Schram City Village Board Hires Summer Workforce

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After meeting in closed session for nearly 20 minutes, members of the Schram City Village made a motion to approve summer workforce during their regular monthly meeting on Monday evening, April 8, at the village hall. Last year's summer employees, Christian Hernandez and Griffin King, will return and help replace existing water meters around the village.

President Albert Oberle said the village is now waiting on an agreement regarding the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) which will be used to construct improvements to the sanitary system by replacing the lift stations. Once the agreement is signed, funds will become available. Due to fluctuation in rates from March to April's meetings, Oberle advised that the village request new bids before next month's meeting.

The board was presented with five new bids to review for the village's electricity aggregation contract that expires in July. In the past, the village has signed three-year contracts, however, Oberle said they should be mindful of legislature and whether they will help the coal-fired power plants. 

"I don't particularly like the numbers I am seeing here for a three-year contract," said Oberle. "My recommendation to the board is that we go with Dynegy Homefield, which is actually Vistra now, and do a one-year contract."

The one-year contract with Vistra will offer residents .049 per kilowatt, lower than the current rate at .054.Oberle said if he knew the rates were going to increase, they would sign a longer contract at a lower cost, however, they may see a decrease in rates. 

Trustee Jerry Woods made a motion to approve a one-year contract with Vistra, seconded by Trustee Sam Whitlow.

During a discussion on the mayor's meeting held Wednesday, March 13, Oberle told members of the board that traffic violation fines will significantly increase effective July 1. For example, seat belt citations will cost drivers $226, instead of the current fine of $65.

Oberle said municipalities will receive $12 of $226 with the remainder going to the county and state. Additionally, municipalities will be required to open a new fund to deposit $2 per ticket to the new E-citation – electronic ticketing – program. This will require local first responding agencies to purchase more equipment for their vehicles.

The recycling program is looking at funding help and will host an electronics drive May 4. Montgomery County Animal Control is also seeing a deficit in their budget and may charge each municipality to help fund the shortage. Oberle said the village may explore options outside the county.

Among those updates, Oberle reported that the county has submitted another application for the Enterprise Zone, which expires Feb. 28, 2020, and is hopeful to get selected again.

In other news, Village Clerk Janet Stewart announced the re-election of three trustees who will serve three-year terms, Pat Rhodes, Earl Eller and Kevin Tuetken. Trustees Rhodes, Eller, Tuetken, Kelvin Stewart, Sam Whitlow and Jerry Woods would then make a motion to approve a $150 donation to the Hillsboro Post Prom Committee.

They would also report on their assigned areas, including a mattress and box springs, disassembled truck, junk and signs. Tuetken advised there are numerous potholes, especially by Fayco, with Oberle saying the village employees will repair them with asphalt in May.

Village Attorney Alicia Granito was on hand to give an update on a residential property, reporting that it is now closed in.

During public comment, resident Barb Whitlow told board members that semis continue to travel Route 16, and said she felt the warning sign is on the wrong side of the road, making it harder for truck drivers to see. Oberle said he contacted Livingston Pipe and Tube, however, they do not have dedicated truck lines. Granito recommended that board members review the ordinance prior to moving street signs, as there are strict rules on placement, to ensure they are compliant.

In a final note, Oberle said the village renewed its contract with water operator Roger Fath for an additional year, and will pursue someone within the village to become licensed when Fath's contract expires.

This year's Schram City Fall Festival will be held Saturday, Sept. 7, with Elvis providing entertainment from 12:30 to 2 p.m. In the event of rain, the festival will be relocated to the Hillsboro Moose Lodge.

 The village summer clean-up will be held Monday to Friday, May 6 to May 10. Residents may dispose of their unwanted belongings from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the dumpster at village hall.

The next monthly meeting will be held Monday, May 13, beginning at 6 p.m. at Schram City Village Hall. The public is welcome to attend.

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