The Oblong Village Board paid tribute to Rick Houdasheldt Wednesday night for his years of service to the board and community.
Houdasheldt died April 4 of an apparent heart attack. He had served two consecutive terms on the board, and a previous term.
Mayor Randy Rich spoke at the start of the meeting about his friend. "Loss of a great friend and leader. He will be missed by all. May he rest in peace," Rich said.
Carrying on with regular business, the board approved a $1,480,827.12 budget for 2013-14. The budget includes expected work to North Range. Along with the budget the board appropriated $2,002,7005 of possible spending.
Also approved was $45,000 of street and highway maintenance, which comes from the Motor Fuel Tax fund.
It was reported that there will be a bid letting on the North Range project April 23. The village will has secured about half of the easements for the project and will be contacting property owners over the next couple of weeks to secure the remaining easements. Rich said the easements are temporary, for construction only, and will revert back to original conditions when construction is complete.
The board gave permission for design and study of legal requirements for a drive-up window on the alley behind Harmon's Drug Store. Trustee Tony Madlem said the plan calls for a window, concrete posts and a short awning over the window. He believes the posts and awning will not interfere with traffic flow. Making the alley one-way was also discussed, but the board decided to wait and see if there are traffic flow problems or other issues after the window is in.
The board is expected to give final approval at next month's meeting.
The board did make a policy or guideline change with regard to personnel. Now when full-time employees reache the age to qualify for Medicare-Medicaid, they have the option of dropping the village insurance and having the village cover the difference. Trustee Rick Catt said the bank has gone to this and it make sense for the employee and the village.
Rich declared April as Safe Dig month, reminding everyone call to 811 before they dig for projects.
Rich also reported that Mediacom will be raising family cable rates by $2. He also said the village will be buying its electricity through Good Energy at the same rate as residential customers, provided no lower bids come in before the contract expires in May.
Spring cleanup in the village will be Thursday, April 25. There is no metal cleanup scheduled, but local scrappers are expected to be looking for items regular trash collection cannot take.
Oblong police will be buying a new squad car this year through the state contract. The old car will be sold to offset the cost.
In the his monthly report Chief Pusey noted his department issued 10 citations, had seven reports of offences, handled three accidents and had 115 calls for service.
The next scheduled meeting will be Wednesday, May 1.