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Triad SRO To Help Police St. Jacob During Summer

By Steve Rensberry, Editor

Trustees in St. Jacob agreed at their meeting on Aug. 7 to a proposal from Triad Director of Business and Information Mike Raymond to share police service with a school resource officer they plan to hire to work at the elementary school there.

Cost for the new SRO will be handled by the district, but under the agreement the officer will work for the village during 10 weeks over the summer at a cost of $1,248, plus a basic pay rate of $18/hour. Triad would cover the cost of a vehicle for the officer.

Village Police Chief Gary Kukla spoke positively about the proposal, which comes at a time when the village has been seeking to hire more officers. Officers on the force must work a minimum of 8 hours per month.

At last month’s meeting of the Triad School District, Raymond discussed the hiring of a Triad SRO who would be primarily responsible for St. Jacob and Marine elementary schools. The officer would use a 2004 Jeep Wrangler that was seized by the Marine Police Department as permitted by state statute and converted for use by the department.

A motion also was made and approved to hire officer Kevin Hendricks on a part time basis.

The village received high marks in a 2018-2019 audit report presented by Ken Loy.

Loy cited an end of year balance of more than $880,000, up by $66,900 from the beginning of the fiscal year. He attributed some of it to lower levels of spending, and to an increase in the assessed value of property in the village, which was up by about $11 million to $21 million, compared to the previous assessment of $15.4 million.

Trustees continued to discuss water problem along 5th Street affecting several homes, exacerbated it is believed by a swimming pool over top of a pipe, which is on private property.

Village Engineer Bob Massa was present at the meeting and said he had talked to a contractor that day about improving about 260 feet of ditch, which he figured would take approximately 2 days at $2,000/day. The ditches would have a “long slope” design. There are a couple of trees that may need to be removed also, he said. He estimated a total cost of about $7,000, but suggested a couple of ways that could lower it, such as the village doing some of the work themselves.

Mayor Rich Schiefer said he had expected some members of the properties to be present at the meeting, but not were. Trustee Josh Hancock said he things the water problem is going to be an ongoing issue if the village doesn’t do something, and that it affects a larger area than just the individual properties, especial when it rains heavy and backs up.

“Where can we go with this?” he asked.

Trustee George Gavlick said there needed to be some cost sharing on the project.

After several minutes of discussion the matter was tabled until another meeting when everyone can be present.

Trustees discussed a grant possibility from the Metro East Park and Recreation District that would total about $72,000, with some amount of cost sharing.

Hancock shared details of how the money could improve the park at the Mill Pond, including more parking spaces, a walking path, and bench improvements. ADA accessibility is also a factor the improvements could address. The park currently has 14 memorial benches, but they could use a better foundation, trustees noted in agreeing to go forward with it.

Hancock said they would like to begin this fall, but that the village would have three years to complete it according to the grant.

Local resident and Girl Scout Randallyn Nungessor spoke to the board about a Gold Award service project she is doing for the Girl Scouts, the organization’s highest award.

The project involves spreading the word about the Cod Red emergency alert system, which so-far has only a 20 percent sign on rate in the community.

Nungessor plans to send out mailings in addition to going door-to-door to speak with people about it.

Citing other cases where the village has helped support various Eagle Scout projects, a motion was made by Trustee Guideon Richeson to pay for some of Nungessor’s expenses, at an amount not to exceed $700, which was approved unanimously by the board.

Richeson said the fire department was also worth speaking to for support with the project.

In other business, trustees:

— Approved the purchase of a generator for the meadows lift station at a cost of $15,925.

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