The Carrier Mills Village Board met in regular session on Tuesday, Aug. 13 with the recent Department of Labor inspection and a continuing dispute of a water bill occupying the majority of the discussion at the meeting.
A local rental-property owner, Luther Yates again addressed the board about the continuing problem he has with the villages water billing ordinance. Briefly, Yates had a rental property where a $700 water bill was accrued. Yates paid the bill unwillingly and made several failed attempts to persuade the board to reimburse the money. At the last board meeting, Yates emphatically stated that he felt that the village ordinance was at odds with state law on that topic and strongly requested that the board review and correct the problem. During that address Yates stated that he was considering legal action. At that point, the Mayor informed Yates that once the possibility of legal action is brought up, the board could no longer discuss the matter and Yates must take it up with the village attorney.
At this meeting, both Mayor Louis Shaw and board member Tracy Felty informed Yates that the board could no longer speak on that subject. Yates continued to address the board, strongly stating that he felt there needed to be a review of the local ordinance and a redress to his billing problem.
Board members Tracy Felty, Greg Prince and Mayor Shaw stated to Yates that the board could not address the problem and that Yates would have to speak to the Water Commission or the village attorney, with Felty asking brusquely, "Mr. Mayor, may we move on?"
The mayor informed Yates that the board was moving on to other matters and if Yates did not cease to address the board on that topic then the mayor would have to ask Chief Rubright to escort Yates from the meeting.
Yates continued to object to the board's actions and requested why the village attorney was not present at the meeting. The mayor responded that the village attorney did not attend every meeting and in answer to Yates question of "Why not?" stated that the village had to pay him for his time when he did attend, again cautioning Yates that he would have him removed if he continued to attempt to address the board. Yates persisted in his statements and the mayor directed Chief Rubright to escort Yates from the building.
Chief Rubright did so and Yates reluctantly complied with the chief's requests that he leave the meeting.
Department of Labor
Shaw said the U.S. Department of Labor had recently inspected the Village and found "Numerous" violations in the village working conditions and the village government was working to correct them as rapidly as possible.
The village Fire Department and Water and Sewer Department will receive training in the hazards relating to blood borne pathogens that they may encounter in the course of their jobs.
Page 2 of 2 - The personnel in these departments will also be offered the option of receiving vaccinations for hepatitis.
The board then covered the topic of training in spray application of pesticides. The board directed village workers John Seets and James Swan to attend a training session on this subject in Mt. Vernon in November of this year.
Lastly, the board addressed the requirement that any firefighter who might use a respirator in the course of his duties to complete a written health survey to be approved by medical personal. The board directed the fire department to comply with this requirement.
During the meeting:
Following closed session the board approved the advertising for a part-time position on the village police force. The applicants should be already qualified as peace officers in the state of Illinois. The board also approved the employment of Sue Thorpe as a part-time clerical worker at the village police station.
Board member Tracy Felty presented Chief Rubright with the first of four AED's or automatic external defibrillator that the city is purchasing. Three of the units will be placed in each village patrol car and the fourth will be placed in the municipal building.
Commenting on this after the meeting Chief Rubright said, "This (purchasing AED's) is one of the most important things the board has done to protect the citizens of the village."
The board approved the purchase of three ballistic vests for the village police department. These vests will be purchased utilizing a matching grant for the U.S. Department of Justice and will cost the city one half of the $400 purchase price.
The board approved the hiring of Julie Hendricks in a part-time clerical position at the village water office.
Shaw opened the meeting with several announcements of general interest. The annual Trivia Night would be held at the Carrier Mills American Legion on Saturday, Sept. 9. This event helps raise funds for the Catskin Days celebration and always provides good fun and brain-challenging questions for the participants and audience.
The next announcement was a report on the recent town wide rummage sale. The Mayor stated that it was very successful again this year despite the rainy weather that morning.