TEUTOPOLIS — Teutopolis village officials engaged in a lengthy discussion Wednesday about the future of their community.
“You can talk about economic development, but until you get young families moving here, the community is not going to grow,” said Trustee Greg Oseland at Wednesday’s Village Board meeting.
“This town has never taken a walk down this path,” Oseland added.
Trustee Dave Tegeler said one issue is that land prices in Teutopolis are higher than in other area communities.
“Everybody wants to make the maximum,” Tegeler said. “No way it will become affordable with everybody going for the most they can get (on land sales).”
Oseland said there may be another issue standing between Teutopolis and future growth.
“It’s not just about the price of ground,” he said. “It’s about the perception of Teutopolis. If you talk to realtors, people from outside our community are resistant to looking at property in this community.”
But Tegeler said it won’t be easy to smash that perception.
“It’s going to be hard to break that down,” he said.
Village officials are increasingly concerned that young families are choosing to settle in Dieterich or Effingham, where housing prices are cheaper for comparable properties.
Community development consultant Jennifer Kibler told the board she would put together a rough plan of what she could do before the board’s June 6 meeting.
Kibler said she planned to speak with contacts she has developed over the years for advice on the best way to sell the town.
“It’s going to be a learning experience for everyone,” she said.
Also Wednesday, the board discussed the pros and cons of asphalt versus oil and chip streets. Consulting engineer John Stone told the board that asphalt streets would cost anywhere from $28 to $42 per foot, depending on the width of the roadway. Stone added oil and chip streets would cost between $30 and $37 per foot.
Stone said asphalt would require less maintenance, but be more expensive to repair in case of a utility issue that required tearing up the street.
The board directed Stone to determine how much it would cost to finish asphalting Walnut Street, as well as Race Street between Main and Elm streets.
The board voted Wednesday to spend $1,287 on new banners for Main Street. The current banners have become a bit weather-beaten, prompting village officials to seek replacements.
Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or firstname.lastname@example.org.