On the same day the state budget impasse finally came to an end, the Steeleville Village Board met for its July meeting on Thursday, approving the purchase of three vehicles.
The village trustees approved the purchase of a police vehicle, trash truck and maintenance department truck for the combined cost of $211,085.
The largest of purchases was the trash truck, for a price of $137,745. Earlier in the meeting, Treasurer Jana Bollman-Young stated there was $68,549.41 in the village's trash truck fund.
Steeleville Mayor Bob Sutton informed the board that the new truck is slightly larger than the village's current vehicle, which would be used for recycling after purchase of the new truck.
When asked about the difference between the truck's cost and the fund balance, Sutton stated the village would borrow the remaining funds and make payments back to the trash truck fund.
The police vehicle is an all-wheel drive Ford police interceptor and will have the additional options of a Bluetooth system and a remote keyless system.
"We feel the Bluetooth system should be added," Sutton said. "I know police officers are exempt from the law regarding cell phones in their cars, but this will be a much safer system."
The maintenance department truck will be a F-250 and equipped with a snow blade.
"The one we have currently is in pretty bad shape," Sutton said.
In other news, Sutton informed the board during the committee reports portion of the agenda that the Illinois Department of Revenue would be taking 2 percent from both the village's income and sales tax receipts as a "handling fee" surcharge to communities as part of the state budget agreement.
Sutton estimated the lost income tax, at a price of $10 per citizen, could cost the village $21,000 alone.
Sutton later stated that NewWave Communications was trying to get state-issued authorization to avoid paying franchise fees for cable and video.
"I was hoping the State of Illinois would not give them a blank...to go into any town and provide services without paying franchise fees," he said.
Sutton also presented former Steeleville Fire Chief Carlos Barbour with an award for his help on the new firehouse, a project that began under Barbour's tenure but was completed after he stepped down to become the new county coroner.
He was named an honorary fire chief by Sutton.
After the meeting, Sutton was asked about the resurfacing project on State Route 4/150, which had been suspended due to the budget impasse.
"Our assumption is the funds will be released to them," he said about E.T. Simonds, which is the contractor on the project. "At this point, I think they're ready to start milling."
The following items were approved by the board:
• A $1,350 donation to the Steeleville Jaycees to help with park expenses.
• A $200 donation to the American Legion Harold Harmsen Wood Bat Classic. David Wente, representing the American Legion Baseball Committee, stated the village is one of six original sponsors of the tournament and the money helps pay for diamond care, umpires and supplies.
• An intergovernmental cooperation contract with the Illinois Municipal League Risk Management Association.
• A fibernet broadband internet service agreement with Egyptian Internet Services, which would be an increase of $10 per month.
"We're going to get more bandwidth and quite honestly, we've been working or something and the computers would blip," Sutton said.
• A bid of $11,479.89 from Neal and Sons Flooring for new flooring at the village hall. The bid includes all three bathrooms, hallway and meeting room.
• The resignation of maintenance employee Travis Jeffers. The search for Jeffers' replacement continues.
• Steeleville Fire Chief Rich Reitz reported eight fire calls and 19 first responder calls in June.
• Sutton highlighted the recent 4th of July Celebration and the 40 hours of police overtime at the event. He added the village is looking at purchasing a new warning siren for City Park that would cover the entire town, but there are issues with a tree that needs to be trimmed at the spot of the new siren.