MT. AUBURN — The Village of Mt. Auburn held a regular meeting on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. at the Village Hall.
Adam Mathias from LMHN was present at the meeting to present the annual audit of the Village. He explained that over- all, the Village was looking good financially. In the General Fund, the cash on hand was up $80,000 from the previous year because of an increase in revenues and a decrease in expenditures. Mathias estimated that the Village saved about $26,000 over the year by eliminating their police services, while they gained back $17,000 for the sale of the car and had some revenue coming in from easement proceedings. Both of those revenues were unique, one time cash influxes, but they did contribute to the Village’s overall financially stability.
Mathias told the Board that the MFT fund was also up, around $12,000. He said that money likely came from the Rebuild Illinois fund and he was seeing the same increase across other small municipalities he covered. While revenue was up, expenses were also up in MFT because of the many projects being done around town. However, Mathias said the fund itself was fine.
For the water fund, the cash on hand increased from $131,000 to $188,000 over the previous year. Mathias said that increase was likely because of a sharp increase in usage within the Village, which was up 7% from the previous year. He also explained that expenses in the water fund were down to $92,000, with the Village doing less equipment maintenance and repairs. While Mathias said the fund was looking sound, he advised the Board to keep an eye on it since water usage could fluctuate and affect the cash on hand balance.
All in all, the Village had as clean of a report as they could have.
Lee Beckman was also at the meeting to go have the Board approve some water project change orders and pay esti- mates. He also told the Board that there were signs the Illinois EPA might be softening its stance towards the water corro- sion tests and said there was
some small hope the Village might not have to do it, but he couldn’t say for certain. The Board approved the change orders, both of which had been done to save money, as well as the five pay estimates. They also approved the Rural Development request for funds.
Mayor Mike Whitehead is still trying to get an estimate that is not over budget for the retaining wall project at the Village Hall. It was proving to be very difficult.
The Board was introduced to a company that handles credit card payments for the Village water bills. At not cost to the Village, the company would set up an online portal through the Village website as well as a call number where people who are out of state or maybe out of checks could pay their bills from home. The contract with the company would see them take $1.75 fee from the client for each payment. If the bill was over $50, they would collect 3.5% extra from the client. There were still more questions to be asked, so the Treasurer was asked to look into it more and talk to some other Villages that used the same company to see how it worked.
The Village has started working harder on the past due water bills and started collecting money, but the same habitual late pay people have returned on the over due bill list again. With the water project finishing up and the new meters being install, Whitehead hopes that will give the Village more ability to control the water and shut it off if necessary.
Whitehead brought up a problem with water bill refunds with the Board. As far as he was aware, there was no ordinance or ruling on how to handle the refunds. In the past, it had just been done sort of off the cuff and without official backing. Now that the Village was gearing up to be purchasing water, Whitehead wants a concrete plan in place for how refunds are handled in the future. He asked the Ordinance Committee to get together and look over the ordinances and see what the Village had in place already, as well as work on putting together something to handle the refunds going forward.