Mayor shares concerns about negative chatter concerning handling of COVID19 within
By ARIANA R. CHERRY
The Arthur Village Board met virtually via ZOOM on December 7, 2020 with the rising cases of COVID19, although the Community room was still available to the public for anyone who might have needed to make a public comment.
Mayor Rod Randall offered his condolences to Jerry Winters for the loss of his wife and business partner. “Their store added to the uniqueness to the town. Jerry is going to keep his store open for the foreseeable future,” quoted Randall.
“I also want to express my concern for the Arthur Home and Eberhardt Village. They recently have had to deal with several cases of COVID19. Our hearts are with their residents and staff,” Randall also mentioned.
Randall also commented about those in the community who expressed their concern over the popular soda fountain that had been at Dicks Pharmacy for many years. “His building is for sale, but the soda fountain no longer belongs to him. I hope we can get a good business back in that location and maybe we can maintain that soda fountain,” he said.
“I would certainly like to keep the soda fountain, but time will tell,” responded Trustee Matt Bernius.
Treasurer Mike Hilgenberg also commented about the recent community’s Christmas parade. “I would like to congratulate everybody on the parade. It was really a nice thing during these dismal times. The kids enjoyed it. I know it wasn’t easy to do and it was cold, but I think it was appreciated.”
Trustee Jenni Marner reminded everyone that the Arthur Community Foundation continues to meet. “We are always looking for projects that people are a part of,” she said.
Trustee Justin Ray spoke about the fire department’s food and toy program. “The donations continue to roll in from local businesses. Even with the year they have had, it says a lot about businesses. I’d like to give a shout out to MasterBrand. They have been a great help at supporting the toy program. The truck bay is full of toys. It will be a different and rougher year for a lot of families. Thank you for their efforts,” Ray commented.
“We really need to support our local businesses. Now it is a little worse than it was before. We want to try to buy everything in town that we can,” Trustee Dave Tiffan added.
Mike Hilgenberg presented the Treasurer’s Report. “We spent about $500 for the well rental. Besides that, everything looks fine,” he commented.
Police Chief Michael Goodman reported that the department has been fairly busy. “These times are really starting to wear on people and we had a bit of an uptick in domestic,” he commented. Goodman also shared with the board that he received an email from the Douglas County Health department requesting input about the upcoming COVID19 vaccines for health responders. “We will be in the first wave of vaccinations that will be coming later this month,” Goodman said.
Chief Goodman also reported that he received bids through November 13 for the 2013 Ford Explorer. He opened those bids on November 24 and the winning bid was for $5,126 which went to Brian Mast. “We received a check on November 25 and that money will go back into the general fund. I was pretty happy with that bid,” Goodman commented.
He also told the board that they are still in the midst of catching cats for the spay and neuter program. Dr. Graham presently has a Veterinary student who is doing an internship for the next two weeks. “We’ve had five cats in today,” Chief Goodman reported. “We have a few fairly large colonies and will attack those first. So far, we have gotten ten cats. Right now, we are at the mercy of when we can get a vet student,” he added.
Grant Corum of Public Works told the board that there had been some water leaks and a sewer main backed up recently. “There was a leak north of the outlet building at MasterBrand and it had leaked over 100 gallons. We have repaired that. A water main broke out in front of the high school which needed a valve repaired and it took a bit more time. We brought in more man power for that one,” he explained. Corum also commented that the treatment plant is up and it looked good.
Board members voted and approved the Tax Levy for 2020-2021. The new levy was $509,961.12. They reported that the EAV had gone down from years past.
The board also voted and approved the end of year bonuses for employees. Full-time employees will receive $250 and part-time employees will receive $50.
The last item on the board’s agenda was matters on COVID19. “Thank you to C.H.I for providing masks that we’ve been able to give if they have asked for one,” said Mayor Randall.
“Everyone has been very appreciative,” responded Deputy Clerk Erica Carter.
“We try to use local businesses, but if they aren’t wearing masks, we don’t go in because I am high risk,” explained Mike Hilgenberg. “And I am sure there are other people who are the same way,” he added.
“There has been a lot of Facebook chatter and criticism about village officers not stepping in and taking charge,” mentioned Mayor Randall. “Our local government isn’t getting any backing. If they think anything needs to be done, it needs to come more from the top than us. If you have a State’s Attorney who says they won’t prosecute because it is not the law, what else can you do?” questioned Randall. “Let’s hope a vaccination gets out fast,” he added.