December 1, 2022 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Live at St. Joseph Village Board Oct. 26

I am live at village board so you don’t have to be.

Visit Champaign County is here.

I feel like we just had this presentation.

I guess it was last November when she presented last but the info is pretty much the same. You can go to to get more information.

I think the visit champaign county does really good work but I am always curious how much traffic they really generate for St. Joseph. They always talk about the Wheelhouse for restaurant week but there’s more to St. Joseph than one (amazing) restaurant.

Okay that is over. Public Comment time. The public comment policy is basically hey, don’t be rude.

A resident from Grand Avenue. Discussing an incident on the 4th of October. There was water on the floor in the utility room.

Sounds like there was a lot of water in their house. They aren’t even done with the tear out of the damaged stuff and the bill is already over $7,000. Their insurance won’t cover it.

Todd Hitt is talking now. It was his daughter’s house. The water in the basement was clear, the water in the bathtub was amber. #sewerwater

This sounds like a giant mess. These poor people.

Sewer water erupted out of a pit in the basement and that included everything you imagine it did. The lift station failed because when the manhole was pulled off sewer water was right there. The notification system failed and the village wasn’t made aware of it. Sewer water erupted out of a manhole and drained into the street. It went into the storm drains. #OMG

The autodialer feature failed and no one was notified that the lift station failed.

Wow, this is a catastrophic mess up on the village’s part. I mean stuff happens but wow.

Apparently it has shot out of the yard into the street four times according to that home owner. #OMG

The couple who had sewer in their basement recently had a new baby.

The village called IML insurance and the IML insurance tried to say the flooding happened when Todd Hitt messed with a check valve. #theliftstationfailedso….

They want the village to reimburse them for the damage.

The serve pro bill was more than $7,000. Nothing has been built back.

Insurance denied the claim, they appealed it and they said no again. Insurance is claiming there was no neglect on the village side. The insurance adjuster said that since the lift station was checked the day before the village wasn’t at fault.

Lanz, who the homeowner works for, told Todd to take the Check Valve off. Max Painter is asking if they should be held responsible for part of it.

Todd’s saying that the lift station failing caused the issue not the valve being removed.

Max Painter saying if Lanz showed up would they have taken the valve off? The homeowner is saying that’s hard to say. Todd is saying it’s the village’s fault. Max asking if a professional had actually looked at it would the outcome be the same.

Max said he wouldn’t have been messing with it.

Todd believes that the village holds liability for the lift station failing and the audible warnings having been removed and the autodialer system failing.

Lawyer time! Mr. Miller says the village is different from a private entity. There is a state law that ups the level of liability the village has. “The state gives you a higher level of liability protection than a private entity.”

Miller says he has had this situation in other communities and every community is different and decides what they want to do. If the village decides to make a payment MIller is saying they need to do it through the insurance because if they make payments admitting liability the insurance will pull their coverage. Miller says it creates political precedence but they could legally probably say no one the next one.

Terri wants to dispute the claim and do documentation, etc.

It can’t be turned into their homeowners- they didn’t have the rider for backed-up sewer. They now have the rider for the backed-up sewer.

Todd saying his sentiment is the village should help with the appeal process. Todd said he would hope the village board wouldn’t say that they hired IML to do their risk insurance and what they say goes.

Art saying we should follow the insurance company recommendation and it would be premature to make a decision without an investigation. Art saying appeal to the Illinois Insurance Board.

Todd brought up the point that if his daughter hadn’t been home it could have spread to all the other houses on the block. So Miller’s point would be if you paid this family would you pay all the houses on the block if it did spread? That could decimate a budget for a village this size really quickly. This is a really hard spot for the village. You feel for the family but you also gotta look to the future. #theyareelectedtomakehardchoiceslikethis

My worst fear is a sewer backup. when we first moved into our house our sewer line was collapsed/broken and that happened. It’s horrifying.

Joe the village administrator is going to be in contact with the family and work on appealing to the insurance company.

Now discussing honorary street recognition. Art is saying he agrees to limit it to two a year. #BJHacklerway

Art is discussing charging people who want to name streets after people for whatever the cost is to the village. I never understand this argument. You have to pay the village workers whether or not they are putting up a sign or doing brush pick up or doing work at the sewer plant. What difference does it make? This was the argument with brush pick up and it’s like they are being paid no matter what they are doing so……

Splash pad- We had a conference call last Thursday with Water Odyssey. We (the committee) gave her the idea of the features we wanted. They are creating a drawing of what we could do for $100,000-$150,000. It will be done by November. The envelopes have been printed. SO look for them soon.

Also, there is a trunk or treat happening Saturday at IGA at 6 p.m. and we will be collecting donations there.

Tami discusses how to collect the money, etc. Okay, so we have decided that the money will go into an account with Julie and me on it. We will be responsible for returning large donations if it fails. If it’s .25 cents it may not get returned. Just saying.

Discussing the job description to replace Julie. Joe is saying she’s not replaceable. #aintthatthetruth

Debbie Routh is moving up and they are hiring someone to take her place.

Here’s the job description. Work at the village!!

Discussing a property on proctor lane.

meeting adjourning.

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