By Christopher Johnson


A ruling made by the Federal Government paved the way for communities across the State of Illinois to receive extra money for successful operation during the influence of COVID-19.

Through the Cares Act, funds were released in an effort to keep things moving at the municipal level and the village of Pecatonica got its share.

Around $90,000 was given for municipal leaders to use to modify how things have to be done, now, in Pecatonica.

It was reported by Village President Bill Smull that, since changes had to be made and most of the changes required weren’t covered in the current budget, the money given would be used to make a needed upgrade.

“I asked the Board to approve a purchase of $30,000 from Primetime Audio to install a new sound system,” he said.

Problems communicating at some recent meetings have been noted, with audio output the biggest concern. “People couldn’t be heard,” Smull explained.

According to documents placed on file with the State of Illinois, the Cares Act dollars can be used in a lot of different ways and if items deemed necessary weren’t already included in a previous budget, the funding could be accessed.

Village Trustee Paula Hachmeister questioned the Village President’s decision, during a recent meeting of the Pecatonica Village Board.

“I want to know if we had several other quotes before we went with this one and why do you have a 72 inch television in your office?”

Smull explained that he was not about to just go to a local retail outlet and pick up $2,000 speakers and concern the village with installation.

“The television,” Smull explained, “was installed in the incorrect location. It was supposed to be placed in the meeting room and it is to help those in attendance follow meeting action.”

Hachmeister followed up her question with another, regarding exactly how payment was to be made for the $30,000 purchase.

Village Treasurer Bernie Mrugala responded saying the village had to take action, before it could grab onto the dollars. “We are going to have to spend it first.”

In other action at the Tuesday meeting of the Pecatonica Village Board, attention was placed on the US Census, which faces a shortened finishing time.

Smull said it was imperative that citizens get involved in the Census. There is a lot riding on it, he stressed.

“The Census means money for our village. If we don’t, we will lose out. I’m asking our citizens to actively participate and talk to each other about how important it is.”

An idea to put a notice on an upcoming resident water bill letting people know how necessary participation is in the Census, was discussed.

The Village of Pecatonica is expected to hold a working committee meeting this week.

Typically, Trustees act in the capacity of committee member on the first Thursday of every month, during the Committee of the Whole.

COW activities have not been held recently, but are expected to resume Thursday, Sept. 6 at 6:30 p.m.

It was stated that at least eleven different items will appear on the COW agenda on Thursday night and the need to hold a Special Meeting to discuss the village infrastructure improvement loan could also occur.


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