Creston village stipend increases approved

CRESTON – During its monthly meeting on Tuesday, the Creston Village Board discussed its three-year contract with Petry Farms ending this fall and the possibility of renewing it.

The previous contract leased at $300 per acre plus a bonus based on price and yield, paid after harvest. Petry Farms would like to renew the contract at $300 per acre but drop the bonus if possible, for a total of $43,380 for 144.6 acres that would last another three years. The land is part of the village farm located on the Southwest side of Route 38, just west of town that is rented out to farmers to help with income. Sending this to a bid could end up costing the village more than helping it.
“If you throw it out for bids and somebody else comes in at $250 and he bids $275, we could have had them for $300,” explained Wayne Williams, village president.
It was decided to hold this discussion over until next month’s meeting to talk about options.
Other items
Village attorney Russell Crull discussed the two solar panel ordinances that he provided to the mayor, along with the government cannabis policy resolution. Both of these topics will be discussed at next month’s meeting.
During the meeting village trustees also passed a motion to higher Casper Manheim as the building inspector at a cost of $850 per month with him traveling to Creston twice per week for approximately two hours each time.
“Everybody I have talked to speaks very highly of him,” said Williams.
Along with the new building inspector, a motion to increase the stipends and salaries for certain board members for 2021 was also passed.
The village meter reader will go from $12 per hour to $14 per hour; the clerk will go up to $450 per month; the president pay will go to $500 per month; and the trustees will be paid $100 per month.
Pay increases for the clerk and president would go into effect in 2021 while the meter reader would go into effect during the next pay period.
A 50-year-old agreement with NICOR gas was also discussed during the meeting, the agreement would give NICOR the franchise rights to all of the gas lines. The only difference between this agreement and the old one was a $5,000 bond that could be used in the case of a gas leak that is not in the new agreement.
“I don’t think $5,000 would do a whole lot if there was a gas leak today, with today’s funds,” explained Crull.
Another issue that was resolved during the meeting was a walking path that cuts through a subdivision that children use to get to and from school. Where the sidewalk has an “S” curve has become overgrown and could be dangerous to a child if a coyote or animal ran out, or if they weren’t paying attention when biking. The board passed a motion to spend $500 to clean that area up to keep the children safe and will contact Abe’s Tree Service about doing so.
The final topic discussed during the meeting was the concern of people speeding down South Street and blowing the stop sign. Officials are concerned someone is going to get hit, and is looking into the option of installing either speed bumps or speed tables to help ensure drivers slow down and use the stop sign. It was an idea to put a speed detecting sign near the stop sign as well.


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