CENTERBURG — During Monday’s monthly meeting, Centerburg Village Council voted to approve the 2010 budget, but is looking to the future of the village and how it will fund a new wastewater treatment plant.
Chuck Coghlan, a member of the Public Service Committee, spoke to council regarding standards reviewed when applying for grants and low-interest loans for the project. He said the median income in the village was a strong indicator as to what grants and interest rates the village could qualify. The median income increased by a projected $8,000 from the 2000 census figure of just over $37,000, according to Coghlan.
“This doesn’t bode well for what we are looking at,” Coghlan said. “We need to be prudent with what we are doing and not shoot for the moon.”
He told council he anticipates the best scenario for the village would be a 30 percent grant funding for the project, but that would not be certain until an income study was completed. He also cautioned the economy could play a large part in any grants awarded.
Median income is an important factor for the village because water/wastewater rates typically fall within 1.5 percent of the median income. The higher the income level, the higher the water rates will need to be in order to meet yet another qualification for grants and loans. Based on the 2000 census, rates would have to increase by $7.20 a month. If projected levels are correct, rates would have to go up $17.01 a month. Village Solicitor Kyle Stroh was instructed by council to construct legislation that would increase water rates starting Jan. 1, 2010.
To get a more concise picture, council agreed to an income survey that would question all village residents, fact to face, regarding household income.
Following an executive session to discuss personnel, council voted to approve a contract with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. Councilman Jerry Hess, who requested the executive session, cast the lone opposing vote to the contract.
In other news, council:
•Approved the Centerburg Area Business Association’s proposal to place new sign and stone retaining wall in the small park at the corner of Main Street and Hartford Avenue. CABA representative Dale Pennington said the project is estimated to cost $6,000; all funding would come from CABA.
•Agreed Village Administrator Phil Lohmeyer would review several areas in the village that needed attention, such as high weeds, over-grown trees, storm sewer drains and road paving brought to council’s attention by resident and business owner Greg Sands.
•Agreed to pay 30 percent of an invoice from the Knox County Water Department for wastewater services.
•Adopted new flood plain regulations.
•Tabled an International Property Maintenance Code until September.
•Established a franchise fee for Time Warner Cable.
The next Centerburg Council meeting will be Monday, Aug. 3, at 7 p.m.