The fate of the Joint Sewer District that has been a bone of contention between the villages of DeGraff and Quincy was the major topic of discussion Tuesday at the DeGraff Village Council meeting.
At the crux of the matter is the Environmental Protection Agency mandate that the shared treatment plant, located on State Route 235 just north of Quincy, be either staffed by a qualified operator at least 20 hours per week, or that a monitoring system be installed which will allow the operator to work a minimum of 10 hours per week. Despite an October 31 deadline issued by the EPA that some kind of plan be put into place, the villages have been unable to make a deal on how costs are to be shared.
DeGraff Mayor Gary Comer on Tuesday's resolution
Mayor Gary Comer reported to the council that at the last meeting with his opposite numbers from Quincy had gone poorly, saying that the Joint Board "could not come to any kind of agreement" on how the money to staff the plant or install the monitoring system was to be shared. This ongoing deadlock, which has been going on for months, has "escalated far enough" Comer said before asking the council to pass a resolution authorizing DeGraff to agree to foot up to two-thirds of $12,500 bill for the installment of the monitoring system, contingent on Quincy agreeing to pony up the other one-third of the bill.
The resolution was passed without dissent, but privately, council members were pessimistic that the villages were going to be able to come to some kind of agreement in the foreseeable future.
Also Tuesday, the council passed a resolution agreeing to enter into a contract with Heritage Cooperative of Urbana to install a propane gas tank at the village's garage on Cretcher Street. Councilwoman Gloria Armstrong reported that the village can expect to pay about $1.59 per gallon for the propane this winter.
DeGraff Council will meet again on Tuesday, October 2nd at 7 p.m.