Village of Palestine
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MINUTES of APRIL 5, 2007
VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING

The Palestine Board of Trustees met in regular session on April 5, 2007, at 6:00 PM. Trustees answering roll call were Gene Purcell, Larry Miller, Greta Dennison, David Branson, Walter Fritchie and Larry Surrells. Walter Fritchie was called out of session due to employment responsibilities before any business was transacted.

Chief Jim Clark and Margaret Littlejohn were present. Village Clerk Floyd Fuller was on vacation.

Visitors present were J. D. Kimberlin, Bob Taylor, Tom Osborne, Robinson Daily News Reporter, Chris Ford, Radio Station WTYE Reporter, and John Maddox.

The meeting began with all in attendance reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

OLD BUSINESS

Annual Spring Clean-up is scheduled for Saturday, April 28, 2007.

After a discussion for the Sewer Lagoon upgrade and repair costs, in the estimated amount of $90,000.00 to $100,000.00, which would be approximately $2,000.00 per month, a motion was made by David Branson to proceed with Lagoon upgrade and repair, on a lease agreement as earlier proposed through Flygt Company. Gene Purcell seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

The monthly sewer fee increase was tabled until after more conclusive cost issues are settled. Larry Miller further suggested that, before another increase is adopted, to take into consideration all costs facing the Village currently, as well in the future, as it has not been that long ago since we had approved an increase in our sewer rate (December 2, 2005).

NEW BUSINESS

Mayor Pat Schofield and Larry Surrells presented the information regarding the Estimate for Municipal Maintenance Costs for Streets, Sidewalks, etc., as proposed by Connor & Connor. Total estimated maintenance cost is $63,292.01. After careful inspection of the streets, it was decided that there would be no overlay done this year. Motion to accept the proposal as presented was made by Larry Surrells, seconded by Greta Dennison. Motion carried unanimously.

Request by Biernbaum Garage to hook into the Village Sewer System was discussed. It was agreed that there should be an agreement, between Biernbaum and the Village, to establish the basis for the hook-up, i.e. that Biernbaum’s Garage would be liable for any questionable material let into the sewer system, and be held responsible for all clean-up as per EPA standards, both State and Federal; that Biernbaum’s Garage would not allow anyone else to tap into their sewer; that the Village would waive the hook-up fee since Biernbaum’s Garage will be responsible for all costs to bring the sewer to their location; that Biernbaum’s Garage will agree to pay for any necessary testing made. The monthly fee for the garage was figured at $31.75 per month. Motion to approve the extension of the Village Sewer System to Biernbaum’s Garage was made by David Branson, seconded by Larry Surrells. Motion carried unanimously.

Discussion regarding the review of our current Sewer Ordinance will be updated and presented to the Board for approval once the Biernbaum/Village agreement has been completed.

After presenting the information for and discussion of the Gross Receipts Tax as proposed by our Governor, Mayor Pat Schofield presented a Resolution for Opposition to the Gross Receipts Tax. Motion to adopt said Resolution was made by Larry Surrells, seconded by Greta Dennison. Motion carried unanimously. Mayor Schofield encouraged each Trustee to write individual letters of opposition to the Governor and State Legislators.

Mayor Schofield recommended that beginning in 2008, all employee evaluations and proposed salary increases take effect at the beginning of our fiscal year, which is May 1. Motion by Gene Purcell to adopt this recommendation was seconded by Greta Dennison. Motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Schofield reported that we had received the Annual Franchise Fee for 2006, in the amount of $7,092.10. This represents 3% of the total Cable Services Revenue.

Motion to pass a Resolution to approve the Motor Fuel Tax receipts and disbursements for January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2005, was made by Larry Surrells, seconded by Greta Dennison; motion carried unanimously.

Motion to approve, as presented, the Village of Palestine Annual Budget for fiscal year 2007-2008, with the exception of the Sewer Budget, was made by Larry Miller, seconded by Larry Surrells; motion carried unanimously. Motion to table Sewer Budget until all information of costs are gathered and made known in regard to the Sewer Lagoon upgrade and repairs was made by Larry Miller; seconded by David Branson; motion carried unanimously.

Motion to approve the purchase of a new Mosquito Sprayer, in the amount of $9850.00, was made by Larry Surrells, seconded by David Branson; motion carried unanimously. Mayor Pat Schofield reported that she is working on a grant to assist with the purchase of the new sprayer, and possibly other grants to assist with the purchase of the insecticide (current pricing for the insecticide Excalibar is $2664.00 for a 55-gallon drum; with a normal spraying season, we will use close to two 55-gallon drums.)

The Mayor, as well as some Trustees, have received several complaints regarding unkempt
properties, junk and old trailers in the Village. It was further reported that the Mayor and Chief Clark are already addressing this issue and are in process of notifying property owners, giving them time for clean-up and ridding their property of the accumulated trash, junk and trailers.

Several residents have voiced complaints regarding dogs at large, some of which have almost caused serious injuries. After a discussion of the situation, our Dog Ordinance will be reviewed and changed as needed. Chief Clark explained that all complaints are being appropriately handled, as they are made known. Diligent residents must make these situations known, and be willing to sign a complaint.

Continued disregard of the rules and usage of the Village Dump has prompted the discussion of and recommendation for the installation of Locked Gates. Motion to purchase a new heavy duty gate from Rural King at a cost of $154.00, and posting of Rules for the use of the Village Dump, was made by David Branson, seconded by Larry Surrells; motion carried unanimously. We will monitor the use of the Village Dump, and those who willfully violate the rules, and/or trespass, will be dealt with accordingly.

Motion to contract with Jim Ellis for a Village Web Site, on a one-year trial basis, was made by David Branson, seconded by Larry surrells; motion carried unanimously.

It was noted by Gene Purcell that the new Alarm System Sirens were used in a recent tornado warning. The INITIAL WARNING SIREN will be a WAIL sound for THREE CONTINUOUS MINUTES; and the ALL CLEAR SIREN will be ONE LONG BLAST for ONE MINUTE.

Robert Taylor, representing the Palestine Masonic Lodge gave a brief synopsis of the CHIPS program which is scheduled for Sunday, April 15, 2007, to be held at the Palestine Grade School. This program is geared to help with the identify of a child in the event of an accident or disappearance should occur. The program will provide a video, interview, and identity kit of each child for the parent to keep in a safe place.

Larry surrells is responsible for the Pioneer Room for the month of April.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Larry Miller, Chairman of the Building Regulation Committee, stated a need for cleanup, demolition and/or condemnation proceedings, as well as critter removal, at 307 W Market Street. He recommended that all residents be notified of all building ordinances and the need to visit the possibility of some kind of zoning for the Village.

Larry Surrells, Chairman of Streets, Sidewalks & Alleys Committee, reported that since the State does not approve Dry Wells any longer, the Village will be using other means of dispersing of excess water. Also, we have scheduled 2000 square feet of sidewalk replacement and/or repairs for the fiscal year 2007/2008.

Chief Jim Clark reported that is was necessary to write several tickets for underage smoking, given warnings regarding smoking, and trash on Main Street.

Greta Dennison moved to go into Executive Session to discuss employee evaluations and wage increases for the Department of Public Works, Utility Clerk, and Village Hall Maintenance; seconded by Larry Miller; motion unanimously carried.

The Regular Meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 7:30 PM.

The Regular Meeting reconvened at 8:15 PM.

Greta Dennison moved that Margaret Littlejohn, Utility Clerk, be raised to $8.75 per hour; Larry Miller seconded; motion carried unanimously. Greta Dennison moved that Janie McCoy, Village Hall Maintenance, be raised to $10.00 per hour; Larry Miller seconded; motion carried unanimously. Greta Dennison moved that Carl Woosley, DPW Superintendent, be increased to $15.00 per hour; and Jim Baker, Chief Mechanic, be raised to $12.00 per hour; Larry Miller seconded; motion carried unanimously.

Larry Miller moved to adjourn.

By consensus the meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.

President                  Village Clerk

 

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