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ROBERTS — As a result of a resident’s complaint to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the village of Roberts recently had to halt its cleanup of paint chips that had fallen from the town’s water tower as it was being repainted.

The village board learned during its Oct. 7 meeting that a resident contacted the IEPA with concerns about village workers cleaning up the fallen paint chips, which may contain lead.

Because the village is not a licensed lead-abatement contractor, it was forced to stop the cleanup, Village Board President Rick Flessner said.

However, Flessner said that as of Monday, he did not think any more paint chips were still present.

“There are no paint chips on the ground that I can see,” Flessner said. “But the EPA, I’m sure they’re going to fine us for that.”

Under its contract with Sigel-based Hanfland Painting, which was hired by the village to repaint the water tower, the village was responsible for cleanup of any paint chips that would fall outside of a 25-foot radius of the work zone.

Following the complaint by the resident, who lives west of the water tower, the IEPA took samples of the paint chips that had fallen to test them for the presence of lead, Flessner said. Flessner said he had yet to be notified of the results as of Monday.

Flessner said he has notified state Rep. Tom Bennett, R-Gibson City, and state Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, of the situation, “just to make them aware of it.”

Meanwhile, the water-tower’s repainting is nearly complete, as Hanfland Painting was painting new letters on it this week, Flessner said.

“It looks really nice,” Flessner said. “The tower’s color changed from a greenish-aqua color to kind of a stone color, like a very light tan color, and it will have black letters that say ‘Roberts.’”

Village trustees are using a $115,000 loan from a local bank to fund the $85,140 project.

Other business

Also at the meeting:

➜ The board accepted a $1,000 bid from Roberts resident Tim Williams for the purchase of the village-owned building at 108 E. Green St., which formerly occupied the town’s library. Williams has indicated he plans to remodel the building and turn it into an apartment. The library was closed in October 2016 following the discovery of rotted floor joists underneath a stage on its north end.  

➜ Suzanne “Suzie” Shell, the chief deputy clerk for Ford County’s Probation & Court Services Department, announced her candidacy for the Ford County circuit clerk’s position in the March 2020 primary election. This will be the second time in four years that Shell has run for the elected position, which is currently held by Paxton resident Kim Evans.

➜ The board learned that ordinance enforcement officer Janet Walker, who was not present at the meeting, had just been released from the hospital that day.

➜ Water department employee Paul Theesfield’s monthly report said 759,700 gallons of water were pumped in the village in September, down from 831,900 in August.

➜ The board learned that a gas tank for the village's new Grasshopper had been ordered.

➜ The board learned that the village's attorney, Ellen Lee, delivered a hold-harmless agreement/indemnity agreement to resident Ricky Ricketts, who has complained of drainage issues by his residence at 131 E. Green St.

➜ The board learned that a check had been sent to Boomgarden Trash Hauling for Ron Shapland’s property on East Weldon Street.

➜ The board learned that a liquor license was delivered to the Roberts Quick Stop.

➜ The board set Halloween trick-or-treating hours for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31.

➜ The board made plans to investigate the possibility of removing two trees at 202 Hickory Drive.