District receives grant for new boiler

AMBOY — At the recent monthly Amboy School Board meeting, Superintendent Joshua Nichols announced that the district has received a $50,000 Illinois State Board of Education Maintenance Grant that will be used toward the boiler project. Loescher Heating and Air Conditioning Company installed the second circulating pump at the high school, and General Mechanical has started prepping to replace the boilers. 

“We have heard that the boilers have ‘shipped’ which is exciting news,” said Nichols. 

Another highlight of the meeting was the board approval for the electric buses contract with Lion, a Canadian-based manufacturer that primarily produces yellow school buses. Back in October of this year, the Environmental Protection Agency bestowed a $790,000 grant to the district. The bulk of the money will be used to purchase two electric buses, while $40,000 was set aside for the purchase and installation of two charging units.  

In other business, for the junior high demolition, a prebid meeting was held and 25 contractors showed up and toured the building and grounds. Nichols is confident that this will lead to competitive bidding which opens this week. A tentative tax levy was ratified. A new junior high basketball and sports co-op with LaMoille-Ohio was approved.

City Council

The Amboy City Council met in regular session on Nov. 21. Mayor Pro-Tem Frank Stenzel presided over the proceedings with the absence of Mayor John Schamberger. 

Committeeman Dave Shaw who is on the Depot Commission, stated that the Depot is gearing up for the Christmas Walk, and would appreciate any volunteers to help with decorating the Depot. He thanked the city for bringing over the decorations. 

Under unfinished business, the board approved an ordinance authorizing a change of zoning and special use pursuant to the petition of the Meade Family Farm Trust, and Nexamp Solar LLC. At a Plan Commission meeting held back in October, a representative from Nexamp gave an overview of the company, and locations in Chicago and Boston. Com Ed works with the vertically integrated solar programs. The benefits explained are customers can sign up to be subscribers and get a discount on their electric bills. The city will see increased tax revenue, and solar preserves farmland from other development. Most contracts are for 40 years with a decommission agreement. 

The council approved an ordinance authorizing a change of zoning for Z Best Enterprises. Owner Jared Zelhoffer requested zoning for light-industry for both properties at 405 Mason, and 305 Water Street. He’d like to build a new office facility on the Mason site, and is in the process of rehabbing the old milk plant factory for storage. 

Under “New Business”, the company, George Roach and Associates were granted the contract for the city audit services. Helm Civil will be paid the remaining balance of $95,750 for the MFT streets project. Steve Hall, a senior project manager and engineer with Ameresco, gave a presentation about a Biogas project at the Lee County landfill. The 20 year long term project would involve removing the methane gas from the landfill, filter it, and pump it out for reuse. This would be a new business venture for the city and zoning and pipeline ordinances will need to be written and approved. Hall plans on coming back to a future meeting with a slide presentation and more detailed information about the project and possible land purchase near the landfill.