The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Stronghurst Village Board

Moving Foward on Water Tower Construction

By: Shirley Linder, Quill Editor

A large part of the regular meeting of the Village of Stronghurst trustees on Monday, April 3rd was once again focused on the new water tower and financing.

Chris Cooper, MSA Engineering representative, was present to discuss the final contract with the board in preparation to letting bids for getting the water tower project going. Bids will be advertised starting April 6th and will be opened on April 26th . (bid notice elsewhere in this issue). The lowest responsible bid is to be accepted, MSA will then go over it to be sure everything is bid correctly and at the regular board meeting on May 1st the recommended bid will be voted upon by the board.

Construction of the water tower will begin approximately two months after the bids are let, with completion date estimated to be the fall of 2018.

Village Attorney Bill Rasmussen was asked to insert wording into the contract that would give local electricians an opportunity to bid on the projects, to which he replied," you are asking me to write a contract to build a 1.4 million dollar water tower when all I know about water towers, is there is water in them."

He went on the say if they start putting language in the contract, basically moving it one way you're buying a law suit. The board decided to leave the contract as is and will notify the local electricians of how they may bid by applying to those who get the contract.

Rasmussen asked Cooper how the payments are to be made, but Cooper did not have an answer to the question.

Rasmussen told the board a municipality borrowing money was not as easy as an individual borrowing money because they are governed by law. Usually the money is in the form of bonds, which the village would rather not do. According to law they can only borrow 8.625% of the value of the taxable property there in. The Henderson County assessor's office is undergoing some computers changes and was unable to get this year's assessment to the attorney in time for the meeting. So using last year's assessment which was $7,507,895, the village can only borrow $647,875 and only for a 10 year period. This leaves means they will need to cash in more of their CDs or issue bonds for the rest of the $1.4 million dollars.

Stacie Newberry and Josh DeSotel were present to express their concern over the Bank of Stronghurst not being included in this project. Newberry said the bank has always been interested in community projects and have taken part in them. She apologized for some hiccups along the way and said they had never meant to cause headaches or problems to the village.

She stated that the village board had agreed in the beginning to make Security Savings the lead bank on the loan and Security Savings would work with the Bank of Stronghurst for part of the financing. Newberry told some of the bank's history and participation in community events. She stated the Stronghurst bank has 12 employees, 5 living directly in Stronghurst, 5 living in Henderson County and the other 2 live just outside the Henderson County border.

Brendan Schaley had talked with Newberry and also with Jerry Keimig and told them Security Savings was used to handling bigger projects such as these and Aaron Leary had been helpful. He also said he had told Leary if they, Security Savings, wanted to work with the Bank of Stronghurst that was up to him.

Mike Bohnenkamp expressed his concerns on some of the hiccups, (as they called them), such as, bringing in an out of towner after one meeting; the fact it took 6 months to get the deed and needing to reroute the water line for the ATM. He said moving the water line cost the village time and money and when the ATM was completed it wasn't necessary to have moved the lines. He said also the bank requested the Humdinger be cleared by October 15th, which gave the village only a 2 weeks span to accomplish, thus making it necessary to re-arrange the work of the village employees.

Newberry said she knows these things caused some disruptions and they do apologize for them.

She also explained the bank had changed plans on the ATM and didn't make the final decision until late. Newberry will talk to Leary and see if they can work together.

The police report for March included: 161 hours worked; 1152 squad car miles; 11 traffic stops; 5 verbal warnings; written warning; 1 ticket; 2 assists with ambulance; 1 assist with Henderson county sheriff's department; 9 service calls; 2 arrests.

Lou Ann Nortrup asked for clarification for payment of the trustees. The ordinance reads "The compensation of village officers shall be as follows: the president $80 per month, Trustees $50 or $65. An additional $20 will be paid to each trustee attending a committee meeting." Her question was trustees have to be present at a meeting to get paid, but it doesn't state if a trustee has to be at a board meeting to get paid. Trustees do only get paid for one meeting a month so if special meetings are held there is no compensation for that. There was no answer forthcoming.

In other business:

Those in attendance included: Mayor Gary Root; Trustees, Michael Bohnenkamp, Tim Camp, Brendan Schaley, Tom Crotts, David Vancil, (Amand Kane-absent); Employees, Lou Ann Nortrup, Ronnie Gittings, Arbry Vancil, Attorney Bill Rasmussen; Guests, Jerry Nortrup, Dave Schaab, Virginia Ross, Chris Cooper, Stacie Newberry, Josh DeSotel, Shirley Linder

The meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m. until the next regular meeting scheduled for May 1st, at 7:00 p.m. at the village hall.