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Water issues dominate Grayville City Council meeting Monday night

The Grayville City Council met Monday night for the first time in February, and with 20 plus people in the audience to seek answers about the ongoing water issues in the city.

Don Baldwin asked the Council’s permission for improvements to the City’s veteran’s memorial located at the cemetery.  Baldwin stated that 200 more bricks would be added with a wall going around the flagpoles.  Fundraisers held by the Lion’s Club and others would cover the estimated $5000 cost.  The motion passed unanimously.

The Grayville Days Committee and the Moose Lodge were granted two Class G Special Event Liquor Licenses by unanimous consent.  The 2nd Annual Crawfish Boil will be held on June 2nd, and the groups plan to hold a hog roast downtown on August 11th.

Resident Joey Amos then addressed the Council with several prepared questions.  First, Amos asked about the short and long term plans to address the water issues.  Mayor Joe Bisch stated that the short term plan was that the tower will be cleaned out when the new well is brought on line, and then the lines will be flushed once again.  In the long term, Mayor Bisch said that he remains hopeful for the construction of a water filtration plant in conjunction with Albion, Mt. Carmel, and Keensburg, though that would not be for another 4-5 years.  Amos also asked about rumors of city employees and elected officials being provided with free water filters and other rumors that have appeared on social media.  Bisch said that those rumors and others were false.

Bisch also explained that the water system in Grayville was way past its life expectancy, like in many other municipalities in the state, and there were no available grants from the state or federal level to fund a full line replacement.  Bisch cited an estimate from Mt. Vernon of $196 million to fully replace lines.

Resident Chris James and others present also asked questions about the system and of the new water and gas meters the City is installing.

City employee Cody Lynn, who is the certified administrator of the City water system stated that the system is outdated, and that the water is safe, but blasted the Council over what he said was an unwillingness to do what is needed to fix the issues.  Lynn stated that the “Council won’t let employees do their jobs” and delay the purchase of needed items to make repairs.

Mayor Bisch countered those claims by stating that Lynn has not been forthcoming in private meetings or at public meetings about the needs of his department.

In other business, the TIF agreement between the City and Westwood Equities was tabled, the Council approved a new telephone system from Frontier Communications, and approved the drafting of ordinances to sell excess property by sealed bid and for a new right of way process.

The meeting adjourned at 7:51 pm and the Grayville City Council meets again on Monday, Feb. 26th.