Trustee questions process, spending
DRESDEN—Dresden village board’s newest trustee, Tom McGuigan, had concerns with several bills given to the board to approve, at the Wednesday, Aug. 4 meeting.
McGuigan said the bills were $1,127 for road signs, $968 for disposal (of batteries, light bulbs, and solvents), gas mileage from two trips equaling over $700, and $505 for a tree removal.
He said one problem he has is not pre-approving such expenditures. Trustee David Wernsing said that, at least with the tree, it was a matter of public safety, and that Mayor Loujane Johns knew about it.
Johns added she had a concern about the road signs bill. She said Superintendent of Public Works John Stryker sent a list of the signs needed and asked for quotes only. However, Johns explained a box containing the signs arrived, with a bill for the village. The invoice itself, back from the supplier has “quotes only” still written on it.
The board decided to see what price it would cost the county to print the signs and see which is cheaper. Johns said the signs had not been put up yet, and the bill won’t be paid until a decision is reached.
The board ended up paying for the mileage, tree removal, and battery disposal. Johns said she also had a problem with the fee for the disposal. However, the company out of Chicago already came and picked up the batteries, light bulbs, and cleaning solvents.
Clerk Terry Dilts said the village has been using this company for years. The company, Crystal Clean Heritage, doesn’t come every year for pickup. Johns said the items needing proper disposal are stored and accumulated until the company collects it.
McGuigan said the board needs to be more aware and in control of expenditures.
In other business:
• The board heard from residents with concerns about the village code not giving height restrictions to fences anymore. The concerns included a neighbor who constructed a fence that at its highest point is 16 feet tall.
• Dilts said she is looking into ways for the village to save money on uniforms for DPW and fire department employees and rugs in the village hall. She said the company Dresden currently uses has increased rates lately to repair uniforms and clean the rugs, costing about $1,400 a year. Dilts explained if the village outright bought uniforms and rugs, Dresden could save around $600, depending on how it is done.
• Johns said the village audit is done, but copies aren’t available yet. The auditor will meet with trustees during the next board meeting to cover some suggested changes.
• Dilts is looking into comparing costs for natural gas and electric. However, she said she has only heard back from one company, and no quotes were give in that response.
• Dilts also said she had contacted two engineering companies who each want to meet with the board about the feasibility of installing a boat launch within the village. Dilts will see if she can separately schedule times for meetings in the last full week of August.
• The board approved purchasing an updated set of state law books for $356, at the auditor’s suggestion.
The next regular board meeting is Wednesday, Sept. 1, at 7:30 p.m.