Village board discuss over budget road project at meeting

Nicolas Stroman

The Dunlap Village Board entered into a long discussion at its Nov. 9 meeting after it was revealed that a recent road project came in over budget by close to $16,000.

Village Trustee Jack Esterdahl said he and Village Superintendent Dale Bishop met with R.A. Cullinan & Sons after they received their bill for the sand base work the company did on Westfield Court, Hillbrook Court and Brookfield Drive.

The bid that Cullinan submitted, and which was approved by the village board in July, was for $47,309.

The additional amount was $15,718.

“We met with them to have them explain this and to voice our opinion that they didn’t communicate this before the bill came,” Esterdahl said.

Bishop said they left the meeting tentatively agreeing to split the extra cost with Cullinan, per the village board’s approval.

Not every trustee was supportive of this idea though.

“They came in 34 percent over their estimate. How can that be? I don’t understand that,” Trustee Sheila Taylor said.

Bishop said he spoke to Chillicothe officials who had the same road work done over the last seven years and that it is common for it to go over budget.

“They have just learned to figure it into the bid. Cullinan also typically can go 20 percent over because they want to do a good job,” Bishop said.

“They did do a good job. That isn’t the issue. We are not disappointed with the work at all,” he added.

Bishop said the sand base work on the village roads lasts for several years and does not crack unlike regular blacktop or asphalt.

Tazewell County Asphalt put in a slightly higher bid for the same project and Bishop said the village engineer thinks they would have run into the same problem with money.

Besides the 50/50 option, Esterdahl said another option the village has is to use Motor Fuel Tax funds and pay an extra 10 percent of the original bid.

“Otherwise, we can contact the village attorney and see what options we have through the court system. We could end up paying much less,” Esterdahl said.

Village President Jack Fennell said he would like to talk to their attorney and bring the issue back to the board next month.

Esterdahl said even with the initial shock of the higher bill, he does not feel like the village was gouged by Cullinan.

“They did a great job on the work, but a bad job at communicating. I just know this won’t ever happen again,” Bishop added.

In other action and discussion, the board:

• Had a discussion about next year’s Dunlap Days.

Trustee Colleen Slane said the carnival vendors contacted her and expressed their interest in wanting to come back next year, choosing Dunlap over two other communities.

Slane said they suggested adding a third night to Dunlap Days, a Thursday, making the dates for next year’s festival Aug. 23-25.

“That additional Thursday night would be a family night with wristbands for rides and no bands or alcohol. They said when they do this in other communities, it’s the biggest money making night,” Slane said.

“They would give us 20 percent off of the top of their carnival sales this time too and that could be huge,” she added.

Trustee Greg Micklos said he is worried about having it at the football field again because there was some damage done to the field during this year’s festival.

“My concern is it’s the week before the football season and you’re talking about adding a date and more rides. It could tear up the field pretty bad and I would hate to see that because of the effort the JFL puts in,” Micklos said.

“Isn’t there other places we could put it?” Micklos added.

Slane said the football field is ideal because it is gated and she was looking forward to it being there again.

“Taxpayers pay for this field and I want to take advantage of it,” Slane said.

Fennell said they will continue to look into the matter and Slane said she can talk it over further with her Dunlap Days committee.

• Heard an update from Fennell on the formation of the new park district.

Fennell said the village was able to gather enough signatures to file the legal paperwork last week and there will be a court hearing in December.

Fennell added he has six people running for five park board seats on the March 2012 ballot and he will introduce the candidates at next month’s village board meeting.

“These are just the candidates we found though. There could be more people running too if they decide to file papers on their own,” Fennell said.

• Heard from Fennell about future changes to the sewer process and lagoons.

Fennell said after speaking with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, he would like to dissolve their relationship with Peoria County as it looks like the new sewer treatment plant will never get built.

“I’m just trying to figure out how to formally break it off and then we can contact an engineering firm to perform a site study and update our lagoon system,” Fennell said.

Fennell said the EPA provided him with a list of 140 communities in Illinois who have upgraded their sewer system in different ways.

He added it is a good idea to do away with their water tower as well due to the age of the structure.

“It’s 67 years old and the lifespan for water towers is usually 75 years. Those usually cost around a quarter million dollars to replace,” Fennell said.

• Scheduled an open house public meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17 at Dunlap Village Hall to allow residents to review the draft Dunlap Comprehensive Plan.

The plan proposes goals and action items for community improvement and a future land use map for the village.

The entire plan may also be viewed at www.villageofdunlap.com.

• Heard from Fennell about the village’s share of a future highway sidewalk project.

Fennell said Dunlap will contribute 20 percent of the cost to place sidewalk on both sides of Route 91, which will amount to $31,000.

• Heard from Pastor Tim Beddingfield of Cedar Hills Baptist Church, who asked for the village’s cooperation in putting on a community Christmas gathering Sunday, Dec. 4.

Beddingfield said the church is having a tree lighting, caroling, photos with Santa and refreshments.

He said he would like to make it an annual event and offer a commemorative ornament.

Beddingfield said he approached the village board because he would like some dignitaries and fire department in attendance and he also needs help in getting the word out to area schools and the community.

Slane said she would help spread the word by adding the event to the village’s Web site and Facebook page.

“I love the town here and our church’s desire is we want to be constantly giving back,” Beddingfield said.

• Set a date of Wednesday, Dec. 21 to tour the village and judge homes in the holiday decorating contest.

Slane said she would like to include some of the pre-annexation properties this year and she is still seeking gift certificates for prizes.