Pingree eyes new building, electricity pact
By Ryan Klassy For The Courier-News May 23, 2012 6:48PM
Updated: July 3, 2012 8:53AM
PINGREE GROVE — The village board on Monday talked about planning a new public works building, setting up its electrical aggregation plan and filling the vacant village clerk’s position.
The board approved Village President Greg Marston’s appointments of Trustees Steve Wiedmeyer, Robert Spieker and Brian Paszkiewicz to a newly formed building and facilities committee. Wiedmeyer will chair the temporary committee, whose task will be to examine the need for construction of a new public works facility.
Public Works Director Pat Doherty said his department was formed in 2008 and has since stored its snowplows, landscaping equipment, trucks and other equipment in various locations, including outdoors and in rental facilities. Since February 2011, the village has rented about 5,000 square feet of space in a 50-year-old building on Elgin’s west side.
Doherty works part-time and oversees two full-time employees and some seasonal help. He said a new facility could give the public works department more space and cut down on travel time and expense.
“This has been in discussion for several years,” said Doherty. “The actual construction is likely two to four years down the road.”
Doherty said he hopes the committee will be able to prioritize the village’s needs, storage requirements and the possibility for future expansion.
The date for the committee’s first meeting has not yet been set.
The second of two public hearings was held to provide details on the village’s plan to enter into an agreement for municipal electric aggregation — the process of negotiating for cheaper electrical rates for residents and businesses in the village. No residents attended.
Larrry Shover of Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Collaborative (NIMEC) told trustees that residents should be able to see a difference on their bills in August or September. Shover said residents of 60 villages in the Chicago area have seen 25 to 40 percent savings on their energy bills through such programs, which essentially allow villages to buy electricity in bulk to reduce costs.
Later in the meeting, the board unanimously approved the plan that will govern the program, including billing procedures, services provided, and how residents can enter into and opt out of the program. Trustee Joshua Cossiboon was not present.
In March, voters approved a referendum allowing the village to negotiate for electric rates. NIMEC representatives are to present the village with bids from suppliers this week. Marston plans to consult with trustees and Village Administrator Ken Lopez before approving any offers.
If an acceptable bid is approved, residents will be notified of the change in writing. They would be able to opt out at any time without a fee by writing to or calling NIMEC.
Village clerk’s job
Trustees voted to appoint Lopez as interim village clerk. Lopez said he and the village staff have been performing the clerk’s duties since Joanna Wester resigned that post earlier this month. Wester was elected in April 2011 to take minutes at village board meetings, attend executive sessions and sign certain village documents as required by law.
Trustees held a lengthy discussion on how to fill the position and decided Lopez will handle the extra workload until a June 23 strategic planning meeting. There, trustees will examine the need for a full- or part-time hire, and consider whether the clerk should be elected or appointed by the president.