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A new website for Walnut

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013 3:34 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013 3:40 p.m. CDT

WALNUT — Walnut Village Board member Aaron Staker brought the completed proposal for establishing of a village of Walnut website to the meeting this week.

Staker has been working for several months to obtain bids for a proposed village website. This website would allow the board, the village clerk and other village officials the opportunity to quickly publicize important information for all village residents.

The proposed bid package was put out to a wide range of vendors. Staker received four completed bid packages. After reviewing all of the packages for the critical criteria established: Cost, sample sites, maintenance costs, size/reputation, accessibility (responsive layouts), location and time for completion, Staker made a recommendation to the board. If the board is interested in proceeding with this project, Staker suggested the board select Virtual Putty, located in Florida. Originally Staker searched for either a local vendor or a vendor from Illinois, but his search did not come up with any company that could provide the necessary skills needed for the establishment of a website and under the cost restraints he proposed.

The entire board was encouraged by Staker to review the written proposal and also to visit some of the other websites this company has built. A decision about proceeding with the website and this company will be made at the next regular board meeting scheduled for Nov. 18.

Acting village president, Dennis Grobe led a discussion regarding the pros and cons of continuing the village’s current contract with Bureau County Animal Control. The cost of this contract is $200 per quarter and provides Walnut with support when an animal control situation arises. The contract is renewed in six-month (or two quarter) increments. The board agreed to renew the contract for another six months for $400. At the end of that six-month period, the board will re-evaluate the worth of this contract.

Chief of Police Thomas Ptasnik provided information to the board on the possibility of allowing ATVs and golf carts to operate within the village. Per Ptasnik, the state statute provides that a municipality is allowed to establish whatever regulations it wants with regard to these types of vehicles. State law further provides these vehicles are not allowed to operate on state or county roads. Ptasnik felt that if an ordinance was approved for these vehicles, the village would want to provide for some type of registration of the vehicles, and the ordinance would also include other requirements, like licensed drivers only, etc.

The board tabled the topic of ATVs and golf carts until the first December meeting to be held on Dec. 2. At that meeting, Ptasnik will provide some additional information after he has had an opportunity to contact some other municipalities with ordinances in effect for these vehicles.

Superintendent Carl Minks reported the water tower maintenance project was completed as of Nov. 3. Extensive work was completed on the interior of the tower including epoxy placed on the wet portion of the tower. The epoxy will need to dry until Nov. 11. Filling of the tower will commence on that day. After filling, testing will need to be done on the water quality. The target date for the water tower to be back online is Nov. 18. With the repairs that were completed, the water tower should be worry free for many years. Minks was commended for his organization of this project and the successful completion.

Minks also stated Matt Hansen from Willett & Hoffman Engineering Firm, Dixon, will be in attendance at the next board meeting on Nov. 18. Hansen will be discussing with the board the next step in the sewer upgrade project previously approved by the board. The board will need to make decisions regarding the possible increase in sewer rates for village residents.

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