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Worth reaches agreement over distribution of rain barrels

  • Written by Sharon L. Filkins

Thanks to approval of an ordinance amending the municipal code at the Worth Village Board meeting on Tuesday, regulations are now in place regarding the free rain barrels distributed by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

While the MWRD program allows four barrels to a household, only two barrels will be permitted in Worth. However, there will be no restrictions on the placement of the barrels other than being located to receive water from a downspout.

The approval came after much discussion in earlier meetings where the trustees had voiced numerous concerns about the number of barrels allowed as well as the placement of the them. Trustee Pete Kats had said he did not want to see the barrels haphazardly placed in front yards creating an unsightly view.

“We need some kind of control in place before problems arise,” Kats said.

In an ironic twist after the ordinance was approved, Mayor Mary Werner said she had received a letter from the MWRD this week stating that as of Dec. 31, 2016, the MWRD will no longer be offering the free rain barrels to residents. Additionally, residents applying for barrels now can expect up to a 10-week delay in delivery.

“In other words, if you are ordering barrels now, it could be as late as September or October before they are delivered,” she said. She added that MWRD reported that 126,000 free barrels have been distributed since the program began three years ago.

Also approved was an ordinance agreeing that prevailing wage rates will be paid to laborers, mechanics and other workers performing public works in the village. The ordinance is approved annually.

In other matters, the board heard a presentation from Todd Kupsak, president of Administrative Consulting Specialists, LLC regarding the feasibility of retaining his consulting services to seek grants for the village. He has been consulting with the village police and fire departments for the past two years.

Kupsak offered the village the opportunity to move forward with him as an addition to his contract with the police and fire, or to wait until the state opens up.

“There is federal and county grant money available now, but the situation with the state is not good. Once it opens up, there will be a windfall of grant money, but that just is not the case now,” Kupsak said. “If you can wait, I would advise you to wait. I am not trying to take money from my clients needlessly. That is not the way to keep clients.”

 

Werner said the matter will be discussed as the board is currently holding budget meetings to establish the 2017 budget.

In closing comments, Werner issued a warning to residents concerning fireworks. “Fireworks are illegal in Worth and we will be ticketing offenders,” she said.