Glenbeulah readies for tower hearing as legal costs mount

by Sabrina Nucciarone
Review Correspondent

GLENBEULAH - The ongoing issue regarding the PI Tower continued briefly during the Village Board’s December meeting.

The board indicated that Village Attorney Michael Bauer has drafted a letter for village residents to acknowledge and or attend a public hearing to be held in January. The board also noted there will be a notice in the newspaper.

With about a month left before the public hearing will be scheduled regarding the proposed cell tower, the letter, however, did not include all necessary information, so Village Clerk/Treasurer Michele Bertram suggested to Trustee Corynn Feldmann that we “write something up and we can include it.”

Trustee Dan Grunewald said he also wrote a paragraph for consideration that could be part of the letter.

Residents of Glenbeulah should expect the letter and or review the local newspaper for the public hearing notice.

Approving the budget for 2018 was a topic of discussion as trustees were trying to identify why some line items in 2017 were more than expected and more so, why the amounts in the line items they have to work with was not balancing. Reviewing the budget, the trustees saw two areas where expenses were more than budgeted for 2017.

The first of two areas was the costs for improvements to streets were above what was originally budgeted. It was noticed and mentioned by one trustee that street improvements should come out of the public works budget, which is an operating budget, not the general fund, which is cumulative.

The second, legal fees, were greater than expected in 2017, incrementally due in part to the placement issue of the proposed cellular communication tower. “Legal stuff isn’t what we expect … we didn’t plan,” Trustee Scott Starnicky said.

For the purpose of accuracy and clarity, Bertram indicated there will be a review of the accounts, so that the money used for street improvements is reflected in the correct account; in return, that money will go back into the cumulative account.

If needed, there is a contingency account that is budgeted, from year to year, that can be used to account for overages in operating accounts.

Herbie Kohlmann, who provides maintenance for the village, was curious to know why the village does not display lighted Christmas season decorations on the light poles.

One of the trustees informed him that there are 12 light poles in the village and not all have access to provide electricity for lighted decorations. It was first thought that the utility company, WE Energies, doesn’t want decorations on the poles,but clarification was forthcoming.

“They don’t so much have a problem with it, but they don’t want us to do the electrical work. For them to do it, it is several hundred dollars a pole,” Starnicky said.

Kohlmann suggested the purchase of decorations that are attractive and beneficial to celebrate the season. “Get some stuff that is decent,” he said.

Given that not all poles have electrical access, a coordinated plan for poles that are lighted with decorations would have to be developed as well as budgeting for the electricity spent on lighting them.

Several consecutive items on the agenda were not discussed, confirming that there was nothing to address. However, based on the identification of the condition of the current, outdated fire department uniform equipment being used (as stated in the October meeting), the Glenbeulah Fire Department has ordered new uniform equipment. The equipment will take six to eight weeks to receive.

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