The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Board, Tie Vote-Again
by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher
In continuing the March 12th Gladstone Board meeting from last week's Quill, Mayor Rex McKinney and board members Linda Seitz, Flo Stewart, Jr. Bielser, Jim Hetrick, Robert Swanson, and Darlene Manes were present along with guests: Don Olson-Zoning Enforcement Officer, Margaret Johnson - Zoning Board, Frankie "Larry" Johnson, Matt Gray, Mike Hopkins, Ron James of James Insurance, Josh Bigger, Jeremy DeWitt, Tom Morrison, Marty Lafary-County Board, and Florence Seaman.
Ron James of James Insurance submitted his bill for the renewal of the village's annual package.
He said there were not too many changes, but that fire insurance is up $44 and the general liability was up $256 which is determined by their rate of exposures.
He explained that their rate is determined by happenings from the previous year such as Homecoming, snow removal, subdivisions, salaries, pay percentage, end of year deposit, revenue from water, miles of streets, and money paid out such as auto liability when board members are traveling on official city business and the village covers them if there is an accident or claim.
"They're holding the line pretty well," James said of his company. "There's not much increase."
Josh Bigger addressed the board to ask permission to have a Midget team at the ball park during the summer. It was agreed to allow the Midget team with the stipulation he would work with other coaches to work out the schedule to avoid conflicts. It was agreed.
To finish off old business, Mayor McKinney went over a log he had been keeping of work he and others did during the snow removal with the old tractor which the board agreed to buy from Rick Olson of Biggsville for $3300 in a tie vote during a special emergency meeting last month.
The meeting came about due to the fact Kenny John, who was hired for snow removal, didn't show up to do the work.
McKinney said that he and Earl, Randy, and J.D. had all plowed snow but he was not submitting a bill for his hours of plowing or for fetching gas for the tractor in Oquawka.
McKinney said that JD was not charging for his plowing time as well.
The bill for oil and gas in the tractor was submitted.
"I tallied it up," McKinney said, "and this is with JD not charging the village for his labor, and if we had to pay to have it done I came up with $2,250."
Hours for the tractor drivers was 95 hours, a bill for $160 in gas for a total of $255.62, and James said the insurance went up $70, for a total of $325.62 for snow removal and that is with 12 hours plowing without charge.
"I figured if we hired that done it would have been two snows, maybe three," McKinney said. "I figure we saved around $800 by buying the new tractor, so that's a pretty good savings.
"There is just one more thing I want to add. When they had the ice storm we had five or six big limbs that fell across the streets. Randy took the tractor and ran around town and pushed the limbs off the streets, and he's charged a couple hours for that. So, it came in handy for that, too."
"That's my report on the tractor," Mayor McKinney said. "Are there any questions?"
Don Olson asked how he classified it as three snows.
McKinney said, "No, I figured two, but it could have been three. February 13th snow removal was done in the morning at 3:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., then 10:30-4 p.m. and in the evening 5:30- 8 p.m. and then again the next day after the wind blew snow across the road. Olson said the board use to figure it as one snowfall.
McKinney said it had been made clear at an earlier meeting that if they plowed the streets in the morning it was one time, and if they came back and plowed it again in the night, it was another.
Over a dozen tie votes (Swanson said it was 17), have been broken by Mayor Rex McKinney during the seating of the present board members which would bring the total to 18 after controversy came up over a bill that was turned in to the board for tree removal.
Town Clean-up After Ice Storm February 24th.
Mayor McKinney said the town needed clean-up after the storm. Jim Lox approached him about clean up at his property. The Mayor said they would have to have a meeting. He contacted Jim (Hetrick) and asked him to contact others on how they felt. Three were for it and three against it. McKinney said the charge was $75 per hour for clean-up with a bucket truck and three men doing the work
Swanson questioning work done of removal of fallen trees on what he felt was private property. "That's the people's job."
McKinney said branches were on the village right away. They told him that Jim Thatcher got his done and wanted to know why the tree on Olena Street was overlooked.
"Lynn street got cleaned."
Manes said they need to have an emergency meeting.
"Carrier recommended to go ahead," McKinney said.
"And Lynn Street," Swanson questioned. "None of those branches were on village property."
McKinney said, "The trees were on village property."
"No they are not," Swanson said.
"Then, I miss understood.....".
"You've misunderstood a whole lot," Swanson told the Mayor. "And for that reason I cannot pay any of this until we talk to the attorney.
After more discussion, Swanson said, "If we are going to have laws we got to enforce them. And if there are rules and regulations we need to go by, we need to enforce those too and you're not doing it."
Mayor McKinney said it was upon John Carrier's recommendations that he do a Proclamation and that Oquawka and Stronghurst was doing this too. Swanson didn't agree that it was "a state of emergency.
"Are you going to get any money for that proclamation?"
Mayor McKinney asked Swanson if he didn't think it was a disaster.
"No! Nobody lost any roofs. Nobody lost:
Donny Olson broke in (Gladstone Mayor for 16 years) and said,
"For the last 30....years we've had different ones in charge. Anytime something like this came up, what was the basic thing to have done? Cut the ..... and get back on it and decide which way you are going to go."
"We had the knowledge and we had the facts and stuff like and we sat back and worked together and got things done. When we had the tornado what did it cost the village?"
"It didn't cost nothing," someone replied."
"I rest my case. People got out and with a little common sense worked things out and worked together."
Flo Stewart said, "This is the most divided board she has ever seen and not a ... one is for the people in Gladstone."
Mayor McKinney, said "That's enough. We're getting way off track here," and pulled the discussion back to order.
McKinney said he thought the bill was reasonable.
Swanson wanted to know if he was going to get any money for that proclamation.
McKinney said he didn't know. Maybe we can.
Swanson reminded it hasn't been declared a disaster.
McKinney said, "Well, myself, I think it would be."
Swanson said, "But you don't count. The state counts."
"Well, I know but we are entitled to help as much as anybody else. We had power lines down, and phone lines down. We had limbs across the street. To me, that sounds like a disaster. Maybe it's not."
McKinney said, the only thing left is to pay the bills.
Trustee Jim Hetrick said he thought they should see the attorney first before paying a bill submitted for moving brush off property of Jim Lox by J & J Tree Service. The bill was for work during the ice storm in the amount of $875.00 for 11 hours of work.
Linda Seitz made a motion to pay all bills but it wasn't heard by all and Jim Hetrick at about the same time made a motion to wait and see an attorney before paying the tree service bill.
Clerk Joyce Hetrick informed the Mayor there was already a motion on the floor by Seitz therefore Hetrick's motion could not be accepted at this time.
There was a pause and then Florence Stewart seconded the motion and roll call was taken with Seitz, Stewart and Bielser voting yes, and Swanson, Hetrick, and Manes voting no.
Mayor McKinney broke the tie by voting "yes" and the motion to pay all bills was passed. Hetrick's suggestion to check with the attorney was ignored.
In other business, a resolution for maintenance of streets and highways to seal coat the streets of Gladstone was passed with $40,000 from the Motor Fuel Tax.
Marty Lafary advised the board of a new water filtration plant that Galesburg is looking at setting up on the south side of Oquawka.
"You might want to talk to them," he said.
"It might be a way to correct your water problems pretty reasonable and forever." Lafary said when they start building it, it will take two years to complete at a cost of 15 million dollars. He said the building for the purification of water is a really nice looking building and it will save on their pipelines by having the system in Oquawka. He said the county board is real interested in rural water.
The County is also talking about a generator for the Sheriff's office, court house, and the health department. At April's county board meeting, the board is also coming up with new ways to address an emergency. After the ice storm they met with FEMA and toured the county and declared the county a disaster for one day. It gave power to John Carrier as coordinator and then to the Mayors. On a personal note, Lafary said he ran a cement truck over his sidewalk at his home and that he would repair it. He asked permission to make it 4' and said he would make other corrections as well. At 8:28 p.m. the meeting adjourned.