Article by Emily Jankauski, Mahomet Citizen
The village of Mahomet’s board of trustees Tuesday approved a resolution to authorize a professional services agreement with Springfield-based engineering consultant Hanson Professional Services Inc. The cost of creating plans to construct an at-grade railroad crossing on South Mahomet Road are not to exceed $143,600.
In conjunction with South Mahomet Road, the board also approved an engineering services agreement, not to exceed $52,000, with the Berns Clancy and Associates engineering firm of Urbana to assist with acquiring and transferring land for the connection project.
Other business included board members approving an ordinance allowing the village to increase some building permit fees, including a 12 percent increase in the cost for handling on-site inspections and review of plans for new residential construction.
The board of trustees also waived fire, water and wastewater connection fees for the Mahomet-Seymour school district’s expansion of Middletown Prairie Elementary School. Fees amounted to $62,419.
Also approved was a resolution to authorize a professional services agreement with MSA Professional Services of Champaign. The engineering firm will conceptualize a plan for the future of Barber Park on Sunny Acres Road. Costs for the plan are not to exceed $14,600.
Board members also approved a cable/video service provider fee ordinance, which allows the village to collect fees from cable/video providers, such as Mediacom Illinois LLC, and replaces the former franchise fee. Collected quarterly, the provider fee will produce $44,000 to $48,000 of revenue.
Brian Egeberg was appointed by Village President Sean Widener to serve on the Mahomet Area Economic Development Commission, which meets quarterly to discuss growth opportunities for the village.
“He’s a Mahomet resident,” Widener said. “A banker by trade who is willing to serve.”
The board also discussed an ordinance that would create a finance and human resource director position for the village of Mahomet. Village treasurer Jeanne Schacht will retire in six months, and staff demands necessitate a new village title that more reflects the duties performed.
“The Illinois Municipal Code requires a statutory appointment of treasurer,” Village Administrator Patrick Brown said. “But here in the village, staff have more duties than implied in the state’s statute. The new title will be better suited for the role.”
Once hired, the finance and human resource director will work alongside Schacht for six months to train and gain institutional knowledge. After Schacht retires, Widener will appoint the new hire as village treasurer in addition to his or her role as the finance and human resource director.
During the meeting, Widener asked where village staff was at in the hiring process. Brown said staff had two rounds of interviews and is now in the background-checking phase.
Village staff also heard board members’ comments regarding their proposed 2019 fiscal year budget and the capital improvement program, which reviews long-term capital improvement plans for the community and highlights necessary projects and essential expenditure plans.
“Today’s discussion with the board is just to get their feedback,” Brown said. “These are identified priorities and we’re looking to get direction and feedback from the board if we need to move a project or make adjustments.”
During preliminary budget discussions, board member Bill Oliger raised a question regarding Main Street parking for area businesses.
“I think that we need to look at the parking downtown. I mean we don’t have anything budgeted for that for the next year,” Oliger said.
Brown responded by indicating staff’s plans to provide a map of parking downtown within the upcoming weeks.
“Signage out here would be nice because they fear that might be private parking,” board member David Johnson said. “Nobody wants to get towed off while they’re eating (at JT Walkers).”
“I’m very optimistic for this year for a downtown focus,” added Widener. “Certainly you’re going to see more about downtown and downtown is going to be addressed.”
Village of Mahomet staff members hope to present a preliminary budget and capital improvement plans at a later March study session.
The board will hold further discussions at its next study session at 6 p.m. March 13.