Oblong has been dealing with consequences of this winter's extreme weather.
Utility Superintendent Gary Lanter said during Wednesday night's village board meeting that village workers have repaired five water main leaks since the first of the year. Cast-iron pipes and sub-zero temperatures have been the cause of most of the breaks. Last year the village only had a total of three breaks.
Lanter said they are also running out of road salt. While it may be possible to get more in the future, for now they will be rationing how and where they use the salt and brine mixtures. Lanter said he may also start mixing sand with the salt if necessary, but does not like to do that.
In a related matter, it was noted that ice fishing is not allowed on the village lake. While low temperatures may make the ice temporarily solid enough to walk on, it would not be safe to spend any length of time on it, and the village has no way to verify the thickness of the ice.
Mayor Randy Rich acknowledged the efforts of village workers, several local businesses and individuals for their efforts in clearing snow from the downtown area after the last few storms. Rich said it really made a difference.
Village residents were also reminded that firearms will not be allowed in the city park.
It was noted during the meeting that state statutes prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms in public playground areas. As a large portion of the city park is a playground area, no firearms will be allowed. The board approved posting signs to remind visitors.
Rich said he has also received several telephone calls asking about electric aggregation companies and prices. Based on what he has seen and is hearing, staying with the current company is the best option in the long run. He noted some of the contracts being offered are only good for three months, and once a customer under the village contract changes, the village can no longer help them.
The board approved having the lot attached to a downtown building which was recently acquired through the revolving loan fund program surveyed to avoid future problems or disputes.
The board also approved use of the village park by the University of Illinois Extension for Conservation Day April 4.
Rich also reminded the board and department heads to start thinking about budgets, and the upcoming blood drive on Feb. 18.
In the monthly police report, Oblong officers issued 21 citation and 30 verbal warnings, had nine offences reported, handled three accidents and had 121 calls for service.
The next scheduled meeting will be Wednesday, March 5.