Overhead sprinkler malfunction floods Fisher community building

Fans were placed throughout the Fisher community building to dry out the flooring and outer wall areas impacted by standing water when an overhead sprinkler went off in Mayor Mike Bayler’s office recently, causing damage. Dehumidifiers were also placed throughout the building. The office was closed for business one day. Village Administrator Jeremy Reale said working conditions were less than ideal for a week. “I had eight or nine fans and a dehumidifier running in my office that created so much noise I could only answer telephone calls or communicate with walk-in traffic outside of the building,” Reale said.

FISHER — An overhead sprinkler activated in Mayor Mike Bayler’s office, causing significant damage last month.

The village board discussed the matter at last week’s monthly meeting.

Amending the liquor ordinance the board created last month and setting a meeting to discuss cannabis were also among the items of discussion.

Sprinkler damage

When the fire department responded to the alarm call that afternoon, water was running out of the south and north entrances to the building and spraying out the window in the mayor’s office. Water was standing throughout the offices on the east side of the building, the lobby/hallway area, restrooms and portions of the food pantry and all-purpose room.  

Servpro was on the site by late afternoon, and worked in the building for nearly a week.  Overhead damage was limited to the mayor’s office where there is no electronic equipment. The computers, printers and office equipment in the adjoining offices were not affected. Village Administrator Jeremy Reale awaits the insurance claim adjustor’s final report but, it looks like flooring replacement throughout the building, replacing drywall in certain areas, repainting all walls and replacing base board will all be covered by insurance.

Labor for sorting/drying out water-damaged archival records and replacing the office furniture damaged by the water/antifreeze combination should also be covered. Illini Fire Service dispatched a technician to remove the old sprinkler and install a new head. The old sprinkler was taken back to Illini Fire Service for testing, and no evidence of a defect was discovered. The company does not know why the sprinkler accidentally activated.  

Service technicians will return before winter to replace the antifreeze loop in the fire suppression system. This work was done just last fall for $6,000. The village’s equipment breakdown insurance carrier is denying the claim for this incident, as a malfunction of a “safety device” is explicitly exempted from that coverage.  So the cost of replacing the antifreeze again will not be covered by insurance.

Reale said a total dollar estimate of damage is not yet available.

Liquor license amendment

The village board approved by a vote of 2-0 an amendment to the latest liquor license it created last month.  

Laundromat/gaming lounge operator Brandon Chandler wants a vendor to install arcade-type machines in the laundromat section of the business.

But as written, the ordinance forbids any type of electronic games requiring payment in that area. Trustees Deb Estes and Danny Spaulding were absent. Roger Ponton and Kevin Henderson abstained.

Meeting on cannabis set

A special meeting is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the community center on the cannabis issue, to gather input from the public. Mayor Mike Bayler raised the issue of regulating recreational cannabis sales within the village. He said he is personally opposed to permitting sales.  

The board decided to look into strengthening the enforcement language in its nuisance ordinance after hearing from residents concerned about inoperable vehicles, debris and tall grass and weeds at various properties throughout the community.

The police department will increase its enforcement of these ordinances in an effort to improve the appearance of the properties. The board directed Reale to research nuisance ordinances from other area communities and to report findings back to the Board.

Reale reported:

— Traffic control bollards have been installed at each end of the 100 block of East Park Street. No left/right turn signage will be installed in either direction for traffic approaching the intersection from Third and Second streets, as well as road closed signs for each end of Park Street. Reflective traffic barrels at each end of the block will be left for now.  

— Annual oil and chipping paid for with motor fuel tax funds has been completed by Illiana Construction for a total cost $21,838.