February is a time for planning and review, and that is what the Oblong Village Board did during its monthly meeting Thursday night.
There were no bids to open for the property at 314 N. Wilson because no one bid. It was reported that two people did pick up bid packets, but none was submitted. The board decided to re-advertise the property with no minimum for another month. The village had hoped to set a minimum bid to recoup expenses incurred in dealing with the property, but have decided that just having the properly cleaned up and back on the tax rolls would be worth the loss of expenses.
Mayor Teresa Fielder reminded board members and department heads that it is time to start looking at 2021 budgets.
The village is also going to do what it can to help residents fill out the 2020 Census. This year the census will need to be done online, and the village is working to set up computer stations and help times for those residents who do not have access to computers or the Internet. It was also suggested that high school students and school computers may also be able to assist residents.
With the growing concern about solicitors going door to door, it was suggested having places for residents to go to fill out the census would cut down on door-to-door work and increase the potential for having the forms completed.
Oblong is submitting a grant proposal to the County Board for the Revolving Loan Fund grant for their sewer lagoon project. As more details and restrictions are made known, it is possible that the grant may not be available for this project, but the village is going to apply anyway.
ielder remind the board and wants to remind residents that census information is critical for these types of grants and encourages everyone to complete their census.
It was reported that some balance transfers related to the sewer lagoon project may have to be redone, because the software program recorded them as expenses and not balance transfers. By calling it an expense it would exceed the appropriation limit. After consulting with auditors the best solution would be to return the funds to the original account and expense the amount next year.
The proposed face-in-the-hole characters has received several suggestion and Trustee Keith Waldrop said as soon as estimates for an artist and materials can be put together he will be asking for funding. It was suggested this would be a good project for high-school students.
The dog park is scheduled to begin construction sometime in May as weather and scheduling allows.
It was reported that the 54 Oblong group is progressing with around 35 committed members and officer/administrators being selected
Discussions are still on going on extending the Enterprise Zone and TIF districts to other parts of Oblong to make the area more attractive to business.
Police Chief Chad Pusey said he does have certified officers to interview for part-time work. He also noted that state funding for part-time training academies and mobile training units has gone away and future training may note be available for new officers.
In his monthly report Oblong Police officers issued seven citation during the month of January, had nine offences reported and one accident. The also had 106 calls for service.