Village of South Jacksonville Reappropriates $100,000 to cover Water Plant Outage from 2019

By Benjamin Cox on April 8, 2020 at 9:14am

The Village of South Jacksonville met by teleconference last night. The meeting had been delayed twice due to a technical difficulty with phones and to abide by the 48 hour Open Meetings Act allowance.

Planning and Public Facilities requested approval of the Motor Fuel Tax road maintenance program. The program’s time table will be up for approval at the next village meeting after approval from the State of Illinois. Planning and Public Works Superintendent John Green requested the ability to purchase a new back hoe for the maintenance department in his upcoming budget. The trustees decided to talk about the issue once the board could convene in person at a later date.

The village also talked about extra appropriations for the current year’s budget for the water department. Superintendent Green said that when the lightning strike occurred that knocked the village’s water plant offline for 4 months last summer, causing the water department to go over budget. “The reason we are over is because we were on the City of Jacksonville’s water for all of those months, it ended up costing $305,000. Insurance paid $150,000. The city gave us a break and knocked off $53,000, so we are going to owe them around $90,000. Having said that, we still made money off of the water sales. We still are not in the hole on this. We just didn’t make what we would have made, but that’s just the way it is with a major breakdown like that. We were on it for 4 months, and they did us a favor by knocking some off. That’s why we were over budget and have to re-appropriate some money.”

Green said that the village’s insurance maxes out at $150,000 for extra damages and the village had never come close to that amount before this past summer. Green said he couldn’t recall in his 24 years with the village that the village has ever had to pay that much for a water outage. Village Office Manager Tiffanee Peters said Village Attorney Rob Cross would prepare the ordinance to help with the re-appropriation of funds to cover the added cost. “We are going to put another $100,000 in that fund, which should fix that loss. If we appropriate another $100,000, there’s no huge outstanding bills that I’m aware of. It should make us good. I went ahead and averaged out the past 12 months and then I looked at April of last year. Like John [Green] was saying, a lot of this comes down to insurance, but we’ve already blown out of budget. We are within about $28,000 in appropriations, but there is no way we will hit it by the end of the month. The best bet is to pass the additional appropriations to cover it.”

Peters says that the village is still looking for a new accounting firm to prepare the village’s audit within the coming months. She has received some inquiries but nothing has been finalized.

For Public Protection, the village tabled an issue surrounding the fire department’s dispatch software. Fire Chief Richard Evans, Jr. said he is trying to find a way to better keep track of service time and who goes out on calls. He hopes to finalize ideas in committee meetings before a decision is made on buying new software.

The police department received approval to purchase a 2007 Nissan Pick-up truck that the police seized in a drug bust earlier this year. The truck will be moved into the service fleet and the department has earmarked it for special use in the near future. The purchase of the truck will be made through seized funds from other drug busts made by the village police.

The village did not schedule any further meetings for the month of April at this time. Further meetings will be released to the public at a later date.