Village of Palestine
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MINUTES of MAY 3, 2007

The Palestine Board of Trustees met in regular session on May 3, 2007, at 6:00 PM. Trustees answering the roll call were Gene Purcell, Greta Dennison, David Branson, Walter Fritchie, Larry Surrells, and Larry Miller.

Margaret Littlejohn and Chief Jim Clark were present.

Visitors present was Bob Taylor, David Fulling, Jim Baker and daughter, J. D. Kimberlin, and Robinson Daily News Reporter, Tom Osborne.

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

The minutes of the April meeting were unanimously approved.

New Trustees were sworn in: Incumbent Greta Dennison
Incumbent Larry Surrells
New – J. D. Kimberlin

A short reception was held for Larry Miller, retiring Trustee; and incoming Trustees Dennison, Surrells, and Kimberlin.


The current bid for upgrading the sewer lagoon has been submitted for $80,457.50.
A lease-buy financing quote from Citi-Capital of this amount was submitted. The lease payment would be $1,506.16 for 60 months at an interest rate of 4.8%, or one annual payment of $17,677.32 at an interest rate of 4.9%. At the end of the 60 month contract, a payment of $1.00 would buy the equipment leased to the Village.
By consensus, it was decided to have our consulting engineer recheck the bid to determine if all necessary components were included in the bid and to have the installing company check for a final financing bid.
Clerk, Floyd Fuller, presented a revised sewer budget for the 2007-08 year compared to the just completed sewer profit and loss figures. It was determined that sewer bills must be increased to pay for the lagoon upgrade.
David Branson moved, seconded by Walt Fritchie, to increase the sewer rates 10% for each category – residential and commercial. This would increase the residential bill from $11.00 to 12.10 per month. The motion passed unanimously.

David Branson moved to accept the sewer budget as adjusted for the rate increase and the lease payment. The motion was seconded by Larry Surrells. The motion passed unanimously.


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.


David Fulling, representing the Crawford County Board, discussed the Greater Wabash Valley Planning Commission. This Commission is designed to attract new business to the area. Mr. Fulling asked that the Village join in the effort by pledging a dues of $ .50 per capita of the Village. The matter was referred to the next board meeting to give the Trustees time to consider the proposal.

The Prevailing Wage Ordinance for 2006 was presented. Gene Purcell moved, seconded by Larry Surrells, to adopt the Ordinance. The motion passed unanimously.

Biernbaum Garage has asked to be connected to the Village Sewer as the EPA has condemned their sewage system. They will install the line at no charge to the Village. The Village is to waive the tap on fee, and charge $35 per month usage fee. The details of the plan are being worked out.

Several complaints of property in need of clean up were discussed. Specific locations were targeted to bring in compliance.

Pioneer Room assignments for 2007-08 were made and approved.

David Branson moved, seconded by Larry Surrells, to approve Clerk Fuller attending the 2007 Conference of the Illinois Municipal League June 8 and 9 at Rend Lake Resort. Motion passed unanimously.

Several ordinance violations regarding unkempt properties will be addressed. Common violations are tall grass, grass clipping being thrown on the streets, unlicensed vehicles, unsightly trash, old furniture, and junk outside of buildings.

The National Police Week for 2007 is the week of May 14. Larry Surrells moved, seconded by J.D. Kimberlin, to hold a reception on May 14 to recognize our police officers – Police Chief Jim Clark, Sgt. Ed Meyers. Officer Brad Gurley, and all other part timers. And to invite the Sheriff’s Department. A proclamation signing will begin the event. Motion passed unanimously.

A letter has been received from Rep. Dale Righter thanking us for opposing the Governors tax plan.

Planning for the next census will begin soon. We will want to help in any way to be assured of a complete count. An accurate count will assure us of the maximum funds which may be distributed for taxing authorities.

Larry Miller has been in charge of building regulations and is willing to continue if requested. He states that there are several manufactured homes that need to be removed, several travel trailers that have not been licensed and need to be removed, and that several properties need to be condemned. He is will to continuing working on these problems.

Chief Jim Clark gave a report of activities for his department. Among the activities was the sending notices for the removal of 37 abandoned or disabled vehicles. Most have complied.

Bob Taylor reported that 109 children have been identified through the CHIP child identification program at the local grade school.

Taylor also reminded us that the Am Vets will hold Memorial Day services at the Cemetery on May 28.

By consensus the meeting adjourned at 7:10 PM.

__________       ____________
President              Village Clerk


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