St. Elmo Receives $550,000 DCEO Grant

Funds to be Put Toward Water Main Project

BY CARISSA SITKI

During the Wednesday, April 7, St. Elmo City Board meeting, Mayor Ernie Myers announced that the City had received their $550,000 from the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) for the 2020 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). St. Elmo will be putting this grant to use in the second phase of the City’s water main project. These funds are awarded to communities across the state to make repairs to shared water and sewer infrastructure.

The portion of the water main project that is going to be done, according to Myers, will start at 3rd St. at Rural Med., then head over to 8th St., then go under the track (going east) with a six inch main. The grant money must all be used in the same area, Myers said, “When you get a grant like this, all of [the work] needs to stay together, but we’ll need to do some jumping around eventually.” Updating the water lines from the tracks, going east, up to Spring St. will be a part of Phase 3.

The engineer’s cost-estimate for this phase of the project is $538,562. Myers said that estimate does not factor in the engineering fee, or the writer of the grant fee. Additionally, none of the grant money will be used to repair the street after the water main update is complete.

Also at the meeting, the Board approved the purchase of an oxygen meter for $845.50 plus shipping from USA Bluebook. The oxygen meter will be used to ensure there is enough oxygen in the lagoon to keep it from harboring bacteria and causing an odor, according to Chairman Sandra Mace. Myers said that the blowers that upkeep the oxygen levels in the lagoon could potentially be turned off for 6 months during the year (when the weather is cold), and could save the City $10,000. With the Oxygen Meter, the City will be able to monitor the levels so that the blowers will only be turned on when they are needed. The purchase was discussed in detail during committee.

Cleanup days for St. Elmo were decided during the meeting and are set for May 10-14. The Board approved the use of 40-yard rollout dumpsters for the event that carry a cost of $550 each. Last year the City utilized six of these dumpsters, according to Treasurer Mary Magnus. The City asks that electronics (microwaves, televisions, computers, etc.) are placed in a separate pile and will be picked up separately.

The Board approved several staffing updates to the St. Elmo Police Department. First they approved the hiring of Brad Ledbetter as Part-time Police Officer in the amount of $17 per hour. Then they approved the resignation letter of Wade Nevergall as a Full-time Police Officer.

The hiring of Donald Lee Reed as maintenance/janitor at Deken Park was approved. He will be compensated $11 per hour, not to exceed 20 hours per week, for maintenance; and $11 per hour, not to exceed three hours per week, for janitorial work. Myers also stated that Deken Park still needs someone to run the concession stand for the year.

In other business, the board approved the following items: an MFT Compliance review for 2020; the purchase of a Kubota Tractor from Bluff Equipment in the amount of $20,000; the writing off of 15 bad debts from 2010-2017 in the amount of $2,126.83; ordinance 1046 for garbage service contract; ordinance 1047 for an amendment to Chapter 13, Division 2, Paragraph 11, of the City of St. Elmo (Fayette County), Illinois Municipal Code (Garbage Fee) making the fee $11; and the adoption of a Resolution for Maintenance under the 2021 Motor Fuel Tax. Mayor Myers also signed a proclamation, deeming April 30, 2021, as Arbor Day.

The St. Elmo City Board is scheduled to meet again on Wednesday, May 5, at 6 p.m. at the St. Elmo American Legion.

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