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Arthur Police Department struggling to cover shifts

Village Board discusses possible Arthur Sesquicentennial logo designs

By Ariana R. Cherry
Staff Writer

“I have a vision for the Arthur fireworks and I would like to put it on solid ground so that we can have them for the next generation,” quoted Larry Schlabach who spoke as guest at the opening of the most recent Arthur Village Board.

Schlabach described that he would like to see a painted mural featuring the Rural Patriot from the Arthur Fireworks show. On that mural, he thought it would be a good placement for sponsors of the fireworks and they could have their business names painted within the mural as well. Sleighbaugh noted that he already had someone in mind to paint the mural and individuals and businesses who were willing to fund the entire project. Members of the village board thanked him for his idea and referred him to those whom he could share his vision with.

Afterwards, the board opened a public hearing for the 2022-2023 Appropriation Ordinance. After there were no comments or questions, the hearing was closed.

Treasurer Mike Hilgenberg reported $38,343.70 in expenditures. Two noted expenditures included $10,000 to go towards the EPA and $4,000 for the AC repair in the village-owned truck.

As village trustees began their reports, Mayor Randall opened the floor speaking about the recent loss of Lucas Otto. “It was a terrible tragedy and it affected a lot of people. Please remember his mom, dad and grandparents in your prayers. Please also remember the community of Highland Park. I hope we never have to face anything like that. That is getting awfully close to home. We will have to be on guard and be cautious with some of our activities. I think this is getting to be a concern everywhere,” he said.

Trustees Mike Bernius, Jim Fleming and Christy Miller both agreed that the Freedom Celebration and the fireworks were great and thanked everyone who was involved for their efforts and help. Miller also agreed with Randall that it had been a tough week for everyone and to definitely keep the Otto family in their prayers.

Grant Corum reported that he had been busy preparing for the upcoming water tower project.

Police Chief Michael Goodman told the board that he had been pretty busy during the Freedom Fest. He had been busy with outside calls but not as busy on the ground. There were a few ambulance calls and a couple calls that involved fights. “Our team did a great job handling everything even though we were short-handed,” he stated. Goodman noted that they had a few part-time officers helping out as well as a few state police. He also was very grateful for all of the food and water that their team was provided during their time and the fact that they weren’t even charged for it. “It is a lot of work to get ready for and a lot of work to clean up afterward,” he commented.

Goodman also reported to the village that there have been some times that they have been unable to have an officer on duty and that there have been only four officers trying to cover the shifts. “We are trying to cover the best we can,” he said. Goodman said that their officers have other jobs that they work at, and also the department has to allow their team members to have time off for vacations and holidays, etc. Goodman explained that they don’t “advertise,” when those uncovered shifts are, but they have shifted around people’s schedules to try to make it work so that it doesn’t appear that a shift isn’t covered. “But just because there may not be an officer covering a shift, that doesn’t mean that there is not an officer available,” Goodman added.

“If there are emergencies, there is always someone that can be called,” he noted. “I am doing the best I can for this community and being the best that I can,” he said.

The 2022-23 Appropriation Ordinance 07-05A-22 which gives the board approval to spend for the fiscal year was approved during the “new business” portion of the meeting. The board also approved the lease for a new copier for the municipal office.

They will be leasing an MX2651 which includes toner and maintenance and networks with the computer easily. At the end of the five year lease, the village will be able to get a new machine.

At the end of the meeting, the new Arthur Sesquicentennial logo options were discussed. Some of the ideas included the possibility of an Amish buggy and a grain bin and using the slogan, “You’re only a stranger once.” Trustee Jim Fleming suggested the possibility of using the “Rural Patriot,” in place of the buggy. The logo would be used in multiple ways for the village and would need to have the ability to be resized and still be able to tell what it looks like and says. After discussing several ideas, the board decided to “go back to the drawing board,” until more options could be discussed.

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