Rockton Village meets for future improvements for water, sewer, and streets


File photo: frozen water in Rockton, February 2022

The Feb. 21 Rockton Village Board of Trustees meeting discussed water and sewer improvements, street reconstruction projects, and other topics.

At the beginning of the meeting, Jacob Cholke, a resident in Stoneridge Subdivision, spoke on behalf of himself and neighbors.

“I am a two year resident and I love living here,” Cholke said.

Cholke said that he doesn't know about any covenants for neighboring streets and asked what residents are responsible for. He asked, “What is underneath it, lighting, sewer, pipes?”

Cholke mentioned the Stoneridge Subdivision Home Owners Association (HOA) and possible restructuring concerns.

Cholke presented board members with a map outlining a common area. “Our concern is that the sewer pipes come from the street that feed into it.” He asked if the village would take care of the drainage there. “The village has helped with street lights in the past,” he said.

Rockton Village Public Works Director Dan Barber replied, “Proper structure in subdivisions normally consists of storm drains that sit behind a house.”

Barber said storm sewers and ditches are usually a resident's responsibility. “As far as storm drains, we will take care of the sanitary sewer and water,” Barber said. 

Village President John Peterson suggested that residents speak with Mr. Barber and Village Attorney Aaron Szeto about the right of way issue.

Cholke suggested that if there is a problem, he could possibly relocate his "Buffalo Box" (which contains the water shutoff valve for his property).

Cholke thanked the village for everything that they have done for the Stoneridge Subdivision.

Village President Peterson asked that the board appoint and approve Tricia Davey to serve on the Historic Preservation Commission. This motion was approved in a 5-0 vote.

Trustee Justin York gave the Rockton Police Department activity summary for Feb. 1-15. He reported 41 tickets issued, 65 warnings given, a total of 106 traffic stops, two warrants, nine criminal arrests, and four accidents, one resulting in injuries.

Rockton Fire Protection District Chief Kirk Wilson said that in January they received 106 calls, with a total of 171 calls to date. Chief Wilson presented the board with the 2022 Fire Protection District's annual report.

The board approved the purchase of a Stalker Radar to be used with a message trailer. The cost to buy this equipment is $15,344.80. A donation of $10,000 was previously received from the Rockton Lions Club to help cover most of the cost.

The board approved a purchase of a replacement tire to be bought from Jack's Tire Sales and Service for a Volvo L90F Loader.

Village board members have been carefully reviewing various options for water and sewer improvements and rates.

“Every seven years, wells should be inspected by placing a camera inside the well and then being cleaned, ”Barber said.

Another project that is being planned is a new well house to go across the river.

Within the next 10 years, a new sewer plant is likely to be built. “The current sewer treatment plant is landlocked and there are no extra funds to work with,” Barber added.

“We work with the Illinois Rural Water Association. This organization does rate studies for communities. They also look at what work needs to be done and determine where rates should be.”

“The Village could qualify for low interest loans, if our rates are at the right levels of where they should be. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency requires us to meet standards.”

“When we move forward, we need to channel those questions. We want to make sure that we are consistent in our messaging,” Trustee Justin York said.

Trustee Tyler Seever made a motion to have Attorney Aaron Szeto write up an ordinance.

This matter will be placed on the agenda for the next meeting on Tuesday evening, March 7 for further discussion and a possible vote.

Trustees approved moving forward in going out for bids on street reconstruction projects on Center and Chapel Streets. The estimated total cost of $390,000 will be covered through the use of Motor Fuel Tax (MFT) funding.

Barber said, “This is out of the Rebuild Illinois Program, and also part of the Village's five year street plan.”

After bids come in, the street reconstruction project is expected to start either at the end of May or in early June. Around two weeks after that, the Village will look into the possibility of starting work on Race Street.

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