Village Board Approves TIF funds for grocery store

Sheila Pressley/Correspondent

Four trustees attended the afternoon meeting of Alexis Village Board on Dec. 8 at the Community Center. Acting on a request from Mayor Gene Sims, the board approved $15,000 in Tax Increment Financing funds for the Alexis L.L.C. The L.L.C. needs the money to pay bills for painting, electrical work, purchase of a cooler and its installation, moving a security system and attorney's fees for the new grocery store which opened recently.

Dan Walker of Thomas & Jacob & Associates, Bloomington, was present to report on the TIF fund. He said, "this report is based on the audited activities of the Village of Alexis." In answering questions, Walker said, that "TIF funds cannot be used for salaries, but can be used for public betterment in the TIF district like improvements to businesses, sidewalks, streets and alleys."

Following approval of $15,000 in funds for the Alexis L.L.C., the account contains about $16,000.

The board approved the tax levy ordinance #602 for year '08-09 in the amount of $404,500. That amount is up about $2,000 from last year's figures. An increase was in the debt service.

The clerk's position was unanimously approved to become an appointment, rather than an elected position. During past meetings, trustees expressed concerns about unqualified persons running for and being elected to the position. Now, all interested persons will submit a resume, which must be approved by the mayor and then, the board.

The board approved having Chad Braatz of Western Illinois Regional Council, seek bids for a project that will include recycling and trash pick-up. The board is under no obligation after the bids are received.

The village's lease with Mediacom is up as of Dec. 31. The company pays the village $900 yearly on a three-year contract. Following a discussion, trustees felt an increase is needed and an Internet connection is needed at the Town Hall. Mayor Sims will negotiate with the company and give his report at the next meeting.

Approval was given to replace a motor which may be needed in the future at the sewer plant. Water & Sewer Superintendent Jim Olson reported a replacement would cost $2,600 while repairs to the current model, would cost $2,300. When necessary, the motor will be purchased from EMR, Abingdon.

Clerk Dixie McCreight reported problems with the computer which she uses at the Town hall. The unit can not be shut off. Dan Walker told those present, that "TIF funds can be used for purchase of a new model." Board members approved the purchase of a new computer and needed accessories up to a cost of $1,500.

Mayor Sims told board member that the pay for village deputies is not completely covered in the employee's handbook. Holiday pay is not included. Acting on a recommendation made by Sims, the board approved time and a half pay for the deputies who are part-time employees. They currently receive $11.50/hour. On holidays, they will be paid $17.50/hour.

Christmas bonuses of $250 each were approved for police chief Blain Piersee, and village employees Jim Olson and Donn Sperry. They received the same amount last year.

In routine business, the board approved the November meeting minutes, the treasurer's report with receipts of $4,700 in tax money from Mercer County and $37 from Warren County, and payment of bills totaling $10,052. Also, approved was the water and sewer abatement ordinance.

Next board meeting will be Jan. 12, 7 p.m. at the Community Center.