Meeting Minutes: February 21, 2023

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Meeting Minutes: February 21, 2023

Council called to order by Mayor – Amy Joseph on February 21, 2023

at 7:30 pm.

Invocation –    Ron Searight

Pledge of Allegiance

Those present:   Marcas Heitkamp, Ron Searight, Luke Stephenson, Mary Beougher, Rick Shindeldecker, Chris Heitkamp.

Also attending:   Robbie Peel, Bret Peel, Marge Gehle, Srgt Stetler, Marie Miller,

Sandy Schaffner, Ross and Kelli Finke and Erin G of the Daily Standard.

Motion Searight.  Second Shindeldecker to accept the agenda as orders of the day

Stephenson called for the question.    Searight = y, Shindeldecker = y, Stephenson = y, M Heitkamp = y, Beougher = y, Heitkamp = y.  Passed 6 yes.

Motion Beougher.  Second Shindeldecker to accept the minutes from the February 7, 2023 council meeting as presented.  Searight called for the question.

Beougher = y, Shindeldecker = y, Searight = y, M Heitkamp = y, Stephenson = y, Heitkamp = y.  Passed 6 yes.

Visitors to Address Council:

* Note deadline for council agenda the Friday before council at 4 pm.  *

                        ***  time limit 5 minutes  ***

Marie Miller – President of  Rockford Chamber shared that Spring Fling is scheduled for April 15th – 10 am – 3 pm on Main Street.  Events include –  a 5K, Car Show, Vendor Market.   Amy Noll handling the Vendors, Ashley Stetler talking to Main Street businesses for involvement, also talking to churches to see if they want to do a fundraiser and/or be involved.   Would like council to consider closing Market St. to Franklin Street for the event – much like the Community Days Car show so we have room for vendors to set up along both sides of the street — if not closing the street then consider no parking in the area.  

Car show will be set up in front of the Village Offices as in the past.

Ross Finke – has been an attorney since 2003.  Heard that Judy is stepping back from Rockford Legal Council and would like an opportunity to fill the spot. 

Marge Gehle – Voiced concerns about the parking area at the corner of Market  and Franklin St. – looks unsightly.  Noticed that Rockford Community Days has been announced.  Wondering about the electronic sign at the park – has outdated information still showing up.  Other concerns about information being posted on the online calendar that maybe shouldn’t be visible to the public. 

Thank you for your information, thoughts and concerns. 

Mayor’s Report and Correspondence: 

Resignation letter of Judy Koesters as Village Solicitor – effective May 1st, 2023.  A letter went out to the local legal community so we will see if anyone else is interested in the position.    We will make decision at the next council meeting – March 7th at 7:30 pm. 

Mayor noted receipt and review of Mayors Court pay in and bank statement.

Community Announcements and events:

St. Teresa Family Fun Night / Talent Show –    March 11th – Rockford Community Building.  Talent acts may include instrumentals, singing, dancing or any other talent one would like to share with the community!

Please text 419-852-7954 or email

Lions Club Quarter Auction – April 1st – Rockford Community Building

Rockford Fire Department – April 8th – Pancake & Sausage – 6 am – 1 pm

Shanes Park – Easter Egg Hunt – April 8th  –  1 pm

Rockford Chamber – April 15 – Spring Fling –– Main Street – 10 am – 3 pm

Accepting Groups / organizations to participate in 2023 Community Days –

June 16 & 17.   Contact Amy Joseph at 419-953-7874 or

Crystol Rasbach – 702-480-9146

**Proceeds to new shelter house at Shanes Park Pond.**

Village Administrator’s Report – Aaron Temple  –

No updates on water towers or Franklin Street projects.

We did purchase a 2003 truck with aluminum bed, salt spreader and can be used for plowing.    J & B Equipment will be purchasing our old truck.  Will work on selling the old salt spreader too.    Still have money left in the budget in case a good used bucket truck becomes available. 

Tree trimming has been completed.   Will be checking the work and making payment.

In regards to trees –trees in tree lawns that at this time would be a good time to relocate the trees.  Once they get large they need a lot more maintenance in order keep the view of street signage visible.    Looking to move several so we don’t run into problems and they can still be transplanted and survive.     We will not have trees planted in the tree lawn on Franklin St. project.    

If no objections – would like to hire Tom Beahrs to mow as we did last year.  Mowing spring and summer, leaf pick up in the Fall. 

We need to have a service committee and discuss some parking concerns on

Market to Franklin St.  We have a business coming to town that will need at least 10 spaces.  Would like council to consider that area to be “Business Only” parking.    Mary to schedule a meeting to begin discussing options.

Columbia Street demo — under new ownership and is being removed.

Committee Reports

Finance Committee:   Ron Searight – President

Motion Shindeldecker .  Second Stephenson to pay the bills as presented – $76,896.53.  Beougher called for the question.   Shindeldecker = y, Stephenson = y, Beougher = y, M Heitkamp = y, Searight = y, Heitkamp = y.  Passed 6 yes.

Motion Shindeldecker to accept the Mayors Court pay in – $ 172.0.  Second Heitkamp.  Stephenson called for the question.    Shindeldecker = y, Heitkamp = y, Stephenson = y, M Heitkamp = y, Searight = y, Beougher = y.  Passed 6 yes.

Motion Shindeldecker to approve additional purchase orders. Second Stephenson.  Beougher called for the question.   Shindeldecker = y, Stephenson = y, Beougher = y, M Heitkamp = y, Searight = y,  Heitkamp = y.  Passed 6 yes.

Held finance committee meeting prior to council meeting – discussed future needs of the village, administration wages being competitive for the area, and a levy renewal on the November ballot.    The committee is recommending the levy renewal to proceed as is – will not be increasing taxes but keeping as is.  This is a 5 year operating levy and would stay at the current rates.

Service Committee:   Mary Beougher

Noticed that the Christmas lights are up at the park.  Wondering when they will be taken down.   Usually wait until the weather is a bit nicer.

Other maintenance needed at the park includes the upkeep of the bridge and gazebo near the community building.  Once the Eagle Scout has completed the project – it is a donation to the park and then becomes the Village responsibility for upkeep.  Have inquired on getting some quotes.    Marie suggested contacting Vantage as there are Parkway students attending that need volunteer hours.  Great idea !

Mayor Joseph — with regards to the sign at the park we are having problems with the equipment and working to get new.  Waiting for a quote.

Safety Committee:     Chris Heitkamp

Blair and Joe running the brush route and fixing stop signs that are leaning.  Will be taking a tour of the water and sewer plants in March to look for safety concerns. 

Safety committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday – February 28th at 2:30 pm.

Economic Development Committee:  Rick Shindeldecker

The RADC Committee will be holding a community economic development meeting on April 25th at 7 pm – at Shane Hall.   Included in the meeting will be Mercer County Economic Development, Representation from the Commissioners office, Council and local businesses.   

Public Utilities Committee:   Luke Stephenson –   

Several businesses working together on a 5K during Spring Fling would like council to consider allowing the DORA to extend the hours earlier in the day. 

Motion M Heitkamp to approve DORA starting at 9 am on April 15th..  Second Shindeldecker.  Beougher called for the question.   M Heitkamp = y, Shindeldecker = y, Beougher = y,  Searight = y, Stephenson = y, Heitkamp = y.  Passed 6 yes.

Rules Committee:    Marcas Heitkamp

State St property update – at the very last minute a buyer came forward to take responsibility of the property.   We put together a 150 day plan in writing regarding deadlines for the following – title transfer, roof/siding, windows/doors, water/electric/gas services and temp controlled environment.  They understand that if the schedule is not met – they would lose investment and property would

go back to demo status.  All understood – signed agreement.  We can use this same format if we find ourselves with the problem again.  Not a bad problem but we hope that in the future people do not wait until the last minutes to make arrangements.

Next section of handbook for review – 

2.11 Political Activity — review especially the first two paragraphs — somewhat confusing – needs reworded.

No employee, including Council appointed employees, shall take an active part in securing the nomination or election of any candidate for Council in the Village of Rockford.

No employee, including council appointed employees, member of Council or candidate for Council, Clerk, or Mayor of the Village of Rockford shall request any employee or appointed official of the Village of Rockford to sign any nominating petition for any candidate for any office, or any petition designed to place any issue upon the ballot in the Village of Rockford.

The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prevent any person from:

1.         Exercising their right to vote upon any item appearing on the ballot;

2.         Providing access to the electoral process by the signature of any petition designed to provide access for any candidate or issue to the ballot;

3.         Expressing their private political views in a private context in such a manner that publication of his views does not result; or

4.         Responding to factual questions put to them in their official capacity in areas of their official knowledge or expertise, or to requests for their official opinion in those areas wherein they are required to be able to reach an official opinion.

No person shall do any act that has the effect of precluding or discouraging any employee from exercising the rights described above.

Old Business:

2023 is an Election Year —   Mayor and 2 council seats.    If interested pick up petitions at the Board of Election with information on how to file to be on the ballot in November.     Need to check deadline date –  August 9th at 4 pm.

Vehicles setting around — flat tires, no license plates, etc.   several different issues  occuring.    Mayor Joseph asked about getting an updated spreadsheet to council so everyone can see what issues are already being addressed.   Approx 30 letters have been sent to date. 

New Business:

The Spring Fling parking — Market to Franklin will look at some ideas.

Post office will need access on Saturday morning.

Meeting adjourned 8:26 pm 

_________________________                      _________________________

Mayor                                                              Fiscal officer