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By DAVID CAMPHOUSE
At the Monday, Jan. 3, Barry city council meeting, City Administrator Jeff Hogge emphasized that burning refuse is not allowed within the community.
“We’ve been having reports of trash burning within the city,” Hogge said.
According to Hogge, Barry allows residents to burn leaves, sticks and limbs between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Hogge reported, however, some Barry residents have been illegally burning other items.
“We’ve had reports of people burning cardboard and other trash within the city,” Hogge said.
Trash burning, Hogge said, violates city and state law and is subject to a fine.
“It’s against city ordinance,” Hogge said. “If they’re caught, they’ll be hit with a $150 fine.”
The council also held a discussion regarding a capital grant that the city is due to receive.
Hogge indicated that Barry is set to receive a large grant for capital improvement projects, but – according to the terms of the grant – the city needs to be prepared to move forward with the projects immediately.
“It’s $210,000 for shovel ready projects,” Hogge said.
The source of the grant, Hogge said, is the State of Illinois.
“Representative CD Davidsmeyer was able to set this aside,” Hogge said. “It’s money from the state.”
Hogge said that the city is considering using the $210,000 grant toward lining additional aging sewers within the community. However, city officials are considering other uses for the funds, as well.
“Sewer lining was one of the first things to come up as an idea,” Hogge said. “We are coming up with ideas about what we are going to use it for.”
Also discussed at the Monday, Jan. 3, council meeting was the most appropriate use for funds that had been held in reserve during the repayment of a USDA fund for Barry’s industrial park water tower.
The reserve was mandated by USDA under the terms of the loan. Now that the loan is paid off, the city may allocate the funds toward other uses.
“We paid off the water tower last month, so we don’t need to keep anything in reserve,” Hogge said.
According to Hogge, the USDA reserve funds will be transferred to an account earmarked for unanticipated emergencies and repairs.
“We can put it into a superfund account for any major sewer of water main repairs,” Hogge said.
Hogge said the City of Barry had deposited into the USDA reserve fund $6,000 per month since the water tower’s construction in 2010.
New Pike County Animal Control Warden McKenzie Ballinger addressed the council at the meeting to introduce herself and to discuss updates the department was making – including a new rabies tag system, that allows staff to scan a URL code to ascertain the vaccination and ownership status of an animal.
“She talked about the new tag system that they are wanting to implement,” Hogge said.