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WHAT WE KNOW: The village of Rapids City is investing in infrastructure projects this year, including a water loop project to bring an additional water main to residences west of Illinois 84, installing a box culvert along Sulphur Creek on 14th Street to mitigate neighborhood flooding during heavy rains, and buying a storm warning siren with a grant. The village has budgeted for these projects, and water rates were increased last year to help pay for the water loop project.

WHAT'S NEW: At Tuesday's village board meeting, Chris Cooper with MSA Professional Services said the water loop project may need to be rerouted, as workers encountered limestone rock while drilling 7 feet down, which will make it difficult to bore under both Illinois 84 and the railroad tracks. Village President Harold Mire Jr. said the project will move forward, but the village will need to "change the approach, location, and funds." 

Cooper said he expects the reinforced concrete box culvert project to start later in the summer. Trustees approved an additional $4,000 to cover preliminary contracting fees.

In other business, trustees discussed the impact of flooding on the village. Public Works Superintendent Ryan Bump estimated flood fighting costs at around $10,000. The boat ramp parking lot has sustained some damage from being underwater for nearly three months, but the go-ahead for garbage collection to resume on 1st Avenue was given. 

Trustees also approved spending $1,320 for masonry work around the electronic sign installed at the south end of town. 

Mire reported that the village accounts have increased by $64,000 this year despite all the ongoing projects, without raising property taxes or incurring any debt.

WHAT'S NEXT: Trustees approved a two-year contract with Civic Ready for an emergency alert system at a cost of $1,542 for setup and the first year of service, and $542 for the second year of service.

"If people want to utilize the system, they will need to sign up. Alerts will be sent on an emergency basis only," Mire said. Sign-up information will be distributed to residents once the system has been set up.

Trustee Rick Fiems said he would like a clear policy for when alerts will be issued by defining "health, life and safety concerns" at next month's meeting. 

— SARAH FORD / sarahjayeford@gmail.com

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