December 6, 2021 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Live at Village Board, Nov. 23

We are live at village board. Where we will discuss the Splash Pad and failed lift stations that cause sewer backups in people’s houses and who is responsible.

We are moving the agenda around. The guest speaker on Zoom is Sue. She designed a proposed splash pad. She has a powerpoint!!!!! She’s with Water Odyssey. Sue has been with Water Odyssey for 17 years and used to be the president of a park department in Lake of the Hills.

The project she designed is just a starting place.

Splash pads cost less than a pool, no standing water, no lifeguards. Some are fenced in.

“I have been in the industry for 17 years,” she said. “I have sold playgrounds, shelters and splash pads. Splash pads provide a different level of play for the kids.”

Splash pads are ADA compliant and very inclusive.

Splash pads are usually divided in three phases. One is for early childhood and family. You can later add on an area for tweens and teens.

Discussing the different types, requirements if you have a reusable water system.

Water Odyssey has a lot of products and it can be overwhelming to decide what to include. (I saw their book. This is very, very true.) Discussing features with ground-level sprays and above ground features. You try to incorporate both types of features.

Now discussing fun forms. OMG one is an octopus. #Myfavoriteanimal. Basically, they are foam creations covered in very, very, very tough waterproof material that squirt water.

Discussing the different types of water usage. Either you reuse the water or it goes back into the village sanitary to a retention tank or you can store the water in a tank and use it for irrigation. #THEYCOULDUSEITFORTHEFLOWERSDOWNTOWN

A recirculation system is where the water goes into a tank and is treated before it is used. You need bathrooms and employees to check the chemicals daily. The IDPH would also have to approve it. Up front, it is much more expensive. Depending on the cost of your water the break-even point is usually five years.

Art asking how much the splash pad would use.

Sue said it depends on the splash pad you design. She said in Chicago they have some that use as few as 15 gallons a minute.

“We can modify the design based on what the requirements are of your community.”

The splash pad she designed was created with three zones. The tot zone and the family zone would be installed for. The teen action zone could be added later. The features are not set in stone. The total for this creation says 323 gallons per minute but the features are sequenced so they wouldn’t all be running at one time. With a typical splash pad you are running at 60 percent per minute. The controller has a lot of functionality. So you can set specific times to allow the splash pad to turn on or you can limit the splash pad from turning on if it is too cold. (What is really too cold though for kids?)

Art asking if the valve turns on all of the feature.
Sue saying it turns it on in a sequence.

Water Odyssey is based in San Marcos Texas, the products are stainless steel, replacements parts are available because they are in the US.

Art “What would be the normal consumption of gallons and that is a major cost.”

It really depends on the features you pick and the amount of use it sees.

Sewer back up time.

Todd Hitt sent an email to the administrator and he FOIA’d the inspections that they have done on the lift stations but then he took that out. The first part of the letter discusses negligence and the villages’ negligence. Serve pro cost $7200. They also had to replace drywall and flooring. He wants the village to consider the overall cost when deciding whether to offer funds. Hitt says that homeowners have an expectation of being able to work on plumbing in their own house and that shouldn’t have an effect on their decision. Hitt and Painter are discussing whether Painter said Hitt shouldn’t have messed with the check valve unless he was a licensed plumber. Painter saying he didn’t say that and explaining what he did say. “Had a professional shown up before you showed up and said ‘hey, I think you are looking at a bad lift station? I have seen it before. would a professional have said ‘hey, call the village, you have a bad lift station?”

Todd saying that while IML would say they weren’t negligent. People on the outside would think they were. It sounds like the bills were massive. I feel so bad for them. The village is in a weird spot but its not like they can just leave the walls and floor open or covered in sewage.

Apparently there is a large, loud alarm on the lift station that keeps failing.

Apparently the IML RMA was $6,000 so that wouldn’t even pay for clean up.

Joe is discussing holding the funds for the splash pad. 501c3’s take a year for the organization to be up to speed. They have check payments they need to cash. The question is would the village be willing to take in the money. “That is where we are at.” Marc Miller says its OK for the village to hold the money. It gets pretty sticky pretty easily and you want clarity. If the fundraising doesn’t go so well and the project goes apart what do you do with the money. Miller saying you need an ordinance or something to say that the money goes back to the village, ect. Discussing how money could or should be reimbursed if the project fails. I am just going, to be honest. If you drop a $5 bill in the bucket at the trunk or treat I don’t think you will be getting your money back.


Has anyone ever donated to a charity and expected your money back?


Discussing pedestrian crossing signs. They would be fancier.

Oh good lord, we still have the tax levy, debt ordinance, construction agreement and insurance renewal. I may not make it.


Insurance rates are good, nothing has changed really except ER visits.


They are doing board coaching sessions. it will be online.

They are apparently selling a truck online.

They are receiving $271.05 from the American rescue act in addition to what they already got.

Marc likes Joe. He says Joe calls him with questions appropriately. Marc is really, really informative and really knows his stuff.

Luke requested a traffic study from the state of Illinois and they aren’t willing to change the speed limits in to town.

Discussing the lift station again. Basically, they put a horn on it. If you hear the horn CALL THE OFFICE or LUKE or MIKE.

We were so close to being over and yet… we aren’t.

Hey, PSA don’t put your sump pump into the sanitary line.

There will be no fireworks next year at the fall festival.

VIllage gardners have decorated the Christmas baskets. The public works helped. Thanks to them for beautifying our downtown.

Christmas Light Parade Dec. 4

Winter Wassail Dec. 4

Santa 5K Dec. 18

Santa comes to the fire station Dec. 11- pancake breakfast in the morning. Santa at 10 a.m.

The second meeting in December could be canceled. Please lord. So I don’t have to discuss the splash pad anymore.

They are going into closed session to discuss making an offer on the busey building.

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