AMBOY — The new mayor of Amboy is ready to move Amboy forward.
The May 15 Amboy City Council meeting was the final meeting for Amboy Mayor Tom Nauman. A few loose ended needed to be tied up before Nauman adjourned the council as mayor.
Amboy Alderman Daryl Stuckemeyer updated the council on the status of Dollar General. He said the landowner and the buyer had reached an agreement and the city was asked to run water and sewer lines to the proposed site. The new Dollar General is to be located on two lots north of Subway on Route 52. After some cost savings, the amount the city would need to spend on the water and sewer lines is $8,291.89. Stuckemeyer said the first year, the city is expected to see a sales tax return of $7,500 and then it should increase to $15,000 each year.
Nauman clarified when asked that there has been no actual land transfer, that it is a tentative agreement. All alderman voted yes, except for Dave Shaw, to approve the purchasing of materials to extend the water and sewer lines contingent on Dollar General acquiring site control.
Nauman took a moment for his final comments as mayor. He said he wanted to clear the air on a few issues. He apologized to Stuckemeyer, for having Stuckemeyer take over bringing Dollar General into Amboy. He said that never once did Dollar General ask the planning commission for a meeting, or go before the zoning commission. Speaking on behalf of the Nauman family, Nauman said the family never pursued it. He added that rumors going around about how the family got $1 million dollars or took bribes are false. He also reminded the council that if the city had a TIF District in place, the taxes alone would have paid for the water and sewer lines.
Nauman read a letter from Dollar General that said they are planning to build three facilities by January 2018, if not sooner. He said that he has heard around town that Dollar General coming in with hurt our grocery store. He said he doesn’t think that’s true and that the Dollar General will be a great asset to the community. He said he thinks it will stop people from driving to Dixon to shop.
He ended his comments thanking the community.
“It’s been a great run,” Nauman said. “Thank you very much.”
Amboy’s new Mayor John Schamberger and new Alderman Bill Bontz were sworn in.
Under new business, the board made a motion to accept a bid from Koch Construction for $5 per square foot for sidewalk replacement. This quote is $1 less than what the city paid last year. Schamberger suggested the council come up with one or two projects and see how they turn out before agreeing to use the contractor for all of the work needed to be done. A roll call vote ended in a 3-3 tie, with Brett Dewey, Shaw and Eric McLaughlin voting no. The tie then went to the mayor, where he voted yes.
The next order of business was discussing a fix for the sludge in the sewer ponds. Stuckemeyer reported that the sludge is pretty close to the top. He added that the city had gotten an estimate to dredge the sludge last year and the cost was over $1 million.
Stuckemeyer said Aquafix is a company that provides another option at a much cheaper cost. The company has a product that is a pellet containing chemicals that work on the sludge. The chemicals are biodegradable, Stuckemeyer said, and that the chemicals contain bacteria that specializes in digesting sludge. He added that after the first treatment, the sewer pond would receive another treatment every three weeks for the rest of the summer. Stuckemeyer said the company can almost guarantee this will work, and that the city should see significant results. The total cost for the treatment this summer is $9,400. The board approved a motion to treat the sludge with Aquafix 6-0.
Under comments from the council, the alderman thanked former alderman Don Clayton and Nauman for their service and welcomed the new mayor and new alderman.
McLaughlin said that he would like the board to work on today and tomorrow. That yesterday is under the bridge.
Stuckemeyer told the council about the new Lee County electronic recycling. He said it will be a free service done on the honor system. The new electronic recycling will be held at the Lee County Highway Department, from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.
For the mayor’s comments, Schamberger told the council that Matt Hinkle has offered to treat the weeds at the Veterans Park for free this summer. He also said that he agreed with McLaughlin’s comments about moving forward and would like to sit down with the council and prioritize what needs to be done, and start sewing up any loose ends.
The next Amboy City Council meeting will be held at 7 p.m., on Monday, June 19.