Village of Oblong
October 4th, 2023
The Village of Oblong Board of Trustees met in regular session on Wednesday, October 4th, 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, Angela Ridgway (Robinson Daily News), Angie Catt (Oblong Chamber of Commerce), Resa Shaner (Crawford County Development Association), Shannon Woodard (Connor & Connor, Inc.), Chris Hinterscher, Bill Burke, Jr. (Crawford County Board) 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 September 6th. 2023 and Special Board Meeting Minutes of September 19th, 2023, were approved with a motion by Jay, with a second by Amanda. All ayes, motioned carried.
• There was one deletion to the agenda this month. Teresa stated that Ben Gillespie from Summit Ridge Energy was unable to come to the meeting due to illness; so, he will try to be at the November Board Meeting.
• 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.
• There were no Delinquent Water Bill customers this month.
• Angie Catt, from Oblong Chamber of Commerce, came to ask the Board permission to be allowed to close North Range from Main Street to the between Illinois and Ohio Street and to close the first block of East Illinois Street for the regular venders. The Board granted the request. Angie stated that there are 13 food vendors (the maximum), 42 regular vendors, 14 candidates for Little Mister and Miss Oblong, 17 Little Tots and 5 houses signed up for the Halloween House Decorating Contest. Have been getting a lot of positive comments on the decorations in the downtown area. The 25’ Stay Puff Marshmallow Man will be back up around mid-October. She mentioned Pumpkin Decorating Contest
• Teresa stated that the Ad-hoc committee had looked over a TIF Grant from Chris Hinterscher (Blakehint Inc./Freedom Liquors) for the renovation on the old Freedom Gas Station. He has asked for the maximum amount of $3,500. There were some questions asked by the Board to Chris. There was some discussion before the vote. Motion by Dave, with a second by Jay, to approve the TIF Grant application from Chris Hinterscher (Blakehint Inc./Freedom Liquors) for exterior renovation on the old Freedom Station in the amount of $3,500. Four (4) ayes and two (2) nays; motion carried.
• Jan stated that Lauren Holubek, from Kemper CPA, came to the Finance Committee Meeting earlier this evening. Lauren went over the audit with the committee. Jan stated that the Village has received a clean audit for Fiscal Year 2023.
• Teresa updated the Board and public on the OSLAD Grant. The $299.000 that the Village has received was put in a separate checking account. She stated that this grant is to replace the current walking, the lights and updated ADA accessible parking lots and entrances to the Park. The Project work will start Spring of 2024. The second $299,000 will come in reimbursements after receipts are sent.
• Teresa updated the Board and public about the Safe Route to School Grant. The sidewalk will be from the High School north to the railroad tracks depending on funding. She stated that all the letters of support, photos, engineering, signatures on documents have turned in. The deadline was Monday, October 2nd, so now the Village will wait and see.
• Trick or Treat night will be Friday, October 27th, from 5 to 8 pm, only at homes with porch lights on. Bill asked if the Village would consider not to have the Trick or Treat night on Friday before Fall Follies because it causes problem with get the food vendors setup on South Range Street in the first block. Teresa stated that she would put on her mayor’s page for Trick or Treaters to avoid that area.
• Motion by Amanda, with a second by Jerry, to adopt Ordinance #2023-O-642 “Tax Levy Ordinance”. Roll call as follows: Jay- aye; Dave – aye; Carrie – aye; Amanda – aye; Terry – aye; Jerry – aye; motion carried.
• Teresa stated that Moran Economic Development has sent the revised TIF Grant Application with Policies and Procedures for the Boards approval. Motion by Dave, with a second by Jay, to accept the revised TIF Grant Application with Policies and Procedures. All ayes, motion carried.
• Mayor’s Comments:
• Teresa asked Shannon Woodard, from Connor & Connor, Inc., to update the Board on the Lead Service Line Grant. Shannon stated that surveys that have been sent out are a requirement by EPA, which award the Village the Lead Service Line Grant. Shannon explained that the Engineer must make 3 attempts to have the survey complete; after that the water customers name and address are to be turned over to the Health Department. He stated that after the first mailings Connor & Connor have received a little over 50%. The second mailing is now being prepared to be mailed to those who have not returned their surveys. Shannon also, stated that the Park Meadow Phase 2 water/sewer lines first section has been installed by connecting to the existing lines from Park Meadow Phase 1 utility lines. The rest of Phase 2 is being done by a pipe laser. The installation is on hold until a new pipe laser is received by the company doing the installation. (Senco Construction)
• Teresa mentioned that Brad Cole, Executive Director of Illinois Municipal League, had sent out a notification about a way of expanding posting of Municipal notices in the public forum through a dedicated website (LocalPublicNotices.org) where municipalities (only) can post public notices easily and efficiently online for free of charge. This will not fulfill the statutory notice publication & posting requirements but should help municipalities reach more residents. Teresa suggested having the Clerk and Treasurer go ahead and get an account started for the Village.
• Teresa stated that the OHS Homecoming Parade will be Friday, October 6th starting at 1:30 pm.
• Teresa mentioned that B & H Recycling at Oblong Park on Saturday, October 7th, 9am to Noon (12 pm) or until the trailers are full.
• There are no updates on the Pusey Lawsuit.
• Teresa stated that the Oblong Christian Children’s Home would like to use the same route for the 5K Spooktacular Run.
• Teresa stated the JD Spindler from Robinson VFW would like permission to use the 4-way Stop on November 11th for their annual Poppy Sales. The Board granted the request.
• Teresa asked the Board approval for the Village to apply to the Mary Heath Grant (or the Claypool Grant if the deadline is missed on the Mary Heath Grant) for a water fountain/dog watering station (estimated cost around$4,000 to $5,000) to be placed in the Uptown Mini Park near the restroom. The Board granted the request.
• Erica Shannon reported that United Way met on September 21st, and had a positive interest in the fitness equipment proposal for the Park. United Way will vote on October 19th, whether to fund the project or not.
• Teresa mentioned that the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Development is conducting a two-day workshop (October 12th-13th) in Springfield (not mandatory-but strongly recommended) for grant administrators, representatives from local government and project engineers regarding 2023-2024 Community Development Block Grant Programs. There is no charge for the workshop, but the individual would be out the cost for a hotel room, meals and gas. The Village has not budgeted for this due to the short notice of a couple weeks. Oblong at this time does not have any CDBG Grants in the system right now-but keep in mind this will probably be a requirement moving forward. Teresa stated that Resa Shaner is planning to attend the workshop as a representative of Crawford County.
• Just a reminder – Oblong Public Works will pick-up bagged leaves, yard waste, etc. free of charge. Please call OPW office at 618-592-3122 to be placed on the list.
• Reports of Committees:
• POLICE: Jay had no report this month. There were some questions about weekend patrols scheduling.
• BUILDING/PARK: Carrie stated that there has been a little headway on the Skate Park Board issue. Gary stated that Tony called to say that the parts for the sign in front of the Municipal Building have come in.
• SIDEWALK/LIGHTS: Terry had no report for this month. Gary stated that the new sidewalk & ditch crossing on Ohio & Illinois Street over the drainage ditch had been done.
• STREET/ALLEY: Jerry had no report for this month, Gary stated that the City of Newton had brought over the machine used to smooth down some of the high spots at street crossings. He was impressed with what was done. He planning to budget for this in the future.
• WATER/SEWER: Dave stated that the Village has received a notice that one of the water suppliers will be raising their water rates. The Committee will need to meet and discuss how much the Village water rates will need to be increased to cover the Village cost in the water department. Dave talked about the ongoing meeting to help with the boil regulations.
• FINANCE: Amanda stated that the committee met at 4 pm before the Board Meeting to look over a revolving loan application. Amanda stated that the committee is going to request some additional information from the applicant before bring it to the Board for a vote of approval. Amanda stated that Jan will be sending out monthly reminder notices to the existing Revolving Loans.
• DEVELOPMENT/ADHOC (Beautification/Ordinance):
• Teresa stated that John Stone, from Connor & Connor, will be putting out for bids this month for the street work in TIF 3 Phase 2 (Park Meadow). He will bring the bids to the November Board Meeting for the Board to vote on the awarding of bid.
• Teresa stated that the volunteer TIF 3-Phase 2 Covenants committee met on September 28th, 2023. She has forwarded them to Taylor Law Office for revisions and/or changes. She is waiting to coordinate a call from Tracy Willenborg, the Village’s TIF Attorney.
• Teresa mentioned that she has sent an e-mail to everyone asking for availability for a phone conference call with Jared Kanallakan, Moran Development, about moving forward with possible administrative assistant role. It was decided that the best date would be this coming Monday, October 9th.
• Teresa stated that notes had been provided from the last Ad-Hoc meeting. If there are any questions or concerns let Colton or her know.
• Teresa stated that the Committee is discussing implementing a blitz for inoperable vehicles, plus vehicles that are parked on the Village roadways. Will update when we get more information on this.
• Teresa mentioned that the next AdHoc Meeting is Wednesday, October 25th at 3:30pm, in the Activity Room.
• Bill stated that the Enterprise Zone is moving forward. Waiting on Robinson to file theirs before Oblong, Palestine and Hutsonville can file theirs. There was some questions on how the Enterprise Zone works.
• Motion by Carrie, with a second by Jay, 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.
• Motion by Carrie, with a second by Dave, to adjourn the meeting 5:56 pm. All ayes, motion carried.
Ladora Boyd, Clerk