Village of Oblong

The Village of Oblong Board of Trustees met in regular session on Wednesday, November 1st, 2023, in the Farley Room of the Municipal Building.

Members Present: Mayor Teresa K. Fielder, Clerk Ladora Boyd, Trustee Amanda Miller, Trustee Carrie Hays, Trustee Dave Hasty, Trustee Terry “Toad” Ochs, Trustee Jay Haines, Trustee Jerry Snider and Treasurer Jan Miller.
Other Present: Chief Colton Williamson, Public Works Superintendent Gary Lanter, Angie Catt (Oblong Chamber of Commerce), Resa Shaner (Crawford County Development Association), John Stone (Connor & Connor, Inc.), Chris Richart, Abby Duncan, Chad Brown (Senco Construction), Eric Adamski (Senco Construction), Elaine Hasty (Paws for Prevention), Roseann LeFever (Paws for Prevention), Erica Shannon, Sandy Goodwin, Ben Gillespie (Summit Ridge Energy) and Keith Waldrop.

• The meeting was called to order at 5 pm by the Mayor. Teresa asked everyone to stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. Flag.

• The Regular Board Meeting Minutes of October 4th. 2023, were approved with a motion by Jay, with a second by Carrie. Five (5) ayes, motioned carried.

• There were no additions or deletions to the agenda this month.

• There were no Delinquent Water Bill customers this month.

• Roseann LeFever and Elaine Hasty (Paws for Prevention) came before the Board to give an update on the funds that the Village has given. Roseann stated that the Paws for Prevention covers all of Crawford County. They have asked a contribution of $1,000 from each city/village to support the spay/neuter program. This past year Oblong has given $2,500 and an additional $3,150 for a Blitz in Oblong of that amount there is enough for two more cats. Elaine stated that there will be a Male only clinic schedule in the near future. She stated that there will be flyer with requirements, date and who to contact for scheduling.

• Teresa stated that Nick Hinterscher was unable to attend tonight’s meeting, but would like to extend that tavern hours for November 22nd, as follows: Last Call at 12:30 and everyone out by 1am. Motion by Dave, with a second by Amanda, to allow the tavern to extend their hours for November 22nd. All ayes, motion carried.

• Ben Gillespie (Summit Ridge Energy) came before the Board to ask for consideration of easement from the Village to place an access road over Village owned property to a site, which is not owned by the Village, for possible solar panels. He stated that his company would need an agreement from both the Village and the Illinois Oilfield Museum Board. There was some discussion on this issue, but no action was taken at this time. The Board ask that Mr. Gillespie send more information about the plans.

• Teresa stated that the Board had a copy of the bid letting figures for the Street construction in Phase 2 of the Park Meadow Subdivision. Motion by Jay, with a second by Amanda, to accept the bid estimate from Senco Construction of $220,159.84 for the construction of streets in Phase 2 of Park Meadow Subdivision. Roll call vote as follows: Amanda – aye; Carrie – aye; Dave – aye; Jay – aye; Jerry – aye; Terry – aye. Motion carried. The Board ask John Stone (Connor & Connor) when the bid advertisement for the Walking Pathway at the Park for the OSLAD Grant work would be published. John stated that it would be early summer 2024,

• Angie Catt (Oblong Chamber of Commerce) came to give an update for Fall Follies and to request the use of the Downtown Mini Park for a Christmas decoration display. She stated that she wanted to thank everyone for their help make the Fall Follies great this year. She also mentioned that she had several people comments on what the Chamber did for the month of October and that they loved coming to Oblong for Fall Follies. She stated that she felt that the Ghostbuster theme helped bring extra business for the merchants in Oblong. She brought pictures (Gingerbread Men/Women, Sleigh, Archway/Entryway and Mailbox for letters to Santa) to show what the Chamber has planned for decorating the Downtown Mini Park. There was a question about the 25’ Stay Puff Marshmallow Man. Angie stated that the tether lines were not strong enough due to the draft when the semitruck went by; the Chamber has spoken to a couple of property owners about possible set the Marshmallow Man on their property, which would be a little further from Route 33 (Main Street). Angie stated that the company that took the Ghostbuster background photos sent the Chamber a zip drive of all the photos (over 260). Oblong’s Christmas Open House will be November 10th and 11th. Small Business Saturday is November 25

• Teresa stated that there is nothing to report on the OSLAD Grant at this time and probably will not be until late Spring.

• Teresa updated the Board and public about the IDOT Safe Route to School Grant. The Village is waiting to hear if we are going to receive the grant or not.

• Teresa stated that she would like the Board to consider changing the ordinance number for dogs/cats a resident could have in the Village Limits from 5 to 3. If an individual has the maximum now they would be grandfathered in; also, need to specify the wordage of “and/or”.

• Motion by Carrie, with a second by Terry, to go with “option 1” for payment of the IML Risk Management Association for the Village’s Property/Liability/Workers’ Comp annual bill. Roll call as follows: Amanda – aye; Carrie – aye; Dave – aye; Jay- aye; Jerry – aye; Terry – aye; motion carried.

Mayor’s Comments:
• Teresa wanted to send the Village sympathy to the Ron Hinterscher Family. The Village and residents will miss him immensely.

• Teresa mentioned that she had placed a thank you on the Mayor’s Facebook page including everyone (she know that she has forgot some). She especially wanted to thank the Chamber of Commerce, Oblong Police Department, Crawford County Auxiliary officers, Oblong Public Works employees, Oblong & Prairie Licking Fire Departments, the Crawford County Fair Board and Parade Committee for everything they did to make our Fall Follies safe and fun.

• Teresa stated that she has spoken with quite a few parents of grade school age children about Trick or Treat Night in Oblong. They preferred the Friday before Fall Follies on Saturday to rather than having it on Halloween night, which will often be a week night.

• Teresa stated that she has received a lot of complaints about Verizon service in Oblong. She mentioned it during the Ad-hoc meeting on October 25th. Some of the ideas to address this issue were for her to draft a letter to the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) and possibly have a Village wide petition to send to them.

• The Village received an e-mail from IML/Risk Management adjuster assign to this claim. She stated that the process of completing written discovery should be done by late November in the Pusey Lawsuit.

• Just a reminder that Oblong Public Works will pick up bagged leave, yard waste, etc. free of charge. Need to call OPW office at 618-592-3122 to be placed on the list.

• Teresa stated that the Mary Heath Grant for the new drinking fountain at the Mini Park has been submitted. The Village should know by mid-November if we get it.

• Reminder to each committee – when you do have a meeting please notify Ladora at least 48 hours before the meeting, so that she can get it posted. Also, please make sure to get a copy of notes of the meeting (does not have to be extensive) and e-mail to Ladora, Mayor and the other Board members.

• Erica Shannon reported to that she had talked with Mike Shimer about Robinson outdoor exercise equipment. He stated he was disappointed that it has never been use by the public. Erica stated that the Village could change from exercise equipment to outdoor music stations. She has spoken with United Way and they are will to support that type of change. It was asked about possibly dividing between equipment for a Harmony Park and some more handicap accessible recreational equipment. Erica stated that she would need to know what type of equipment and would need to contact people for the project scope changes. Erica also stated that there is not a deadline but the longer it takes for Oblong’s Project it will put the other community’s project further out.

Reports of Committees:

• POLICE: Jay stated that he and Colton have been discussing hiring a full-time officer. Colton has looking into a grant that might help defray the cost for a full-time officer. There will be a committee meeting on November 7th at 6 pm.

• BUILDING/PARK: Carrie stated that the sign in front of the Municipal Building is up and working. She said there was nothing else to report this month.

• SIDEWALK/LIGHTS: Terry had no report for this month. Gary stated that the light pole that was destroyed in the downtown area has been replaced and is working.

• STREET/ALLEY: Jerry had no report for this month, Gary wanted to remind everyone that the snow season is coming and to make sure everyone remembers to park off the street for plowing.

• WATER/SEWER: Dave stated that the Committee will be meeting later on to discuss how much the Village water rates will need to be increased due to the increase from The Village’s supplier. Gary stated that the supplies for the East Missouri Project have been ordered and that the Public Works guys will be doing this project. Gary also mentioned that the Lift Station telemetry system should be installed by the end of this month. The Indiana Railroad had some questions concerning the South Adams Street water line project. Gary stated that he told Shannon to go ahead and advertise for this project when Shannon felt comfortable to do it.

• FINANCE: Amanda stated there will be a Committee meeting on November 7th at 6 pm.

• DEVELOPMENT/ADHOC (Beautification/Ordinance):

• Teresa stated that she had provided everyone notes from October Ad-Hoc meeting.

• Teresa stated that the Village has received a TIF Downtown Incentive Grant Application from Ollie Pop’s Pet Grooming (Abby Duncan), the former LJ Grooming, at 120 East Main Street, Oblong for repairs to the front of the building. She is requesting $3,500. Motion by Amanda, with a second by Terry, to approve the TIF Downtown Incentive Grant in the amount of $3,500 to Abby Duncan dba Ollie Pop’s Pet Grooming. All ayes, motion carried.

• Teresa stated that Taylor Law has not sent a draft copy of Park Meadows Subdivision Phase 2 Covenants plus they are looking over our existing Subdivision code to see if there are any changes that will need to be made.

• Teresa asked Resa if there was an update on the Enterprise Zone. Resa stated that the City of Robinson has their application done. Oblong, Palestine and Hutsonville will start working on their application by January.

• Teresa stated the there will not be another Ad-hoc Meetings until February or March 2024 unless something comes up that the Committee needs to take care of.

• Motion by Jay, with a second by Terry, to pay the bills that were on the Warranty List and any utility bills, bills that will incur a late fee or reimbursements to employees-AC renters-Water Customers. All ayes, motion carried.

• There were no other items of business this month.

• Teresa asked if there was anyone in the audience that wanted to comment on anything that was on this month’s agenda. There were no public comments made.

• Motion by Carrie, with a second by Amanda, to adjourn the meeting 6:11 pm. All ayes, motion carried.

Respectfully submitted

Ladora Boyd, Clerk