FOSTERBURG, IL. (ECWd) –
Fosterburg Public Water District (“FWD”) held its regular meeting at the Foster Township building this month due to the expected large crowd of attendees.
The board approved hiring an attorney to respond to the Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor’s review of a complaint of an alleged Open Meetings Act violation when the board decided to spend the weekend at a Saint Louis, Missouri hotel getting tanked up on alcohol and claiming it to be a “Board Retreat” – even renting an additional suite for a meeting room (articles here and here).
Later in the meeting, the Board voted to officially withdraw from the Regional Water “Concept” between them, Carlinville, and Jersey County Rural Water, citing lack of statutory authority for a water district to establish or participate in the establishment of a non-profit water company as the trio had voted to do in their September meeting. I wrote an article in October explaining their lack of legislative authority to do what they were doing (here). The question of statutory authority was asked during the Regional water meeting on September 25, 2017 (watch it here).
FWD also voted to rescind it’s $50,000 of “seed money” which was to be used to establish the non-profit water company. FWD also voted to remove their appointed water company “board representative.”
FWD stated they quit setting aside public funds for a “Christmas Fund” and that the funds remaining will be transferred into the district’s general fund.
I suspect Carlinville will also withdraw from the informal agreement due to their lack of authority in establishing a non-profit Regional Water Company (article here). Their “representative” on the project told Carlinville city council, during its November 6th meeting, that they were reviewing whether or not the city had authority to continue with the project (something their attorney probably should have done years ago).
This regional water concept has a price tag of upwards of $92 million dollars. The future of the entire regional water concept is now uncertain.
As far as the other issues with the FWD’s unauthorized spending of public funds, they should apply the same process used to determine they lacked authority to form a non profit, to find if they have authority for a drunken booze-fest in St. Louis, or flowers, or funeral food, or vehicle repairs with a conflicted Trustee’s company. They refused to entertain that idea for those situations.