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By NIKOLLE KEENEY
Rantoul Press correspondent
GIFFORD — The village of Gifford will hold a public caucus at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3, at the village hall.
Anyone interested in running for a position on the board will be required to attend the forum.
Of the six village board seats, three are up for election. Trustee Larry Hethke will be retiring from his seat after 14 years of service. Seats held by Angie Jones and Stacy Severins are also up for election; both Jones and Severins plan to run for another term. Trustees are elected for four-year terms.
Remaining on the board are Tony Cler, Brody Crozier and Dustin Ehler.
Anyone interested in running must be a resident of Gifford, a registered voter and over 21 years old with expressed interest in serving the village.
Hethke commented on his 14 years in office, “It’s been a great and meaningful way to serve the community. It’s a civic responsibility everyone should experience.”
In business at Thursday’s village board meeting, the board learned that Maguire Iron will be on site Nov. 12 to drain the village water tank and fix a leak. The board voted last month to have the leak fixed.
The three- to four-day project will cost an estimated $25,000.
Village Superintendant Jess Childress said residents will not notice a difference in their water pressure while the water tower is down. He will run a fire hydrant outside town on a pressure relief valve while the tower is out of service. The fire department will be prepared with backup water on reserve.
Village representatives traveled to Springfield last month as part of the Open Space Land Acquisition Development (OSLAD) grant process. The village’s proposal, seeking new playground equipment for Werner Roessler Memorial Park, passed its first round of inspections earlier this year.
Trustee Larry Hethke and Gifford State Bank President Tony McLain attended a hearing in Springfield to further explain Gifford’s need for new equipment.
Hethke said there were hundreds of townships in attendance at the hearing. He hopes to hear back before the end of the year.
The OSLAD program provides funding assistance to local government agencies for acquisition and/or development of land for public parks and open spaces. Under the program, funding assistance can be obtained for up to 50 percent of approved project costs. For new playground equipment, the village of Gifford is asking for $40,000.
The next village board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, at Village Hall.