The Tampico Village Council approved the promotion of police officer Will Lukehart to chief during their Tuesday meeting.
Lukehart has served the village as an officer since 2012 and has been full-time for the past two years. He replaces Terry Strike who retired as chief in April. “God put me here for reason,” said the new chief, when asked about his promotion. With most small municipalities trying to weather the COVID-19 financial impact he said, “I will do my part to save as much money as possible and stretch my budget where I can.” Currently he is the lone officer for the village saying it has become extremely difficult to find part-time officers.
“He is doing a great job and we are excited that he wants to stay on with us,” said Mayor Kris Hill.
Lukehart will be paid $18 per hour plus benefits. He was sworn in by Village Clerk Kathy Leathers after being approved by a 4-1 vote. Ryan DeBrock was the lone dissenting vote.
In other council business, Mayor Hill reminded residents that all non-emergency calls for police need to be made to the Whiteside County Sheriff’s Office for documentation purposes at 815.772.4044 and they will dispatch Lukehart. For emergency situations residents should still dial 911.
Hill reported that village will be applying for a COVID-19 Public Assistance Grant. The village is still awaiting reimbursement funds from FEMA, which have been approved, for costs incurred during last summer’s floods.
It was reported some residents are still experiencing problems with garbage pickup related to extra items. Anyone having a problem is encouraged to contact the village hall.
Weather has delayed the finishing steps of the original water upgrade project, but it is hoped to be completed by the end of the month. Additional upgrade work will be completed in June.
The council discussed the growing issue of overdue water bills. The village will be distributing door hanger notices to those who are delinquent which will include the amount owed. The hangers will also include a message stating, payments made now will keep your account in good standing. The notices will be delivered next week. Currently shutoffs are not allowed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Hill strongly suggested those who are delinquent contact the village hall to arrange payment or explain if there are extenuating circumstances. She added that once the pandemic restrictions are lifted shutoffs will occur. If arrangements are not made service will only be restored when the balance of the bill is paid. “There’s going to come a time when we are going to have to do our job and shut them down,” said Hill. The average bill which includes water, sewer, and garbage is $75 per month. Currently there are approximately 40 of 400 customers that are overdue.
Council approved the authorization to form a committee to develop and review applications for the small business grant program funded by the Moore Foundation in Prophetstown. “I think it’s a great thing that the Moore Foundation is including us in this program. It comes at a very good time,” said Hill. The village received $15,000 which can be taken as a grant and or a loan. Applications will be available on Tuesday, May 26 and will be due on June 4th.
Approved payment #7 to Miller Trucking and Excavating for $264,864 for the water project.
Approved payment # 7 to Willett Hoffman and Associates for $15,614 for the water project.
Approved change order #5 for the water project. The order will add additional work to the upgrade as the original project came in under budget. New water line will now be installed on South Washington St. from Market to Kimball streets.
Approved building permits:
212 South Washington St.- Roof
104 S.Joy Street – Deck
403 Booth – Garage Roof
The next meeting will be Tuesday, June 2, at 7 PM