Meeting Minutes: October 7, 2014
RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS:
Council called to order by Mayor Amy Joseph on
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 7:30 pm at the Rockford Village Hall.
Invocation was given by Gene Steiner.
Pledge of Allegiance
Those present: Gehle, Steiner, Pontsler, Dooley, Heitkamp
Also attending: Kathy Thompson from the Daily Standard, Srgt Stetler, Chase Heitkamp
Motion Steiner. Second Dooley to accept the agenda as orders of the day. Gehle called for the question. Steiner = y, Dooley = y, Gehle = y, Pontsler = y, Heitkamp = y. Passed 5 yes.
Motion: Dooley. Second Pontlser to accept the minutes from the
September 16, 2014 council meetings as presented. Gehle called for the question. Dooley = y, Pontsler = y, Gehle = y, Steiner = y, Heitkamp = y. Passed 5 yes.
Visitors to Address Council:
Mayor’s Report and Correspondence:
* Meeting for those volunteering for the Christmas event – Sunday – Oct. 19th at 1 pm – Shanes Park
* Rockford 2020 – Bicentennial Meeting – October 20th @ the Village Hall – 7 pm
* Trick or Treating – October 25th from 6 – 7:30 pm. Judging at the Firehouse at 8 pm
* Rockford Chamber Banquet – November 6th – 6 pm – Community Building
* Volunteers needed to help decorate Shanes Park for Christmas – Nov 8th @ 9 am
* Christmas at the Park Event – November 30th at 7 pm. Need council members to sing “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” with other community organizations.
* Rockford’s Best Mix – streaming online at www.1013rkd.com
Village Administrator’s Report – Jeff Long – absent
Finance Committee – Chris Heitkamp
Motion Steiner to pay the bills in the amount of $32,010.50 . Second Pontsler Dooley called for the question. Steiner = y, Pontsler = y, Dooley = y, Gehle = y, Heitkamp = y. Passed 5 yes.
Motion: Gehle, Second Steiner. Dooley called for the question. Gehle = y, Steiner = y, Dooley = y, Pontsler = y, Heitkamp = y. Passed 5 yes.
Need to schedule a budget meeting and have the first reading at the November 4th meeting.
Service Committee: Greg Pontsler
Reminders about decorating the park and the Christmas at the Park event that Amy mentioned.
Safety Committee: Gary Fox – absent
Economic Development Committee: Gene Steiner
Will be unable to attend the next meeting.
The next RADC Meeting will be held on October 27th at 7 pm. We need the RADC help in getting the sub-division layout going.
Gene has several ideas that he wants to review with the commissioners.
Public Utilities Committee: Steve Gehle
Nothing at this time.
Rules Committee: John Dooley
This is in response, to the question of enforcement of ordinances passed by The Village Council.
The topics in question are related to dog at large, weed control, junk abatement, and commercial building code enforcement, and ongoing issues pertaining to mobile homes.
As for the dog at large question, the complaint on this issue is a situation where the dog’s owner lets the dog out to take a walk on its own, assuming that their dog will cause no harm , and will return in a short time. This action on the part of the pet owner does have potential to be a violation on more than one count. As far as enforcement, if a resident complains to Rockford PD, they do respond, and attempt to follow up. In many cases, there are no complaints filed. Rockford PD has had more than one occasion to have to deal problem dogs, and have a history of attempting to work issues out with pet owners whenever possible, and it, for the most part seems to be serving the community adequately.
As for the remaining topics on this list, it is not hard to find violations in all of the categories mentioned. This has been one of those years that weed control has been an issue for most everybody, and we have not done as well as we usually do. Other than a couple of abandoned properties, no occupied properties are out of control, though there are some issues that may need to be addressed Enforcement proceedings are in process on those unoccupied properties.
As far as junk abatement, there are a couple of properties that maybe should be encouraged to build privacy fences, due to the nature of their business or life style. These property owners have had an ongoing dialogue with the village, and privacy fences may be a resolution. The Village does have the desire to work issues out with property owners whenever issues can be resolved. Once again enforcement is a process, and is being attended to by Village personnel with due diligence.
As for the commercial properties code enforcement, there are a couple of distressed properties in the Village. The Village is aware of these issues, and will be attempting to work with property owners to remedy these issues, with the hopes of these properties becoming useful again. Of all of the issues this would seem to be the only issue that we are not actively dealing with, though it is not being neglected, and will most likely be what follows the actions being taken on the residential properties that are now being dealt with.
The issue of mobile homes may be something that the council may want to revisit and the code may need some consideration in order to resolve issues
In conclusion, I am not finding a lack of enforcement of the rules, just a discomfort for the time that due process is taking. We could very well become more aggressive about enforcement, and be well within the law to do so, but to what service to the community. For the most part most people who live in Rockford demonstrate pride in ownership, and take great care of their property. Affording some autonomy to enforcement personnel in dealing with these issues has benefited community as a whole.
Lengthy discussion on this subject. Possible solutions include privacy fences in some areas, ongoing correspondence with residents about problems. Once the warnings are issued we need to review in the 10 to 15 days to either make sure the problem is corrected or citations are given.
Amy to review the violations book. John will have discussions with Jeff and Paul. 90% of complaints and violations are dealt with. There are just a few places that need to come into compliance. For the most part, we have made an effort in cleaning up the village with good results.
Meeting adjourned at 8:29 pm
Mayor Fiscal Officer