BY KIM LUTTRELL
The village had saved nearly $81,000 in the past seven months by having village personnel handle some jobs that previously had been contracted out.
Trustee Darin Troglia presented council members with a list of projects village employees have performed. According to Troglia’s information, the projects ranging from installing new sidewalks to replacing sewer tile would have cost $80, 854 if they had been contracted out. With village personnel doing the work, the totals came to just $7,357.
"We have the personnel with the skills and knowledge to do these projects, and we have the equipment necessary to do them, so it only makes sense to do these jobs in-house," Troglia told the council. "The money saved can go to other projects."
In other business, a sweeping change to Westville’s mobile home ordinance failed to receive council approval Tuesday.
With Mayor Jeff Ellis absent, the council split 3-3 on approving the changes. The tie vote resulted in a defeat of the proposed changes.
Some of the changes proposed would have required mobile homes brought into the village to be no older than 10 years old; residents within a 4,000-foot radius of the proposed placement of a mobile home would have to give their approval; a permit fee of $250 would have had to been paid; a licensed electrician would have to make all electrical connections; and any new homes would have 45 days to be in compliance with all village requirements.
The proposed changes would have included changes in the current skirting and anchoring requirements.
Also Tuesday, trustees also joined other Vermilion County towns and villages and placed the question of electrical aggregation on the April 9 consolidated election ballot.
If approved, it would allow the village or its designee to seek the lowest possible cost for electricity for village residents.
The countywide referendum last November was ruled not applicable to incorporated towns and villages in the county, which makes it necessary for Westville to conduct its own referendum. If the referendum passes, residents who do not wish to participate will have two opportunities to opt-out of the program.
In other council action, trustees:
Learned the gas and water department has replaced 130 water meter heads, 48 gas regulators and four gas meters in the past month. The water meter heads are being replaced with the new radio-read water meter heads. The village in the process of changing all of the village water meters to radio-read units to allow remote reading of the meters.
The council approved the ordering of 300 more of the radio-read heads. According to Bill Cottrell, water and sewer committee chairman, there are about 900 water meters that still need the new meter heads replaced. Cottrell said the process will continue when gas and water employees have the time and as the money is available to the village to purchase the new water meter heads.
Approved the implementation of a program that will allow village residents to pay water and gas bills by credit or debit card. Cottrell told the council that this will provide an added convenience to residents as well as insure that the village gets paid what it is owed. Plans are also in the works to allow residents use an electronic pay feature to pay directly from their bank account.
Westville Village Council members will meet at 7 p.m. Feb. 19 in the municipal building.