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Richmond waits to raise trustees’ pay

Published: Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014 11:11 p.m. CST

RICHMOND – A proposed pay increase for trustees has been tabled as village officials wait for their financial future to be sorted out.

Whether the idea is revisited depends on what happens with the village’s negotiations with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, said Trustee Craig Kunz, one of the proposal’s proponents.

To accommodate a growing population, Richmond built a wastewater treatment plant, funding the project with a $7.5 million loan through the IEPA that was supposed to be paid using revenue from new development.

But because that development never came, the village can’t afford the $450,000-a-year payments laid out in the original loan, and an IEPA offer to reduce the payments to $375,000 a year is still unaffordable, Village President Pete Koenig has said.

Village officials hope to make “at least another attempt to seek relief,” Kunz said, adding that the trustee pay proposal was brought up now because some trustees didn’t want it to be “inadvertently forgotten about.”

Under the current pay schedule, which hasn’t been adjusted since 1989, trustees receive $50 for each Village Board meeting they attend and $25 for each committee meeting. They are paid bi-annually.

“In 1989, I don’t think I had a computer, and if I did I was putting in big floppy disks,” Kunz said. “Today, I’m fairly confident each board member receives emails in a course of a week. ... I probably spend 7 to 10 hours a week dealing with village business. It might be a simple question here, a simple question there, driving over to the village.”

Any changes would not take effect until after the next election, which means the three trustee spots that are up in April 2015 would be the first affected. The pay for other three trustee positions would not be changed until after the April 2017 election.

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