Thomasboro to seek full-time police chief

THOMASBORO — The Thomasboro Village Board reached a consensus at its Aug. 7 board meeting to advertise for a full-time police chief rather than contract with the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office to meet policing needs.

Trustee Ronda Scott reported that coverage by sheriff’s deputies for seven-eight hours a day would cost the village $471 per day, or between $13,000 and $14,000 per month. Enforcement of municipal ordinance violations and visits to Thomasboro Grade School would not be included.

“We can’t cover that,” Mayor Tyler Evans said. “It’s out of our range.”

Currently, the village employs a part-time police chief and three part-time patrolmen for a total of about 66 hours a week and budgets $70,000 annually for police wages. The change of course was prompted by Police Chief Keith Willis’ announcement that he will retire in November.

Applicants will be asked to submit a resume by the end of the month. Resumes will be screened by police and personnel committee members Scott, Anna Martin and Trent Sage, Evans and Willis. Evans recommended the top applicants be selected at the Sept. 5 meeting, after which they will be required to submit “a more comprehensive application.” He said he had encouraged the village’s part-time officers to apply.

Truck route designation
Concerns about protecting newly resurfaced Main Street prompted the board to agree to contact Premier Cooperative about signs designating a truck route. That would be in lieu of an ordinance restricting vehicle weight.

“Who would enforce (an ordinance)?” trustee Kyle Henegar asked. “Would we buy scales?”

Evans said elevator management had previously indicated support for keeping grain trucks off Main. He volunteered to make contact with Premier.

In another matter, Thomasboro Fire Chief Paul Cundiff raised concerns about out-of-control burning on a property owned by trustee Tony Grilo.

Grilo had given someone else permission to burn there, Cundiff said. He suggested tightening the burn ordinance.

The ordinance already restricts materials burned to landscape waste.

Cundiff suggested limiting the size of burn areas. Willis agreed.

The police department responded to a fire on the property in April and found embers on neighbor Ken Kocher’s property.

Kocher also supported a size limit.

“My shed is next to (the property),” he said.

Another resident said she hoped the ordinance would not stipulate burn barrels as they are too small to contain landscape waste.

Other business

Resident Linda Martin was honored for her volunteer efforts maintaining a village archive.

Also, Tyler Martin reported that the intersection at Pearl and Commercial had been resurfaced as a $1,200 add-on to the Main Street project.

Anna Martin reported no ads had been received for the newsletter. Evans said he knew people who would be interested and volunteered to talk to them.

Grilo suggested establishing set times for the spring and fall garage sale and clean-up day.
Scott asked for volunteers to help install basketball hoops at the park beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 19.

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