Palestine is continuing to look for ways to improve village ordinances about residential swimming-pool safety.
The Illinois Municipal Code requires that new outdoor swimming pools on private property be enclosed by a fence, wall or other effective permanent barrier of 42 inches or greater. These provisions do not apply to above-ground pools with a height of 42 inches or more, or to Jacuzzis.
Palestine village trustees wondered if this provided enough protection for the village against liability if an accident in a pool occurred, and conceded most residents were probably not aware of the requirements anyway.
They decided to ask village attorney Frank Weber to draft a hold-harmless agreement residents would be asked to sign when informed of the current swimming-pool regulations. Residents are also required to apply for a permit before installing a pool. The trustees also approved a $25 permit fee.
Also at Thursday's meeting, the trustees approved a call-in pay rate for village employees. An employee will now be paid the applicable straight-time pay for the actual hours worked, or a minimum of two hours regular straight-time base pay, whenever it is necessary to call in hourly employees without notice outside of their regular shifts, excluding scheduled overtime.
Trustees also granted permission to Pat Schofield to seek a grant to allow the village to buy an electronic speed sign for the village. The design under consideration would be portable to allow Chief of Police Jeff Besing to place the sign wherever he believes it is needed. The unit would also be solar-powered.
Mark Wiseman and Jodi Decker presented a proposed business plan to the board to start a craft brewery in Palestine. According to the plan, the brewery would begin as a nanobrewery (producing less than 1,000 barrels of beer per year) and would only produce beer to be enjoyed on the premises, but could expand later to include a bottling operation.
The two noted similar operations are starting in Vincennes, Terre Haute and Effingham and could be another way to attract visitors to Palestine.
Schofield noted a new liquor license would need to be created, which would require some time to complete.
Trustees said they would consider the plan and would hold a special meeting next week to give the plan formal approval.
Besing noted his department has made two significant drug arrests in recent days. A traffic stop for a seat belt violation Thursday led to the capture of more than a pound of illegal drugs intended for distribution. And a weekend investigation led to the arrest of a Palestine woman who was in possession of less than 30 grams of cannabis, also intended for distribution.