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PIPER CITY — Following a brief closed session, village trustees approved salary increases at their Dec. 4 meeting for two employees, plus Christmas bonuses for those same two workers and three part-time employees.

Both Richard Hitchens, superintendent of public works, and Treasurer Dawn Johnson will receive 3 percent raises. Hitchens’ salary will be $45,898 in 2020, up from $44,561 in 2019. Johnson will receive $2,227 in 2020, an increase from $2,163 paid in 2019.

Also, Christmas bonuses of $100 will be given to Hitchens and Johnson. A $50 bonus will also be given to each of the seasonal workers: Dustin Brauman, Jason Kemnetz and Al Smith.

Code enforcement news

Code enforcement officer Janet Walker said a citation for an ordinance violation had been given to a Piper City resident. The citation was the first issued since Walker began working this year with property owners who have violations.

The citation resulted from having inoperable vehicles, and Walker said the resident was not complying as well as previously believed. Walker said she will follow up, with a possible fine for continued noncompliance.

“If they receive a letter, it’s important for them to make contact,” Walker emphasized.

Walker said she also will remind residents via Piper City’s Facebook page that it is illegal by state law to operate four-wheelers or mini-bikes on public streets, including village streets.

Meanwhile, an update and revision to current village codes by Illinois Codification Services is still undergoing review. Village Board President Jeff Orr said he will focus on completing his review now that the fall harvest is completed.

“I’m finding the need for minor corrections,” Orr told trustees.

Tax levy approved

Also at the meeting, trustees voted unanimously to approve the village’s annual tax levy request, with no changes from the one presented in November.

Per the levy, property owners will pay a total of $79,226 to the village as part of their next real estate tax bills.

Orr said Village Attorney Marc Miller reviewed the levy and made small adjustments, but the changes did not affect any of the totals.

The levy provides the final funding piece to pay for the appropriations ordinance the board approved in July for $613,500.

Other business and reports

Also at the meeting:

➜ Trustees heard a request for their support of post-prom activities from Tri-Point High School student Elenie Dyrby. The board approved a donation of $100 toward the school’s post-prom. Dyrby said other funding comes from parents, interested individuals and businesses.

➜ Several trustees said they had heard talk that Casey’s General Store was going to buy property at the intersection of Illinois 24 and Illinois 115. The talk also included misinformation that the village board was blocking the sale. Orr said the talk was without merit. Orr said he had contacted the property’s listing agent and was assured there had been no purchase offers to date.

➜ Trustee Julie Bertrand said the Piper City Community Building will have its floors cleaned and waxed sometime after January but before the rush of spring activities. Bertrand said the facility continues to be heavily used.

➜ Village Clerk Rhonda McCoy said she was receiving complaints that garbage is not always picked up in a timely manner. “It’s happening with some frequency,” McCoy said, “so that’s a concern.” Orr said he will follow up with Boomgarden Trash Hauling of Piper City, which contracts with the village for trash services.

➜ The village will likely consider in early 2020 whether to allow local marijuana sales, the board learned.