Erie Board Discusses Outdoor Burning, Gets Spring Activities Update

The board decided to not start a discussion of raising chickens in the Village.
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Amy Achs, AP Erie Correspondent

The Village of Erie met for their March board meeting on Tuesday getting updates from several departments and hearing about numerous activities planned for the Village in the next few weeks.

Michelle Misfeldt presented an update on activities Revitalize Erie has planned:

  • A Gator for summer watering of the flowers in the Village Triangle has been purchased and funds are still being raised to cover the cost.
  • All planters have been sponsored and the beautification committee is working on the plans for flowers.
  • The community service days for the high school and middle school are being planned.
  • Musical Bingo is Friday, March 17th with at least 75 people attending. 
  • The Easter Egg Scavenger hunt in downtown Erie is planned for Saturday, April 1st with over 500 eggs filled and other fun activities.
  • A new fundraiser charcuterie board class will be Wednesday, April 5th at Harvest Bakery & More. More details for all the events are on the Revitalize Erie Facebook Page.
  • Street fest will be August 12th with many events being planned, Revitalize Erie asked for a donation from the village to offset costs. Many of the same things from last summer’s sesquicentennial are being planned. The board unanimously approved donating $500.

Department Reports

Economic Development Director – Katelin Bridgman

Unanimous Approval was given to adopt the Business Development District Reimbursement Grant Guidelines. This will allow qualified businesses to apply for Business District funds for when they possibly start accruing in April.

Information has been gathered for the Community Revitalization Strategy with trustees asked to check for any final edits or changes. This information has been collected over the last year including last year’s Community Meeting (October 12th) and the recent Housing Stock Survey. The 189-page rough draft document is available to the trustees for final edits.

Unanimous approval was given to put a dumpster for aluminum can collection at the Village water tower parking lot. This was a valuable fundraising tool for Revitalize Erie’s Street Fest, raising $600 last yea. The dumpster is being relocated from the village hall alley and the plan is to have it monitored by surveillance cameras.

Police Report – Chief Brian Hawk

Unanimous approval was given for the purchase of body cam equipment for four village police officers including School Resource Officer Jeff Wunderlich. The department and neighboring departments have been testing out different body cameras. Police departments have to have body cam capabilities by 2025. Chief Hawk recommended T-Mobile service which is free for police until 2030, which will be a cost saving measure.

Public Works – Supt. Joel Papineau

A list of Village streets for summer road work was discussed with a final list for approval to be presented at the April meeting. Unanimous approval was given to have Joel Papineau seek bids for the work suggested, so that decisions and budget considerations can be made at the next board meeting.

Unanimous approval was given for Joel Papineau’s vacation time to be amended to carry over three vacation days to the end of March.

Action Items

  • Unanimous Approval of 4 annexation ordinances – that have been in the works for a few months.
  • TIF Resolution – Unanimous approval to sign a resolution to protect the TIF District as a valuable economic tool. A bill is before the Illinois General Assembly to change TIF district policies.

Informational Items

Outdoor Burning – An ordinance was presented to the trustees for discussion concerning regulating outdoor burning. Two portions of the ordinance were discussed. The first was the number of days per week, two or three, burring would be allowed. The other matter concerned whether additional materials such as cardboard be burned. Amendments will be made for possible action to be taken at the April board meeting.

Backyard Chickens – Trustee Becky Cox presented a rough draft of an ordinance that would allow chickens to be raised in the Village limits. A straw poll revealed that trustees were split on the issue, with Mayor Marcia Smith casting the tie breaking vote to not consider the measure.

The next village board meeting is April 11th, 2023 at the Village Hall at 6:00 pm.

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