual licenses for American Legion Post 233 and Christ Brothers Inc.

Aaron Hutto’s resignation from the Okawville Police Department was also accepted. Hutto had been with the department for about two years and is taking a job at the Nashville Police Department.

Personnel and Property Committee Chairman Scott Cragen also reported that the village’s old police vehicle was sold on an auction site for $8,300.

The village received $4,805.65 in gaming receipts last month, as well as $954 in fines from the Circuit Clerk, $191 in DUI fines, $68 in arresting agency fees, and $38.40 in drug fines.

Streets and Sidewalks Committee

Willie Bergmann of the Streets and Sidewalks Department reported that workers have been mowing, road patching, ditch digging and filling sink holes. He also said that the crosswalk signs at Fifth and Hanover streets are soon to be replaced, and that Christmas lights will go up around November 15, weather permitting.

Kurtz Tree Service will take down trees in the downtown area, and village personnel will assist with disposal of the wood.

Hesker said that the village’s trash contract will expire soon and bids will be solicited. Based on benchmarking from other towns in the area, Hesker said he expects a significant increase in costs.

Energy costs and rent at the Okawville Senior Center were also discussed. The average cost per kilowat hour from August and September was 131 percent higher than the bill in April and May.

Tourism Committee Chairperson Stacy Friedrich said that she had discussed the promotional video being created by IllinoiSouth Tourism, as well as advertising for the Christmas Stroll and geo-fencing events in surrounding areas.

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