Arthur Village Board discuss COVID19 precautions
Board donates $3,000 for Arthur Fireworks Freedom Celebration
By ARIANA R. CHERRY
A regular meeting of the Arthur Village Board was had on Monday, March 16 at 7:00 pm. Referring to the current COVID19 pandemic, Mayor Rod Randall commented that it could be their last “face-to-face” meeting for awhile as they would try to hold meetings “remotely” as long as it still abides by the open meetings act. “You are are important leaders in this community right now and we need to alleviate all the fears we can for people and be truthful and factual about what is going on. I am confident that essential services will be maintained,” he added.
A few were present for public comment before covering the night’s agenda. JJ Carter announced that the Arthur Park Board would like to plan and host a slow-pitch tournament August 7-8, 2020. It also would act as a fundraiser for the park. JJ informed the board that he had spoken with other states which had done these and said in Indiana it had gotten quite huge. “We will have 16 teams and 31 games. It would start on a Friday evening and finish up on Saturday evening. It would cost $300 per team, which would make a good fundraiser for the park.”
They hope to plan those dates in August if the pandemic has ended by then.
Pastor John Stewart also thanked the board for their support and certificates for the recent Eagle Scout Court of Honor. Those honored were Ryan Krutsinger, Benjamin Matheny and Aiden Stewart. “Thank you to the Village Board for recognition of the Eagle Scouts. As a parent, it was a nice surprise to me and the boys,” Pastor Stewart commented.
Pastor Bruce Weiman of the Arthur United Methodist Church also made a comment, noting that the Wednesday Night Community Meals would continue as take-out meals.
After pubic comment, members moved forward with agenda. A motion was made to approve expenditures in the amount of $49,379.29.
Police Chief Goodman reported that the Police Academy had to cancel the training that Officer Soria had been attending due to COVID 19 precautions. Presently, the academy is working to provide online classes and Soria will begin some field training when possible.
A motion was made to approve Loan Disbursement #6 from the IEPA for the sanitary sewer lining project in the amount of $312,510.54.
Pastors Bruce Weiman and John Stewart both expressed their appreciation to the board for past support and their help with the annual Freedom Celebration event. “We really appreciate all the support we get from all the organizations, businesses and the board,” stated Weiman.
They also spoke about press day which was scheduled for June 5. A few fireworks are planned to be shot off that evening as well. Last year the Village Board donated $2,500 for the celebration. For this year’s event, the board voted and agreed to donate $3,000. Rod also encouraged them they needed to talk to chief Mike Goodman about security again this year. The budget for security was increased to $6,000. “It is a worthwhile project,” stated Rod. “These projects are based on economic development and the fireworks do very well,” he added.
Matt Bernius made a motion to postpone action on the Economic Development Assistance Grant request of the Arthur Area Association of Commerce for a Route 36 sign. It was approved.
George Fritz presented some details and a TIF request to make improvements to the Taylor-Fritz property at 122 S. Walnut St. Some of the details he outlined included a new public entry on the north side, installing a double-wall to create a sound barrier and removal of interior walls. Fritz wants to make it an attractive new restaurant or another retail tenant. A motion was made to improve the property for the amount of $14,573.00. It was passed.
Mayor Randall also discussed precautionary procedures concerning the spread of COVID19 with the community of Arthur.
“I reached out to IGA. They are expecting deliveries fairly normally. Deliveries are at 5:00 pm now because everyone is buying about three to four times the groceries that they have in the past. They will stock in the evening from 9 – 11 pm so that there will be items on the shelves for our consumers. They don’t really see food supply being a problem. I also don’t see water or sewer being a problem on our end either,” he informed.
Board members agreed that all of the public and municipal buildings (including the Welcome Center) would be closed to the public until their next scheduled board meeting where they would re-evaulate. After the elections, the community building, kitchen and bathrooms would be sanitized. The Community Room will also be closed. Grant Corum plans to keep the public works building closed with a sign discouraging the public from coming in. All water bill payments could be placed in the drop-off box. No penalties will be charged for late payments on water bills.
Grant Corum expressed his concern about contractors coming into the public buildings and he was instructed by the board to use his discretion regarding postponing contractor work. They would decide what work would be critical and needed to be done, but they also needed to protect their employees at the same time.
Chief Goodman noted that all of his officers have protocols in place and are equipped with personal protective equipment. He is also working with the local EMS has been in contact with the county sheriff’s office, dispatch, and local emergency management. “All residents should call their health providers for instruction if they have symptoms that they are concerned about,” Goodman noted.
Christy Miller announced that community events are being canceled or postponed. “The goal is to limit face-to-face contact but all city employees and officials are still accessible,” said Matt Bernius.
“Kudos to all the school district and making sure they are fed and setting up kids to get meals and all the restaurants and local businesses offering meals for kids. They are struggling but yet supporting the community to what needs to be done,” commented JJ Carter.
“I’d like to encourage everyone to support our local businesses. I think it is going to be a tough time for a lot of them. Whatever you can get in Arthur, buy it in Arthur. It will help everyone out,” quoted Dave Tfffan.