Lyndon Seats New Trustee and Village Clerk

Residents are encouraged to take the on-line planning survey currently available on the Village's website.
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By Sarah Ford, AP Staff

Lyndon has a new trustee and Village Clerk after two resignations were accepted by the board at the meeting on Tuesday, September 12.

Mark DeSmit, who was appointed by Mayor Becky Piester to an unexpired two-year trustee term in May 2023, and Shanyne DeSmit, who was elected as Village Clerk for a 2-year unexpired term in April 2023, both resigned due to job and health reasons.

Mayor Becky Piester appointed Della Sutton as Village Clerk and her husband Gary Sutton as trustee for the remainder of the terms. Della has been serving as Village Deputy Clerk and Office Manager, and Gary has previously served on the board.

Gary and Della Sutton took their Oaths of Office at the Lyndon board meeting on Tuesday, September 12. Gary was appointed to fill a 2-year trustee vacancy, and Della was appointed as Village Clerk.

Trustee Tim Hunter announced that there were 157 entries for the Lyndon planning survey, which he called “phenomenal.” The last day for the survey is Sunday, September 17, and he hopes to receive more responses from youth in Lyndon, as those ages 18 and under receive different questions than everyone else. Once the survey is complete, the village will start forming sub-committees, with 35 respondents indicating they’d like to volunteer.

The board reviewed the StradaComm fiber optic internet service agreement after asking Village Attorney Matt Cole to renegotiate the number of gigabytes offered and the length of the contract term. Cole reported that the company will offer Lyndon the most recent package for rates and speed at one location, with the Village Hall chosen by the board. Cole also noted that the village will receive a small percentage of gross revenue on a quarterly basis thanks to an additional specialized tax. The board approved the contract as presented, which will be in effect for 10 years.

The board next reviewed and approved job descriptions for full and part-time Public Works employees, Public Works superintendent, and Chief of Police, while tabling a vote on the Village Treasurer and Office Manager so those can be reformatted.

The board next discussed separating Mike Fisk from his responsibilities for both maintenance and police to just Chief of Police duties. Trustees wondered if they would be “putting the cart before the horse” since a maintenance supervisor hasn’t been hired yet, and the process could take at least a month.  

Mayor Piester said the current arrangement is “operating just fine,” with Fisk noting that the summer work list is nearly complete. The board and Fisk agreed to continue the arrangement and the increase in wages until the village hires a full-time maintenance supervisor, with approval given to place a job ad for the position. The board also approved placing an ad to hire a grant writer for upcoming projects in the village.

The board next had a lengthy discussion on residential dumpster rates. Piester provided comparable rates for other local providers and concluded that Lyndon offers the lowest rates. However, the aim is to eventually limit the number of dumpsters and the duration of time they’re placed at residences. She remarked that Lyndon is the only local community that allows long-term dumpster usage for residences and limiting them will go a long way in making the community look better. 

Trustees agreed that the dumpsters do bring in funds for the village and limiting them will have an impact on the budget. “There’s not a lot of ways to make money,” trustee Tyler Scott stated, adding that the dumpsters are “unsightly.” Trustee Hunter said the changes should be slow and incremental, starting with an increased rate and deposit amount. The proposal to limit dumpster use to two months was rejected by the board. 

Effective October 1, the board voted to raise rates and charge $50 for a 2-yard dumpster, with dumping twice a month on Mondays, in addition to a one-month deposit of $50 for new accounts. For a 4-yard dumpster, the price was raised to $98 per month, plus a $98 deposit, and twice monthly collection on Mondays instead of Thursdays. The new rates will also go into effect for out-of-town customers, who pay a rate and a half. Commercial rates will stay the same for now.

Mayor Piester next opened the sealed bids for surplus equipment, with the board accepting $117 for the hayrack, $100 for the water tank, $50 for the red dump box, $66 for the green dump box, and $1,526 for the 1992 IH dump truck that has “multiple issues.” They rejected a $50 bid for the snowplow and instead agreed to scrap it, and the salt spreader will be open for bids for one more month since none were received.       

The board approved a resolution for the Electrical Municipal Aggregation Program, with Mayor Piester stating that it’s required so the village can get energy rates to vote on for the next three years. They also approved the following permits: a fence for Ashley Letcher, a building permit for a utility shed for Jerry Francis, a building permit for a storm shelter for Larry Cook, and a building permit for a porch rebuild for Dallas Spencer.   

Fisk updated the board on ongoing maintenance projects: the roadwork is done other than top patching, the water program has been ordered, repairs are scheduled for playground equipment, a special needs grant was written and submitted, and the red truck has quit running, so repairs need to be scheduled.

The house by the Post Office will soon be demolished and a new house built, and two other burned out houses will be dealt with soon. One house may be used for firefighter training, and one has siding with asbestos, so the village will provide water to spray down the debris as it’s removed.  

For police updates, Fisk is hoping to schedule a meeting between a group of neighbors due to ongoing nuisance complaints. He also met with Whiteside County Sheriffs on September 8 to discuss the no bail law going into effect in Illinois, which will leave liabilities on the community.  

A resident spoke out about bus stop concerns, with Piester and Fisk agreeing to contact the district to discuss possible solutions for the three bus stops in town. Piester reminded the board of the 10th annual Veterans Memorial Fun Ride on Saturday, September 23 and asked them to support the event.   

A Finance Committee meeting will be on Thursday, September 28, and the next board meeting will be on Tuesday, October 10 at 6 p.m. in the Village Hall.

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