Sycamore council to discuss building issue

SYCAMORE – Tuesday’s meeting opened with Myron Jackson, a village resident, approaching the council about legal issues surrounding him building on a plot of land he owns.

There are two village utility lines running under his property that he believes nobody knew about during the initial transaction between his sister, the original owner, and the village.

Councilman Ralph Decker said he was on the council when the purchase was made, and that she was aware of the lines, though Jackson said that wasn’t true and said he has no issues building in the area since the village likely will not need access to the lines.

Village Administrator Chuck Clark told Jackson he can’t build over the lines because it isn’t safe, especially without an easement in place. Jackson said he had been in touch with Solicitor Jim Gucker, absent from the meeting, and Gucker has been immovable on the issue.

Clark suggested Jackson create a proposal so council and Gucker could reach a conclusion and keep the matter out of court.

Jackson asked whether the village had another lot it could essentially trade for the one he owns, but Clark said there isn’t one and that council would discuss the issue more at the next meeting.

In other business, Police Chief Richard Blankenship said the severe weather siren still is out of service. The purchase agreement stated it is the village’s responsibility to fix the siren. Fire Chief Bryan Clouse is to contact the vendor to repair it.

Clark said the wiring to the siren is old and an electrician refused to work on it more than a decade ago and suggested it may need to be removed from service. Clark asked Blankenship if the old siren could be activated by hand but it cannot. The siren on the utilities building can be activated by hand, but it must be turned off by hand, that can be used if necessary.

Councilwoman Darcy Zimmerman asked Clark if there would be a streets meeting anytime soon to possibly discuss widening 10th Street from the alley to Sycamore Street since it is a heavy-traffic area during park season.

Clark said there are two residential properties that are too close to the road to be able to widen it and that they weren’t planning to do that this year, but may consider it after speaking to residents.

Council President Vicki Weininger said she and Councilman Tony Flood attended the parks meeting May 20 to discuss the village pool.

The pool hours and admittance prices are to remain the same, and they hired five life guards and one co-manager. They still are looking for another co-manager. Clark said he would check out the pool this week and come up with an opening date.

In fire and EMS news, Clouse said an information meeting scheduled for today has been canceled, but may be rescheduled. Also, one of the two firefighters approved to go to EMT classes had to switch to the fall session due to work conflicts, which Sentinel obliged.

The EMS bills are steadily coming in but they need to schedule a meeting to assess the bills.

The village fireworks are scheduled for June 28 at dusk with a rain date of June 29. Councilwoman Dawn Needles asked whether the fireworks donation letters had been sent out yet and Clouse said they would be within a week.

Flood said the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Balliet Gardens was a success.

Council is to meet at 7:30 p.m. June 10.