Forsyth Fast Facts
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Items of interest from Village staff and the April 16 Board meeting
- In response to a request from Village Engineer Chuck Hunsinger, trustees asked Village Administrator Heather Kimmons to procure the easements necessary for proceeding with the Cox Street Phase IV improvement project.
- Trustees approved an ordinance to allow the Village to sell or dispose of personal property type items that are obsolete or no longer function, including computer equipment, cameras and related items.
- Trustees voted to appoint Forsyth residents Mike Mandrell and Wayne Kent as the Village's representatives to the Decatur Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, following a recommendation from Mayor Hap Gilbert.
- Trustees passed two ordinances, approving a special use permit for the Comfort Inn and vacating an easement in the planned unit development known as One Market Place. Each request had been discussed and previously approved at the April 2 Board meeting.
- Trustees approved the final draft of a new fund balance and cash reserve policy that had been requested by Village auditors.
- Trustees approved the operating and capital budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year and also approved a resolution amending the 2011-12 budget to reflect minor changes in actual spending.
- Trustees discussed an expanded ethical code of conduct for elected Village officials that would be more comprehensive than the minimal state statute currently inplace. Village Attorney Jeff Jurgens presented a proposed policy ordinance amending the current policy, and trustees agreed to give their individual edits to that draft to Village Administrator Heather Kimmons for her to revise with Jurgens. Trustee Larry Reed expressed concern over a lack of consequences for violations, and Jurgens concurred, saying that for the most part, “There’s not a lot of teeth in enforcement.”
- Trustees also agreed to make individual edits to Jurgens’ draft of a proposed policy ordinance for distribution of the hotel/motel taxes collected by the Village and allocations from the general fund.
- The policy is designed to help expedite allocation decisions in response to funding requests from various community groups. Trustee Kerstin Trachtenberg requested and other trustees concurred that Jurgens’ draft should be split into two separate ordinances to avoid confusion between the two separate funding entities. Trustees recently voted to suspend the Village’s hotel/motel tax indefinitely, but funds are still available in reserve for this purpose. By law, hotel/motel taxes collected must be spent on tourism efforts.
- A resolution to proclaim May 14- 18 as Small Business and Entrepreneur Week in Forsyth was approved by trustees. It had been submitted by SCORE Chapter No. 296 and the Center for Entrepreneurship at Millikin University.
- Forsyth resident Clint Johnston asked the Board to consider placing a stop sign at the corner of Elwood and Magnolia as a public safety measure due to vehicles regularly speeding down Elwood. He stated his observation that children crossing Elwood Street to use a pocket park were at risk. Trustee Eric Morr noted that the last resident request for a stop sign came accompanied with a petition signed by several residents. For now, deputies offered to make extra patrols in the area.