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PIPER CITY — At their Nov. 6 meeting, village trustees approved two contracts and a community donation.

A two-month contract was approved with Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services (GAHHS) to extend fly-car coverage in Piper City through the end of December. The move was made because the group of local first responders will not complete coursework until Dec. 7, and each must also still complete ride-along training with an area ambulance service.

Trustee Gordon Fuoss thanked GAHHS Chief Executive Officer Rob Schmitt for providing the monthly contract option. The total two-month cost will be $1,950.

The fly-car service has been used in the past by the village to provide quick response from a basic emergency medical technician (EMT-B), along with a vehicle supplied with medications and equipment for emergency medical treatment.

The fly-car service works in connection with the local volunteer fire department. For pre-hospital ambulance-level needs, the village is under contract with Riverside EMS/Ambulance Service of Kankakee.

Also at the meeting, the yearly contract with the Ford County Sherriff’s Office was renewed, effective Dec. 1, at a cost to the village of $25,000, with the option of dividing the fee into two semi-annual payments. Fuoss said the amount represents no increase over the current year’s rate for routine patrols and law enforcement services.

Trustees also approved a $250 donation to help defray expenses of the annual Santa’s Workshop event, to be held this year on Dec. 7 at the community center. One of the organizers, Kristie Weller, was present to make the request. She said plans are “on track” and include games and crafts for kids, plus a gift raffle.

Shell introducing candidacy

Suzanne “Suzie” Shell of Paxton introduced herself as a candidate for Ford County circuit clerk in the March 2020 election.

Shell is one of two candidates seeking to replace incumbent Circuit Clerk Kim Evans, who is retiring. Shell currently serves as the chief deputy clerk for Ford County Probation & Court Services.

Shell said she will also be going door-to-door in the community to introduce herself to residents, but she will not be soliciting any monetary contributions.

Financial and code reviews

Trustees learned the village’s accounting records received a clean report from Russell Leigh & Associates of Hoopeston. Clerk Rhonda McCoy said the report was delayed due to the firm’s workload and not because of any local delays.

Meanwhile, approval of the village’s 2019 tax levy was tabled until the Dec. 4 regular meeting. It must be approved and filed with the county by Dec. 15. Preliminary numbers show that a tax of $79,226 needs to be levied on property owners within the village limits to fund the difference between the previously approved budget appropriation of $613,400 and the $534,274 in revenues expected from sources other than property taxes.

No code enforcement report was available because of the health-related absence of code-enforcement officer Janet Walker.

Meanwhile, the board expects to soon receive a second and possible final draft of code updates, which will then leave only zoning to be reviewed.

Trustee reports

Trustee Paul Mogged, who is also a member of the volunteer fire department, reported the first responder training class “is going very well.” Mogged said he was pleased with the response from citizens to take the training. Fuoss expressed appreciation, as well.

Trustee Bob Cotter said he has been seeing some concern on social media about residents burning leaves. McCoy said the village also received a concerned email.

“As it stands now, it is legal to burn,” said Fuoss.

Fuoss, however, said he hopes people would show “common courtesy” by communicating with their neighbors in advance to coordinate the burn timing for those who have breathing difficulties.

Fuoss presided over the meeting due to the absence of Village Board President Jeff Orr, who was harvesting corn.