The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Village Board Hears From Residents

By: Shirley Linder, Executive Editor

At the October 2nd Village of Stronghurst board meeting Melody  Brokaw was present due to receiving a letter from the village regarding cleanup of her property.

Brokaw asked, “Why should I do for you when nothing is done for us? My daughter was assaulted, by one of the kids in this town, my other kid has been assaulted and nothing has been done. My kid’s bicycle has been stolen. So my yard is a mess. What do I pick up, what am I supposed to do? You say the sidewalk is not passable, do you know how many sidewalks my husband has taken branches and limbs off of for some elderly women, because the village has not done it?  When something gets done for me I will do for you.”

She continued, “And talk about businesses, Jordan cannot work on anything that does not belong to him, due to it not being a business district, yet right behind me is a business. There would be no traffic in my alley unless there was a business back there.

"One other thing, what is said in a board meeting should stay in the board meeting, there should be no gossip on what is going on with my property. Whatever needs to be said needs to be said to me not my father-in-law, Ed Brokaw. I hear all the crap from him before I hear it from you or even get a notice that I have something going on, it's gossip.”

Janice Smith interjected, “What I got from him is, he offered to have stuff moved out to his farm.”

Brokaw responded they had moved stuff to his farm.

Brokaw continued, “We don’t have what we use to have, we had a tractor parade down our road and none of that is there any more. The first thing that needs to be addressed, we need to talk to everybody on that block before you come pointing a finger at me, especially about chickens, and they’re not mine. So how about you get the bat before you come at me and I’m going to stick to my guns I will do something about my property when something is done for me.”

Mike Bohnenkamp having read the notice Brokaw had been given stated that not everything was marked on it that should be and she would be issued another final notice with everything marked. He stated, you need to get it cleaned up. To which Brokaw replied, “What do I need to clean up, I need specifics, can I have absolutely nothing in my yard?  Is that the agenda what am I allowed to have outdoors?”

Another resident, Dave Knutstrom inquired again about lights for the pickle ball court. Nathan Harden said they had located and checked the timer, but an electrician would come eventually to see what could be done. However, they may find there will need to be extensive, costly work done.

Knutstrom stated without the lights it was impacting using the court because of the shorter days. Knutstrom continued to say they have a committee of four and they would like to see the village get involved and revitalize the south end of the old tennis court into a pickle ball court. If given permission the pickle ball committee would like to look into grants, private donations, etc.  The committee would like to see the city dedicated to making this a part of the village park.

Mayor Brendan Schaley gave them permission to proceed with getting estimates and plans and bring their proposal back to the board and it would proceed from there.

Donna Painter, a member of the committee, stated all ages, from small children, trying to get the ball over the net to the elderly have been enjoying the pickle ball court.

Ronnie Gittings informed the board it is time for the 5 year water tower inspection. He has contacted 3 companies for estimates, with only McGuire Iron responding. Gittings said this inspection is done with a robot so there will be no need to drain the tower. He would like to get it done this month while under warranty. Mayor Schaley said he was fairly sure that when he and Shane Reed was negotiating the contract the first inspection was free. This will be looked into before proceeding with the contract.

Gittings also reported, Ameren will provide free LED light bulbs for the park, water plant, outside light at city hall, one at truck shed, and outside water plant.

Police Chief Arbry Vancil gave the September police report as follows: 49 hours worked; 161 miles on squad car; 1 traffic stop with verbal warning; 1 assist; 6 service calls; village ordinance ticket-final warning on clean up; 12 Business courtesy checks. They are still waiting on parts for the squad car.

In other business the board:

A special meeting was set for Wednesday, October 11th, at 7 p.m., with the attorney present to address these topics.

The board adjourned at 7:15 p.m. The next regular meeting will be held on Monday, November 6th, at 6:00 p.m.

Present: Mayor Brendan Schaley; Trustees, Mike Bohnenkamp, Janice Smith, Paige Torrance, Amanda Van Arsdale, Mike Swisher, Nathan Harden; Employees, Brittany Smith, Ronnie Gittings, Arbry Vancil; Guests, Melody Brokaw, Bonnie Hensley, Dave Knutstrom, Donna Painter, Deb Gillam, Dave Schaab, Shirley Linder