Dale Barkley resigned from Edgar County Airport Advisory Committee –

PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

During the Edgar County Board meeting this morning, we learned from Karl Farnham that Dale Barkley had submitted his resignation from the Edgar County Airport Advisory Committee.

In other business, the Board approved purchasing of a new software package for use with assessments and tax levy purposes, among others. This package comes with a savings over software currently used of about $5,000 annually.

William McCord was appointed as Trustee of the Metcalf Fire Protection District.

After closed session discussions on litigation, the Board voted to pay its legal fees ($5000) for the lawsuits filed by me late last year/early this year. Both cases filed were settled with mutual stipulation(s) to dismiss.

The Board authorized an increase in payments to the ETSB for dispatching. the new agreement is $114,000 per year, compared to $100,000 last year.
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Metcalf – Water Works Operator and Second Trustee Resign –

METCALF, IL. (ECWd) –

The Village of Metcalf held their monthly meeting last night, 6/6/2016.

Among action taken was to accept the resignation of Village Trustee John Morris.

Immediately after that, Lorin Kinney, Water Works Operator, submitted his resignation. However, Illinois EPA requires a 15-day notice period so that the village is not left in hardship. So, his resignation takes effect on June 21, 2016.

Village Trustee Mike Alligood also submitted his resignation effective June 6, 2016. The Board had to table accepting it and declaring the seat vacant because it was not on the agenda.

After the meeting, Trustee Alligood put a large sum of door keys on the table along with a water meter wrench and a hydrant wrench.

Both Kinney and Alligood were upset because of the comment in our last article stating that they were responsible for the EPA compliance & lab reports, after receiving a warning letter from the EPA concerning their non-receipt of any compliance and lab reports for some time. Additionally, a Trustee commented to them that he did not have any confidence in the Water House at this time.

So, essentially, when the Illinois EPA sent the warning letter and it became public that mandatory compliance reports and lab reports had not been sent to the EPA over a couple year time-frame, the individuals immediately responsible for failure got upset when called out on it, and resigned.

These same two individuals, earlier this year, presented at least one questionable invoice from the Water Department to the village for payment. Questions on its authenticity were met with confusing answers, nothing contained in the invoice was verified, and the invoice was never paid. The company purporting to have completed the work never tried to collect once questions were being asked. 

UPDATE: Kinney informed me that he has only been the Water Works Operator since January of 2016 and that he has been working on submitting these reports since then and has recently submitted all the required reports. He acknowledged they were late, but they have been done. He also stated the CCR deadline was July 1, not June 1.

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Metcalf Village Trustee Resigned –

Metcalf, IL. (ECWd) –

The newest Trustee to the Village of Metcalf has turned in his resignation via U.S. mail.

John Morris mailed his signed resignation to the village in a letter postmarked June 1, 2016, with the statement “I hereby submit my resignation as Village Trustee effective May 31.” The letter did contain the year “2015”, however, the postmark on the envelope was 2016 and the letter can either be accepted as a scrivener’s error on the year, and accept it to meaning 2016, or they can ask him to physically correct the error on the year.

He was mentioned in a previous article we wrote where the subject of approving an already awarded grant was the heated topic of a village board meeting.

Morris was appointed to a vacancy on March 7, 2016, just prior to discussions on the grant.

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Illinois EPA sends warning to Metcalf for non-compliance on reporting –

METCALF, IL. (ECWd) –

On June 2, 2016, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency issued a Warning Notice to the Village of Metcalf and its Water/Waste Water System.

The Warning Letter complains of non-compliance with IEPA rules for not submitting Metcalf’s “Discharge Monitoring Reports” for the periods of:

  • June 15, 2014 thru January 15, 2015
  • May 15, 2015 to present

These reports must be submitted on a regular basis and apparently the Water Operator has failed to ensure these reports make it to the IL-EPA for most of the past two years.

According to the warning letter, the Village has 30 days to respond to the letter with an explanation of why they are non-compliant and how they are going to come into compliance.

I asked Cheryl Gill, the Mayor of Metcalf, whose responsibility it was to ensure compliance, she replied that it was the Licensed Water Works Operator, Lorin Kinney, and Waterworks Chairman and Village Trustee Mike Alligood, who are the responsible parties.

Gill also stated that the annual Waterworks Consumer Confidence (CCR) Report should have been available to all residents by June 1st, and it is still not available.

UPDATE: Kinney informed me that he has only been the Water Works Operator since January of 2016 and that he has been working on submitting these reports since then and has recently submitted all the required reports. He acknowledged they were late, but they have been done. He also stated the CCR deadline was July 1, not June 1.

Download (PDF, 1.01MB)

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Edgar Co. Local Governments owe the State over $166,000 in overpaid PPRT –

Edgar County, IL. (ECWd) –

The local governments in Edgar County owed the State of Illinois a total of $166,119.51 in overpayments the state made with the personal property replacement tax back in 2014.

A list of all Edgar County overpayments are below, with the School Districts, City of Paris, and County governments making up the majority of the overpayments.

There is no schedule for repayment to the state at this time.

Edgar                               EDGAR COUNTY 0231010023 20,238.31
Edgar BROCTON VILLAGE 0232400010 262.34
Edgar CHRISMAN CITY 0232400016 1,149.74
Edgar HUME VILLAGE 0232400038 55.67
Edgar KANSAS VILLAGE 0232400040 225.61
Edgar METCALF VILLAGE 0232400051 273.15
Edgar PARIS CITY 0232400063 22,667.65
Edgar REDMON VILLAGE 0232400070 24.87
Edgar VERMILION VILLAGE 0232400089 46.00
Edgar BROUILLETTS CREEK TOWNSHIP 0233020010 144.34
Edgar BUCK TOWNSHIP 0233020012 104.68
Edgar EDGAR TOWNSHIP 0233020025 323.63
Edgar ELBRIDGE TOWNSHIP 0233020027 929.25
Edgar EMBARRASS TOWNSHIP 0233020029 104.68
Edgar GRANDVIEW TOWNSHIP 0233020033 85.74
Edgar HUNTER TOWNSHIP 0233020038 46.00
Edgar KANSAS TOWNSHIP 0233020040 495.43
Edgar PARIS TOWNSHIP 0233020063 2,574.50
Edgar PRAIRIE TOWNSHIP 0233020068 229.76
Edgar ROSS TOWNSHIP 0233020073 714.04
Edgar SHILOH TOWNSHIP 0233020077 206.35
Edgar STRATTON TOWNSHIP 0233020082 159.95
Edgar SYMMES TOWNSHIP 0233020084 303.55
Edgar YOUNG AMERICA TOWNSHIP 0233020095 456.09
Edgar BROCTON FPD 0235100082 129.87
Edgar CHRISMAN FPD 0235100131 400.10
Edgar HUME FPD 0235100322 93.13
Edgar KANSAS FPD 0235100336 311.02
Edgar METCALF FPD 0235100434 133.94
Edgar PARIS FPD 0235100533 1,998.13
Edgar PARIS-UNION UNIT SCH 95 0237250950 35,496.18
Edgar SHILOH CUSD  1 0237260010 25,175.03
Edgar KANSAS CUSD 3 0237260030 7,024.88
Edgar PARIS CUSD 4 0237260040 14,682.31
Edgar EDGAR COUNTY CUSD 6 0237260060 17,032.98
Edgar BROUILLETS CRK TWP RD & BRIDGE 0239020010 205.61
Edgar BUCK TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020012 102.40
Edgar EDGAR TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020025 581.57
Edgar ELBRIDGE TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020027 2,072.33
Edgar EMBARRASS TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020029 394.90
Edgar GRANDVIEW TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020033 158.07
Edgar HUNTER TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020038 154.42
Edgar KANSAS TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020040 634.65
Edgar PARIS TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020063 4,008.44
Edgar PRAIRIE TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020068 264.61
Edgar ROSS TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020073 1,028.73
Edgar SHILOH TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020077 600.11
Edgar STRATTON TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020082 272.42
Edgar SYMMES TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020084 308.01
Edgar YOUNG AMERICA TWP RD & BRIDGE 0239020095 1,034.34

IL-Leaks




UPDATE: Metcalf Board Members want to throw away $450,000 Grant already awarded –

METCALF, IL. (ECWd) –

Update is at end of article…

Discussions among the Metcalf village board have been going on since January 6, 2014 to replace the water mains in Metcalf. The board approved a Resolution of Support to apply for a $15,000 Search Grant which covered the costs of the design and Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) for this project. This Search Grant was awarded and the PER was completed by Milano & Grunloh Engineers in 2015.
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On June 1, 2015, a Public Meeting was held to inform the village residents of the project the board had been discussing and to discuss the PER that set on the table. Also on June 1, 2015, a Public Hearing was held to receive questions and comments from the village residents. Three (3) residents (visitors) showed up for these meetings but there were no comments or questions.
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It was discussed in all meetings that a 25% leverage is needed for the $600,000 grant applied for. This is a $150,000 loan for a $450,000 grant. So, for approximately 2 (two) years, the Metcalf village board has been discussing a loan that they will need if they get this grant. And during this time, no board member nor resident had made any complaints or comments about this water main project.
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During the February 1, 2016 board meeting, Mayor Cheryl Gill announced the news of receiving the award letter for the $450,000 grant that they applied for back in June of 2015. She told the board that the loan had also been approved by USDA Rural Development. Again, there were no comments by either the board or the visitors.
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Mayor Gill said “I feel this is a huge breakthrough in success for our community. It is truly a feat of a well-run government to work towards improvements to meet the safety needs for our village before chaos hits and a dire emergency is in place. All municipalities have the potential to prioritize their issues and apply for funding for them as money is available. As everyone well knows, it takes years to get a grant in place and to get the project finished. So, to wait on a major emergency situation before seeking help is not a good scenario. Metcalf has had enough leaks and breaks that the Community Development Assistance Program thinks we need the upgrade; after all, they awarded us the funds. It was part of the application to provide the records of the breaks and repairs made to the mains, meters and hydrants to verify need.”
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The village board meeting of March 7, 2016 opened and the board appointed a new trustee to a vacant seat. This new trustee is John Morris. During the discussions of the items to be approved to get the grant and loan moving forward, Morris stated that he knew nothing about this water main project. He said that a public hearing needed to be held first. He had no idea that this was already done almost a year ago. Morris also said that there are not enough residents in Metcalf to spend this kind of money on.
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Trustee Michael Alligood (appointed in on January 4, 2016 to a vacant seat) seemed to be interested and asked several questions but before answers were given to him, he made the motion to throw the $450,000 grant funds and the $150,000 loan in the trash. Morris 2nd the motion and roll call was taken; Elmer Snoke, Leasa Driver, and Randall Wheeler said no to the motion. The motion was denied.
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With that, the board left the table and reconvened on March 9, 2016. Figures were calculated and positive possibilities for repaying the loan were discussed and the board moved forward with the resolutions, ordinances, plans and other items needed for the grant and loan with Morris and Alligood still holding strong against it.

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Mayor Gill stated “It is embarrassing to have our village board discuss throwing money away when we need it so badly. I have been asked if I regret appointing these two guys as trustees. And my answer is ‘I do not regret appointing anyone that has positive interest in helping our village. We must believe that these two guys just have a huge lack of knowledge in this situation because they haven’t been interested in the village’s improvements until recently. It would be foolish if their main focus is to jump into the seat only to devastate the village. I am sure that when they decide to actually see the big picture, they will be okay with this and be proud of Metcalf’s accomplishments. But if by chance I am wrong with their wishes; and we are forced to watch them attempt new ways to trash these funds, it will be the same as finding new ways to shatter Metcalf’s hopes and future improvements.”
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If you look into the leaks and breaks that many communities have, it is a very costly factor. And when you consider that Metcalf will spend $150,000 out of pocket to update all of Metcalf’s water mains (a $615,000 project right now); it is a small cost compared to the price tag of a predicted $800,000 or more that Metcalf will need in future years when an emergency hits them and no grant is available. It should make you wonder what the village will do then.
Corrosion and rust is a huge factor in the current water mains. This is not safe for drinking water. It can be a breeding place for bacteria. Corrosion is also a cause for leaks and breaks in the mains. PVC is the suggested upgrade and this means lower maintenance costs and a longer lasting piping network for Metcalf residents now and in the future.
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In 2014, Metcalf completed a project of relocating and drilling two new water wells at a cost of $295,000 – 100% was funded by DCEO Grant (no money out of Metcalf funds). Metcalf did abandon old well and purchase other equipment at a cost of $21,000.
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UPDATE:
Trustee Morris provided a letter in rebuttal to this article which can be read at this link: (HERE)
I cannot at this time verify any of the information contained in his letter, but will fact-check it against the meeting minutes.
UPDATE #2:
Copy of the approved meeting minutes at this link (here) to verify this article – I have not had the time to review them yet.

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Metcalf Residents and Volunteers gather to install new playground equipment –

METCALF, IL. (ECWd) –

Metcalf residents and other volunteers got together this weekend to install new playground equipment at their village park, just in time for it to be ready for children to use on Easter Sunday.

In 2009 the ILMRMA insurance company, with the Village of Metcalf, deemed most of their playground equipment unsafe and required them to decommission and dispose of it. Those pieces included a slide, witches hat, and merry-go-round. The only thing left for the children was 2 small horses on springs for the small tykes and swings with a couple teeter totters that the insurance company also frowned upon.

The village park is the heart of Metcalf and is the community gathering place; so without playground equipment for the children there were no constructive activities for the children. Studies show that when children are not given safe activities or places to recreate, they are more likely to participate in vandalism, loitering and other unsafe activities. The community’s leadership recognized the need to replace the playground equipment for the children. The village board members, village residents, volunteers, local businesses, and many people who are just interested in helping were the foundation to receiving funds since then. Pea gravel was donated by an anonymous donor for the required loose fill. The Farmer’s Inn, located in Metcalf, was a grand source for donations and sponsoring events to help raise funds. They have been raising funds through donations, raffles and ‘Fun Days’ since then and a new merry-go-round (requested by many Metcalf children) was purchased for approximately $3,000 and installed in the park along with donated items which includes a new slide, small arch, and stepping pods in June of 2011.

Raising funds continued until a tip was sent to them that government officials, such as our village board cannot legally have raffles to raise money for this. This ‘tip’ stopped the fundraising for the volunteers and board members. They were at a stand-still with less than $8,000 in funds to use for the playground. A forum was held for the children interested in the Metcalf playground. The children received catalogs and paper to make their wish lists.

Trish Vitale donated her time and experience to help with writing a grant to try to achieve the remaining funds needed to purchase as much of the children’s wish list. In August of 2013, Development Manager Warren Sperry, with the Edgar County Community Foundation, awarded a $3,200 grant to the Village of Metcalf for the playground equipment. This foundation recognizes individuals, groups, and organizations which strive to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Edgar County, and felt honored to help.

$10,000 was used for the Tarantula Climber, Zipline Glider, Fire Truck Climber, and Boulder Climbing Wall; leaving approximately $1,000 in an account for maintenance for the playground as needed. Miracle Playground Equipment waived all shipping and handling charges as well as donating a supervisor (an approximate $1,000 savings to us) to help our village complete our playground.

In the process of installation, 12 inches of sod and dirt was removed to allow for the 12 inches of required loose fill around pieces. Each leg of all pieces installed is required to be in concrete 2 feet below ground to assure security. As of right now on April 20, 2013, the Metcalf Playground meets all safety requirements.

Pictures show removal of unsafe trapeze bars, broken teeter totters, and the ground for preparation. Volunteers worked all weekend to have the playground ready for the children on Easter morning. Volunteers included (in no particular order) Ronnie Lingafelter, Kim Machango, Elmer Snoke, Tim Gossett, Trish Vitale, Cori Seeley, Warren Sperry, Dennis Cary, Jerry Eads, Tara Eakle, Mike Haddix, Miracle Playground Installation Supervisor Justin Womack, and a tandem truck donated for service by John Kindred of Kindred Farms.

Information for this article supplied by Metcalf Mayor Cheryl Gill.

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Pictures from Saturday (in no particular order):

 

 

 




Animal Abuse Reported In Metcalf –

METCALF, IL. (ECWd) –

On January 11, 2014, the Edgar County Sheriff’s Office was called to report possible animal abuse in Metcalf, Illinois. The report was made by the property owner.

The owner had entered into an owner financed sale of the house to “The former residents”, who had apparently decided to move out without notifying anyone, and leaving their excess animals without food, water, or heat.

Neighbors had noticed water coming out of the house and called the owner. On further investigation, they found dead animals and a basement with almost 5 feet of water in it. This was a result of them moving without having the water shut off, causing the pipes to burst.

Abused-dead animals in Metcalf

-The 2 birds were in aquariums, nothing to perch on, no bird cage.
-The 5-6 ft snake is approximate in size. The 6 inches of tail was under the bowl and all meat and skin already gone leaving only the bone structure of vertebrae and tail. It must have been at least 10 inches in circumference in the center of the body.
-One rabbit was outside the large tub laying on its belly.
-The other rabbit was still in the tub between the side of tub and what looked like a litter box.
-A large lizard type reptile was in an aquarium barely big enough to house him and with no room to move around.
-The small lizard or snake was so far into decomposing that it was unsure what it actually was.

The Edgar County Animal Control officer was dispatched to the scene to assist in the clean-up of the dead animals.

Sheriff Dept.  Call Here…

It is unclear what, if anything, the State’s Attorney will do about this alleged animal abuse.

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B&T Drainage Works To Ensure Metcalf Has Water For Christmas –

METCALF, IL. (ECWd) –

Fixing an emergency repair to the Village of Metcalf’s water delivery system was a top priority for B&T Drainage out of Marshall, IL. this morning. A hit-and-run on a village fire hydrant last Saturday night left the village without water. They held an emergency meeting on Sunday morning to authorize the hiring of B&T to fix the hydrant.

A natural gas line runs right beside the hydrant, but the gas line was unaffected. The vertical water line was broken underneath the gas main, and a new fire hydrant was needed.

Pictures below:

 




Hit and Run in Metcalf, IL. – Village without Water –

METCALF, IL. (ECWd) –

The Village of Metcalf held an emergency trustee meeting this morning to discuss the hit and run that damaged a village fire hydrant last night. This caused low water pressure and a boil order issued for the village residents.

Details that are known at this time include:

-Hit and run to fire hydrant at intersection East 2300th/North 900th; Metcalf, IL (commonly known as Metcalf Road and Ocean to Ocean Road Intersection).
-Known damage to vehicle determines it was a rather large 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton or maybe even an SUV.
-Tire tracks left do not show that it was a “dually” but the tire tracks indicate “beefy” tires.
-Right front corner of truck is damaged including bumper and headlight.
-Truck missed the corner running over hydrant and traveling thru residents yard heading east toward Chrisman.
-Damage included a broken fire hydrant and excessive water leak of over 25,000 gallons of treated water.
-Water customers are without water currently and until fixed.
Emergency Trustee meeting was called at 10:00 am and approved B&T Drainage to do emergency repairs. Hopefully this will be repaired within the next 24 hours.
Identity of the driver and vehicle are unknown at this time.