Maryville tallies storm expenses
Norma Mendoza , nmendoza@edwpub.net

Maryville's Public Works Director Patrick Presson said qualified expenses related to the Nov. 30 ice storm have been sent to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency with a request for reimbursement.

The breakdown of the total of $73,886 is:

• Public Works Department - $20,425;

• Debris removal - $47,459;

• Police Department - $3,293;

• Fire Department - $2,310.

Mayor Larry Gulledge reminded the village board that IEMA reimburses 75 cents on the dollar and the village won't get the entire amount for storm-related expense.

"We had about $100,000 (extra expenses) in this last storm cleanup," he said. "Unfortunately, we didn't get anything for the summer storms."

The area was not declared a disaster area after the two severe storms hit in July.

At the village board meeting Wednesday night, trustees approved the purchase of a new radar unit that will target motorists who exceed the 35 mph speed limit while traveling through Maryville on Route 159.

At the village board meeting Wednesday night, trustees approved the purchase of a new radar unit that will target motorists who exceed the 35 mph speed limit while traveling through Maryville on Route 159.

The Police Department could see an increase in the number of traffic citations per month over the 203 that Sgt. Tom Lange reported were issued during the month of March. Police also fielded 291 calls for service and responded to seven traffic collisions.

Maryville Police Detective Tom Kanzler described the advantage of the new unit over the radar units currently in use. The current units send out two radio waves, one that bounces off the road near the squad car and a broad wave that picks up the closest moving vehicle.

On the former two-lane road, the radar usually picked up the target vehicle but on the new five-lane road where there could be five or more vehicles ahead of the police car, it doesn't work very well.

The approved LIDAR, or laser-initiated, digital-radar unit, sends out a single laser beam that can pinpoint a particular object. Kanzler said it instantaneously measures the speed of the target vehicle and is much more accurate than the broad-wave radio radar.

The speed limit along most of improved 159 is 45 mph, but it drops to 35 mph at the post office on the north edge of the village and about 500 feet north of Town Center Drive on the south. Motorists often don't pay attention to the reduced speed limit and buzz through town at 45 mph or more.

Kanzler said the reduced speed limit is important to the safety of school children in the Old Town area and to nursing home residents who have walking privileges.

"And we have a lot of elderly people in Old Town who may not get around as quick as they used to," Kanzler said.

Trustees also approved spending $1,409 for the Decatur Genesis II LIDAR unit. They also approved the purchase of three laser-video cameras from Laser Technology, Inc., for the three squad cars that don't have cameras at a cost of $4,995 each, a total of $14,985.

The board also approved $2,795 for the purchase of an Ultralyte LRB Laser, a portable laser radar unit that can be set up on the roadside or held by an officer to measure and record the speed of vehicles. It is also from Laser Technology, Inc.

Trustees also approved the $58,000 purchase from CK Power of a 500-kilowatt generator for use by the Public Works Department during power outages; they approved the payment of $23,455 to Okawville Electric for labor to install the generator and $5,860 for a transfer switch.

Other payment approvals included:

• $71,003 to Petroff Trucking for work on the Old Town road improvement project;

• $76,922 to Korte-Luitjohan Contractors for the high-service pump for use in the sanitary sewer system.

Gulledge was authorized to sign an agreement granting AmerenIP an easement so the company can move a gas line in conjunction with improvements in Old Town.

The board also authorized the appropriation of $200,000 from the Motor Fuel Tax fund for street maintenance during 2007-2008.

Trustees enacted a water service and preannexation ordinance to provide water service to property at 9 Valley View Drive in exchange for an agreement that Travis and Brooke Campbell will annex into the village when the village boundary becomes contiguous with their property.

In the absence of Fire Chief Kevin Flaugher, the Fire Department report was given by Gulledge. The department responded to 57 calls during March with 40 of them being for emergency medical services. There were two structural fires, one vehicle fire, seven alarms, two motor vehicle crashes, one call about carbon monoxide and two investigations. Eight of the calls were for mutual aid to other fire departments.

Gulledge also reported building permits for March in Flaugher's stead as building and zoning administrator. The estimated value of the construction the building permits allowed was $2,764,603 with six single-family houses accounting for $2,100,000 of the value. An addition to Chestnut Health was valued at $570,000. A permit was issued for a swimming pool with estimated value of $40,000 and for a new sunroom valued at $32,603. The rest of the permits were alterations and signs.

The estimated total of the value of new construction for the year-to-date is $4,943,603. The village collected permit fees of $7,071 for March for a year-to-date total of $13,933 in fees.

Maryville resident Lisa McNamara addressed a complaint to the board during the public comment time. She said she had a garage sale two weeks ago and all of her garage sale signs were removed by Erik Jones the public service officer.

"You can't have a garage sale without signs," McNamara said. "I didn't know about this ordinance. This is a family town and people shouldn't be prevented from putting up signs for garage sales."

Trustee Jack Callahan said the ordinance was put in place about seven years ago at the recommendation of a committee.

"It cost the village $20,000 to pay an urban planner to write the sign ordinance for us," Callahan said. "The problem was, we didn't enforce it. Erik was hired to enforce the ordinances. The intent of the ordinance was to clean up the community."

"Could it be revised?" McNamara said. "I don't know of any other town that does this."

Callahan said Collinsville has the same ordinance as the village.

"Would you consider revising it?" McNamara said.

"I understand your feelings," Gulledge told her. "But, we're working hard to clean up the town. The only ones who could change are the people here on the board if they choose to do so. We've done a lot of research about this and Erik was just doing his job."

"I understand it's his job," McNamara said. "But, I strongly oppose this,"

Jones removed 30 signs that were off the premises during March. Seven of them were McNamara's which she had posted along 159 at Route 162, Vadalabene Drive, and West Main Street. Another was on West Main at Pleasant Ridge.

Three of the signs removed by Jones were political signs that had been up for more than the 30 days permitted. Six of the signs were on village property.

Jones also issued citations for having trash, junk and rubbish on the outside of property and for dogs running at large. One animal was taken to the Madison County Animal Control Center.

Before the meeting adjourned, Gulledge reminded trustees of the Congressional Prayer Breakfast the morning of April 30 at the Gateway Center in Collinsville for which the village purchased table seating for eight at a cost of $160.

Gulledge said instead of a prayer breakfast, there will be a mayor's dinner at 6:30 p.m. on May 3 at the Collinsville-Maryville-Troy YMCA.

Other announcements included:

• Go Fly a Kite Day at Drost Park at 1 p.m. April 21;

• Clean-up day on Route 159, meet at Village Hall at 9 a.m. April 28;

• Bike Safety Rodeo on May 12.

The village board will meet in caucus Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

©Edwardsville Intelligencer 2007