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LTC reorganizes for 2019 and begins work

By Elisabeth Dodd, Staff Writer

Town council began its meeting on Monday, Jan. 7 by setting the stage for 2019 through ordinances and new leadership.

After three years as president, Keith Bias made the decision to be vice president and Matt Barnhizer was voted president.

Chief of Police Andrew Jordan asked the council to consider lending town officers to the school in the same way that Union County does. Officers wear their uniform and use their vehicle to help at the school as a resource when they are not working for the county. They are directly employed through the school for this work.

“I'm in support of it 100 percent, but I’d like us to find out the liability of having an officer in a town uniform acting as a school resource officer. I just want to make sure we don't put you in a trick bag or put the county in any legal issues,” said Bias.

The council will look into liability issues and make a decision once that information is collected.

Town Council signed several standard resolutions, the first of which being resolution 2019-1 to reduce appropriation in the NVH restricted fund, a decision that comes from a state statute that they have to take 50 percent of their funds and start a new fund to be used to pave roads. This is an appropriation that doesn't impact the actual budget.

The next two resolutions dealt with the Union County Development Corporation. Resolution 2019-2 was signed as an agreement for professional services between the UCDC and town for funding for redevelopment for the same price as last year. Resolution 2019-3 delegates $16,121 in funds for part-time assistant for UCDC for 2019.

Resolution 2019-4 was signed to purge checks that are more than two years old which includes two warrants written over the water works account where the payments were made out and never cashed. Resolution 2019-5 authorized individual procurement cards for the town to get credit cards. This is something that was brought up last meeting that the town could get a credit card through the Illinois Teaching Association.

EMA Director Jim Franklin spoke to the council about travel advisories asking for a letter of understanding that the town will go along with county restrictions since county decisions currently don't affect town roads. Advisories span from a level one weather advisory to be careful, to a level two advising that people not be on the roads unless it is for work or necessary engagements, and a level three warning instructs that no one be on the roads except for emergency vehicles at the risk of being fined. A level three is uncommon, in Franklin's five years the county has been on a level three warning for only eight hours.

While everyone seemed interested, Bias was concerned over whether or not there was actually an ordinance that could back up a violation of a county warning. There would have to be an ordinance in place for them to fine people in violation. Council will check with the prosecutor before making a decision.

Finally, council looked at two bids for remodeling the firehouse restroom from Durham Construction at a price of $10,845 for materials and labor, and RA2 Construction for $10,850. Barnhizer suggested the council vote for RA2 because the price was comparable and included workman's compensation and an umbrella policy, and the council agreed.