Marine Park Plans Prompt Series Of Anonymous Letters

By Ellen Proctor, Reporter

Village Clerk Amber Kapp presented a series of anonymous letters sent to the Marine Village Board indicating displeasure with the developments at Village Park at the December 4 board meeting.

Most of the letters were unsigned. It is unclear whether they were sent by more than one person. Many of them were designed as “memes,” consisting of a simple graphic accompanied by a sentence or two disparaging the collective board. One of the letters, signed only with the first name “Bill,” was in the form of a letter which stated that village residents had not been notified of the park plans.

During discussion among the mayor and board members it was pointed out that reports of each meeting appear in the Times-Tribune. Several trustees emphasized that the meetings are open to the public. It was also mentioned that not a single resident had attended a board meeting to object to the solar panel and pavilion plans.

Board meetings take place at the Marine Village Hall located at 320 North Vernon Street. The meetings are generally held on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. with occasional scheduling adjustments to accommodate holidays. The next Marine village board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 18. The January meeting schedule has been shifted due to New Year’s Day falling on a Wednesday. January, 2020 meetings will be held on January 8 and January 22.

Parks committee chairman Mark Voigt reported on the solar panel and pavilion project. “The stumps are ground out now, and surveying will start after Christmas in the Park is over,” Voigt said. “Weather permitting, we plan to get started right away.”

The annual Christmas in the Park event will take place on Friday, December 13 with Santa scheduled to arrive in Village Park at 6:30 p.m.

Village resident Lynn Scherer who heads the local “WPA” (Woods Preservation Association) presented the mayor and board members with an artist rendering of the pavilion project. The board voted in favor of spending $50 for a sign to be made for the park.

“The WPA is replacing the missing nine trees in the park,” Scherer said. The trees were removed in accordance with a shade study for installation of the solar panels on top of the new pavilion.

Ordinance 752 amending Chapter 38 of the village code to include a sewer-only rate of $11 passed unanimously. The monthly fee will cover the costs of service and administration.

Trustee Rae Lynne Meyer presented the board with Ordinance 751 for the tax levy for 2019- 2020, increasing by 4.56 percent totaling $110,000. The motion passed unanimously.

Voigt reported that the local gas station, Stop-N-Go, had been out of fuel for approximately two weeks. He said that having to send the Parks and Streets Department employees travel outside of town to fuel equipment was costly.

Voigt said that he had done some research and suggested installing tanks and purchasing premium diesel and gasoline for delivery.

“I think it would be smart for us as a village,” Voigt said.

The board voted in favor of moving forward with a plan to install diesel and fuel tanks for village use at the facility on the north side of town.

“We’ll still have to get the location ironed out,” Mayor John Molitor said.

The board voted in favor of accepting a bid of $10,157 from Wolf and Sons Heating and Cooling in Highland to install an HVAC system for the addition being built onto the village hall. This was the lower of two bids, with the higher bid coming in at $17,345.

Police Chief Chris Singleton reported that the park bathrooms had again been vandalized sometime between 6 p.m on Saturday, November 30 and 10 a.m. on Monday, December 2.

Someone had wrapped light bulbs in toilet paper and attempted to flush them. Also, a beer can had been jammed into a urinal. He said that normally this would have come to his attention sooner but it had taken place over the holiday weekend. He told the mayor that he was reviewing the camera footage. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Marine

Police Department at 618-887-4326 or by sending a message through the department’s

Facebook page located at facebook.com/marineilpolice/ . Informants will remain anonymous.

Myron Thompson and Mike Lengacher of Thompson & Lengacher, CPAs attended the meeting.

Lengacher gave a presentation covering the yearly financial statements for the village. He said that “in accounting language,” the village had received a “clean opinion,” with revenues and expenditures nearly breaking even. Revenues totaled $563,882 and expenditures came to $557,074 with the difference of revenues over expenditures at $6,808.

Chairman of the Marine Water and Sewer committee Darren Apken, who also chairs the planning commission, told the board that he would be seeking a new planning commission member to fill the position formerly held by Wayne Gentry who recently passed away.

“We’ll need to have Darren recommend who we would want to have on there,” the mayor said. Treasurer Lesley Frazier reminded the board that two certificates of deposit are set to come due on December 14. The board voted to renew them at the Bradford National Bank. As of December 4 the rate was set at 1.61 percent.

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