By Chris Johnson


PECATONICA – By a vote of 4-3, with Village President Dan Barber casting the final vote, a path to find future dollars for improving municipal services was selected by Trustees.

Municipal Trustees Bill Smull, Tricia Metz and Steve Eytalis voted against a plan that will see the Village of Pecatonica get more money for utilities, which it currently provides.

There will be a time, very soon, according to Village President Dan Barber, when the extra funding the residents will be giving to the Village of Pecatonica will be available for projects, which have to get done.

“The water rate increase is going to be phased in, in a seven year plan. We had another plan, which Trustees did not select, which would have increased the base rate, but allowed for a thousand gallons use, that we wouldn’t charge for.”

Barber said Trustees Foster, Determan and Hachemister voted for the plan that passed. However, he had to step in and make his vote count, with the Trustee tally locked at three.

“I cast the final vote. By doing this, we will now be able to look at low-interest loans, because we conducted the Water Rate Study.”

Barber said he was a little concerned that a couple of his Trustees, even knowing the financial situation the Village of Pecatonica sits in, voted against any plan, that would look at having to increase water rates for citizens.

It had to be done, Barber said. The Village doesn’t have the money to do a lot of the things it has to do.

“We can be eligible for a low-interest loan, because of the water rate increase, that means a lot of the work that we have to get done, like the water tower and our wells, might be able to be paid for. We did have a couple Trustees, who know what condition we are in, who voted against any plan. Outside of some of the plans that have come out of our Economic Development Committee, there aren’t a lot of new contributions.”

The Village also accepted a measure that will allow for a Special Use Permit to be issued to a Village homeowner, who wishes to turn his residence into a business, providing necessary services, according to the Village President.

“We voted, unanimously, to accept a request for Hospice House of Pecatonica. It will be located south of Mike’s One Stop on Main Street.”

Barber said there were certain agreements, which had to be reached, before the business would be allowed to operate.

“It was a unanimous decision by Trustees. It will be south of the Subway Restaurant, on the east side of the road, between Fifth and Sixth Streets. The owner of the property was issued a Special Use Permit, with certain conditions.”

Barber said one of those conditions mandated the outside of the business, continues to look residential, with no large signage. It also could not be expanded, not even a parking lot.

There could be no hand-off, without Village permission, Barber explained.

“When we said they couldn’t expand, that means they can’t buy the property next to them or anything like that. We set it up so the property owner of Hospice House of Pecatonica would have to come before us. If any other business or a new business owner would want to come in, the property owner has to come to the Board and request permission for that.”

Barber said it is important for Village residents to have this special service.

“It’s not going to bring in a lot of money for the Village, tax dollars, or anything like that. I think it’s a nice service for our residents who don’t want to leave the area, when that time comes. Sometimes they might have to go to Chicago or something like that. This action by the Board lets some of those, who need the service, get their chance to stay close to friends and family.”

Village President Dan Barber and his Trustees will meet as Committee Members, when the body meets next, on Thursday, Dec. 3, at 6 p.m, in the monthly Committee of the Whole.

There is expected to be a Special Meeting, following completion of the Thursday, Dec. 3, Committee of the Whole meeting.

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