PIPER CITY — Village trustees reviewed the success of the town’s sesquicentennial celebration during their Aug. 7 board meeting.
Village Clerk Rhonda McCoy, who headed the Piper Pride organization that planned the sesquicentennial celebration held Aug. 2-4, said “every aspect of the weekend turned out near perfect as could be.”
McCoy said the Piper Pride organization will hold a recap of the celebration at 7 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Piper City Community Building. McCoy said the organization will consider items to place in the next time capsule.
“We want to build off the high we have right now in the community,” McCoy added.
Village Board President Jeff Orr praised the Piper Pride organization for its roles in planning, raising funds and getting community support for the celebration. Orr said the weekend’s large crowds and all-around community support were “very gratifying.”
Bands with local ties that played for large dance crowds were also a highlight of the celebration. Trustee Paul Mogged said it gave today’s youth, including his own son, an idea of “what we used to do every weekend.”
Orr also expressed appreciation for the roles of the Piper City Community Historical Association, school alumni who rescheduled their annual reunion and Phil Wilkey, who was responsible for the idea of creating posters telling the history of various downtown storefronts.
Additional part-time village employees were hired to power-wash and repaint all fire hydrants within the village before the celebration. The workers also made improvements to Branch Park’s bathrooms, street sign poles, the park’s pavilion and the downtown gazebo, and they did extra trimming and brush pickup.
Orr said extra help was needed because regular maintenance workers were busy with mowing and cleanup duties, especially for the sesquicentennial preparations. Orr said the extra workers also will be used to make some improvements to the swing set and various footings around equipment at Branch Park.
Orr said he had contacted K&K Coating of Gibson City, which previously bid on the work, and the company indicated it was OK with the change because it is very busy with spray-coating grain bins at this time. Trustees noted that not having to pay prevailing wage to village employees produced a large cost savings.
Code enforcement update
Also at the Aug. 7 meeting, code enforcement officer Janet Walker said she had sent “friendly reminders” in letter form to residents asking them to address ordinance violations on their properties, including the presence of tall grass and weeds, piles of brush, inoperable vehicles and garbage cans not secured with lids.
Walker said she recently sent 25 such reminders. Walker said many residents have been “very responsive” to the letters.
Walker said she had also sent six written warnings to those who have not cooperated, which is the next step before a citation is issued.
A written process for ordinance violations is now being used. The process was developed by Walker and Orr.
“Everyone is treated the same across the board, no matter who they are,” Walker explained.
Walker said she also tries to contact property owners to explain what is wrong, if possible. To increase such contact, Walker said she will begin making some visits during evening hours.
Also at the meeting:
➜ Orr and Walker said they will continue fine-tuning their review of the village’s full code book and contact Village Attorney Marc Miller of Champaign for his input. Orr said he may call a special meeting in late August or early September so that trustees can give specific input, and an updated group of ordinances can then be approved.
➜ Trustee Doug Berry said he is interested in legalizing golf carts within the new village codes. Berry said golf carts are being used now without problems, but they should be covered by the new codes. Walker said that by addressing golf carts in the codes, it will trigger the need to also address four-wheelers and other motorized vehicles not currently street legal in Piper City. Orr said he will have this addressed as part of the new codes.
➜ Berry said he would like the village to continue making Branch Park accessible by taking out curbs near any of the park entrances that have them.
➜ Trustees approved a franchise renewal with the Comcast cable company with the same provisions as the previous contract. Although there are not a large number of local Comcast subscribers, the village receives an $800 payment from the company.
➜ New swings were approved to be installed at Branch Park. Trustees agreed with the recommendations of board member Julie Bertrand, who recommended purchasing three infant seats and one adaptive, larger child seat. The total cost was estimated to be $570.
➜ An additional $50 per month will be paid to Boomgarden Trash Hauling of Piper City, the board agreed, in response to the company’s request for a fuel surcharge due to the recent large increase in state gasoline tax.