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Walnut OKs Legion donation

WALNUT — The Walnut Village Board approved a donation to the Walnut American Legion.

Ralph DeWaele, representative of the Walnut Chapter of the American Legion, approached the village board at Monday’s village board meeting regarding a possible donation for flags for the veterans’ graves at the Walnut Cemetery. The Legion also displays flags in an Avenue of Flags at the cemetery for Memorial Day.

The group receives good support from the community and local businesses for the purchase of those large flags used for the Memorial Day celebration. This support also includes the local Boy Scout troop putting up and removing the flags for this special part of the community’s observance honoring local veterans.

It is the small, individual flags placed on graves at the cemetery the Legion is struggling to purchase on an annual basis. These flags are kept on the graves all year and usually need to be replaced yearly. The organization orders a minimum of 400 small flags annually at a cost of approximately $450.

Trustee Lee Sarver made a motion the village board agree to a $500 donation to the Walnut American Legion to purchase these small flags. This motion passed unanimously.

In other business, Walnut Police Chief Tom Ptasnik had previously approached the board regarding the purchase and upgrade of the radios used by the village police department. The current radios used by the department are UHF, and their signal must be converted by a repeater to a VHF signal before the police officers can communicate with the Bureau County Sheriff’s Department. All of the radio equipment used by the county department is using a VHF signal. The current radios also are limited in their coverage area.

Radio Ranch, Inc. of Rock Falls had prepared two proposals for the village board. These proposals included portable radios for the officers and repeaters for the squad cars. This new equipment would provide 98 percent coverage in all of Bureau County.

The board reviewed the two proposals. One was for Pyramid brand equipment and would cost the village approximately $7,900; the second proposal was for Vertex brand equipment and would provide the same coverage as the Pyramid brand but without some special programming options and would cost $5,980.

The board agreed to purchase the $5,980 Vertex brand equipment, feeling the additional programming options were not necessary for a small police department.

Village Superintendent Carl Minks outlined efforts he and his staff have been making to make the village warehouse more weather-tight and to also help eliminate the problem of birds nesting in this building. To facilitate this continued effort, Minks requested the village purchase a new 8-foot-by-10-foot replacement garage door from Sullivan Door Co., Kewanee. Sullivan will install it at a cost of $785. This purchase was also approved.

Acting board President Dennis Grobe announced that newly-appointed board Trustee Ryan Rosenthal will be the chairperson of the Local Improvement Committee. Rosenthal mentioned there is an open community meeting scheduled for April  13 at 2 p.m. in the Walnut Community Building. This meeting is being held to give the community an update on the recently completed community improvement surveys.

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