It's rare that someone brings a trophy to a Robinson City Council meeting, but that was the case Tuesday.
Tom Hose, the foreman at the Robinson Wastewater Treatment Facility, and Superintendent of Public Works Lawrence Quick announced to the council and those in attendance that the facility was named the Group 2 Wastewater Plant of the Year.
Quick said the award was given out by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency at the Illinois Association of Water Pollution Control Operators banquet earlier this month.
Quick and Hose were grateful to the facility's employees and community leaders for their efforts in helping to provide the best services for Robinson.
"We'd like to say thank you to the council and mayor for the support that they give us over the years," Quick said. "Giving us the things we need to do our job efficiently and effectively."
Hose said that five facilities from Group 2 were nominated for the plant of the year award, which is awarded for operation and maintenance excellence. Quick showed appreciation for the facility's employees including Dylan Dart, Randy Hayes, Logan Carr, Michael Koester and Taylor Pinkston.
"They all do a really good job and we appreciate all the hard work they do down there, and their commitment to excellence," Quick said.
The facility officially opened in 2011, but the previous facility and staff won plant of the year one other time in 2007.
"I'd just like to thank the council for all their support that they give us and letting us run the plant like we do," Hose said.
Also at last night's meeting the council discussed forming a new Fouth of July Committee, which would provide more financial support from the city for the festivities. Mayor Roger Pethtel suggested that Alderman Rick Lowe, Park Superintendent Mike Shimer and Ken Pryor Sr. be on the committee.
City Attorney Frank Weber suggested creating an ordinance that would delegate responsibilities between the city and committee.
"You would need an ordinance featuring guidelines or plan designed to put the city in charge of the events, the fireworks in particular," Weber said.
Shimer told Weber, who was unaware, that the Parks and Recreation Committee recently decided to dissolve their Fourth of July Committee and turn over their money to the city. Shimer said they currently have about $6,000, but are having trouble with funds.
"The committee cannot raise enough money through donations and the carnival to fund the fireworks and entertainment we have," Shimer said. "Firework bills are about $9,000 a year and we're assessed a $100 fee to shoot them off."
Shimer added there are expenses for entertainment, as well, and that the committee only gets a cut of the carnival's profits.
Lowe said that he was aware of belief that the new committee be put under the park committee and be funded through the city. Alderman John Birkofer said it's possible that that motion would be a good idea in preparation for the new budget.
However it was decided to bring this item up for discussion at the next council meeting on Tuesday, March 12, where it could be determined who has authorization and responsibilities for agreements and functions for the event.
In other business, Shimer's requests for the acceptance of a donation from the Community Revitalization and Beautification Committee and a water feature for the South Cross mini park were approved. The CRAB donation of $925 will be used to purchase moss flower baskets which will hang from lights at the city square, park and community center. The water feature will cost $21,400, which was less than anticipated, and includes a fountain, plumbing and motor. The purchased will be made from Fountains By Design, Durango, Colo.
The council also approved an ordinance adopting a revised code of ordinances for the city retroactive effective Jan. 1. Dakota Christian was also hired as a full-time custodian for the community center.
Despite being opened last year, a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house for the Pepsi Mid-America facility will be this spring. Mayor Roger Pethtel said the date and time for the event will be at noon Tuesday, May 7.