by Stephanie Malench
MARINE — The Marine Village Board met on Dec. 6 to vote on several important financial matters and received some good news about the proposed Dollar General store.
During public comment, John Molitor asked for an update on the South lift station. An estimate was received for $37,000 to replace the panel instead of repairing the existing components. The project will be added to the 2024-2025 budget.
Ricky Gibbs said the sticker for the new bench he is donating should be received in the next month.
Lynn Scherer inquired about putting a new pipe across from the dump site. Mayor Kelly Tracy said this will not be needed. Tracy went on to say that the dump site is closed to the public until the sewer relining project is completed and is to remain locked. Visu is moving the dirt back to the dump site to be used when the ditch along Pocahontas and Humboldt roads is repaired next year to keep the subdivision from flooding.
The Streets and Finance committees had no reports.
During the Police and Health committee report, Chair Mark Voigt asked for and received money from the police department budget to send Police Chief Brent Stweart and four officers to the Illinois Criminal Justice Summit $280 for hotel rooms and $85 per conference attendee.
Voigt also updated the board on his discussion with one of the property owners that needs to annex in for Dollar General to build in the village. He said the property owner is open to annexing to the village a 50 ft strip of land to make the project happen in the least invasive way possible but needed to consult with the other owner of the property.
Tracy also informed the board that another Dollar General developer has approached the village looking to build. Tracy believes that having two developers competing will benefit the village in having its conditions met.
Sewer committee Chair Darren Apken reported that even though the sewer lining project was only two days in, change orders would be coming in soon. The first issue the crews ran into was a lateral near the park that will need to be tied back in and the other in front of the Food Dude will involve moving the sewer line to get it away from the gas and water lines.
Tracy announced that residents need to make sure their toilets are free of debris and the lids are closed when the contractor is working in the area “as this work can inadvertently cause the water in the bowl to be propelled out of your toilet if conditions are right albeit it’s rare”. The village will post the schedule on social media as soon as the contractor releases each phase.
Tracy also announced that because the project was funded over 50% through federal funds, a 4 x 6 foot sign must be displayed at a location in the village that is easily seen that the project was funded by the Biden Administration. The lagoon was selected. Tracy declined to have the Village’s logo on the sign and said she would not do it for any public official, “either this president, the previous, or the next”.
Parks Committee Chair Shaun Gunter reported the park restrooms have been winterized. A preliminary discussion of projects to apply for PEP grant funds in 2024 was held and centered around a new lawnmower if allowed or new foam for the playground equipment areas.
Finance Committee Chair Trent Noeltner presented two ordinances that passed. The first was setting the tax levy for 2024, and the second opting out of the IPLFAW Act. The village is updating the existing vacation and leave ordinance that all part time employees will be paid at least one day’s pay annually. This will be done as an additional line item for 8 hours pay on the employees’ Christmas bonus beginning in 2024.
This year’s Christmas bonus approved is $50 to each part time employee and $100 to each full time employee.