Brocton community center still needs work

$10,500 insurance claims help with repairs, mayor favors a delayed reopening


BROCTON – The discovery of termites, water infiltration, mold and structural damage in 2019 at the Brocton community center prompted the village board to close the structure and purchase and remodel another building in town to serve as the village hall.

Village trustee Debby Porter reported during the Wednesday, Jan. 8, village board meeting that Brocton has received $10,500 for insurance claims related to repairs of the community center, which is located in the village park. She asked if it is possible to reopen the building for public use now that repairs have been made, although work still needs done to the west wall.

“The restrooms are fixed, and that was one of the bigger issues,” said Porter. “The kitchen is in good condition.”

Village mayor Dennis Cary said the contractor doing the repairs believes it will be spring before his schedule is free to tackle the west wall, which has nearly as serious problems as the east wall before that part of the building was repaired.

It is Cary’s understanding that about 20 feet on each end of the west wall needs replaced. He added giving the conditions found in the east wall there is a good chance mold exists within the west wall.

He favored delaying opening the building for public use until the repair project is finished.

“It (the community center) is a designated heating and cooling center,” said Porter. “We will have to open it if activated. We can’t avoid that.”

Cary agreed an emergency

situation is different than letting people use the building for typical activities like reunions and parties.

In new business, the trustees authorized Cary and village treasurer Cheryl Gill to sign documents related to a USDA Rural Development block grant seeking funds to replace the water mains in town. Gill will be the grant manager for making the online reports tied to the project.

New water mains are needed in the village because city workers are constantly trying to find the source of a leak that is losing thousands of gallons of treated water every month.

“We’ve have had Rural Water to town many times and they located several leaks,” said Cary, while acknowledging the monthly loss continues.

He assured residents the city employees are continuing to work with a plumber and representative from Rural Water to fix the problem. A new water plant operator was introduced. Jake Johnson is the water superintendent for Ashmore in Coles County and he has agreed to perform similar duties for the Brocton water plant.

A proposal from Prospect Bank gave the trustees pause for concern. Cary and Gill explained the village has two certificates of deposit with Prospect that are near maturity, and they want renew them at a higher rate. To do so, Prospect requested a resolution by the village board to do so.

As Gill understands the process, failure to pass the resolution means the CDs cannot be renewed at a higher interest rate, but will rollover as an instrument earning no interest.

There was some brief discussion about taking the money to another bank, but trustee Richard Grice disagreed.

“Things can’t always be about the money,” said Grice. “We’ve got to support having that bank in town.”

Final consensus among village board members was the bank’s request for a resolution was unusual, and something they had never encountered, but it created no foreseeable detriment to the community. The resolution passed to renew the two CDs at a higher rate with Prospect Bank.