FISHER — Mayor Mike Bayler told the village board Thursday night that he is one of seven small town mayors in Champaign County who have signed off on a letter to State Rep. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet).

Rose in turn will forward the letter to Governor J.B. Pritzker. The mayors are asking for relief for what they term a “one-size-fits-all” approach to reopening the state. As of May 15, none of Fisher’s 1,956 residents have been confirmed to have the coronavirus.

Bayler told The News-Gazette Friday, “I think the plan needs to be tweaked more frequently than he’s laid out. Sometimes, I wonder about the numbers we are seeing from the government. I just think with careful planning and guidance from the appropriate agencies, our smaller communities could get going sooner rather than later. It just seems like the goal post keeps moving.”

Pay raises approved

The board also agreed to grant pay raises to full-time employees Ronnie Nelson and Jon Priest of 3 percent and Brenda Cook and Jeremy Reale  of 5 percent.

Part-timer Greg Worrell will get $1.50-an-hour increase.

The board agreed to continue its employee health care coverage with its current provider. Since 2016, the village has had its own small group plan through Health Alliance. In 2019, the village elected to change HMO plans, which actually had the result of lowering premium costs from the previous year. The total monthly premium cost increase will be $566.

Illegal dumpers caught; ordinance amended

The board amended its nuisance ordinance by adding a prohibition against unauthorized dumping of garbage and debris on property or in a container or Dumpster by someone who is not the owner or occupant of the property. This includes unauthorized dumping on both private and public property.

This was done because two individuals put trash in several Dumpsters assigned to village properties, including the community center, public works facility and Richmond Park.  

Review of video footage determined the offenders, and both were cited for theft of services.

Illegal dumping is a violation under state statute, but including it in the local ordinance will allow the village to impose and collect local fines for each such violation, $150 per incident.

The board agreed to pay Jimmy V for yard services at  $965 to spray 10 acres of village property for broadleaves and learned from Trustee Deb Estes that the village will be rebated the $3,220 it paid in property taxes for the parcel it bought on North First Street to use as public works storage.

 Trustee Angie Seidelman told her fellow trustees, according to photos posted on Facebook, there are some people fishing in the Heritage pond who are not abiding by the posted limits at the site. They are keeping too many fish and fish that are too small.

Village ahead in census participation

Administrator Jeremy Reale reported on Fisher participation in the 2020 Census.

He said the new, internet-based response platform is user-friendly and makes self-reporting quick and easy. Residents also have the option to complete their responses by telephone or by mail.

As of May 11, the village of Fisher Census response rate stood at 66.2 percent, which is now running ahead of both the state, 63.8 percent, and Champaign County, 61.7 percent.