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One of the topics of the Chrisman City Council meeting held on August 15th was the Neighborhood Watch. When unfinished business was brought up, Commissioner Bryan Haddix asked to be updated on what was going on with it.
“It’s going forward. We had our first meeting last week and we will have another meeting in a month,” Mayor Danny Owen said. “I just ordered the signs twenty minutes ago.”
Haddix mentioned that he didn’t want things to turn into a ‘witch hunt’ or people to turn into vigilantes. Owen stated that he did not believe that this would happen and that the watch will be a very good thing for the community.
Police Chief Tom Dolan had expressed his concerns at the Neighborhood Watch meeting and continued to express them to council members. Dolan wants to make sure that people understand that 911 is the priority in the case of an emergency. “That’s the only thing there is for first response,” Owen said. “It has nothing to do with crime stoppers.”
Haddix brought up that he believed that those who see something out of the ordinary are suppose to call the block captain, who will then call the authorities. “My understanding is it’s more of a suspicious character kind of thing,” Commissioner Thad Crispin said. “If there’s a serious emergency, everyone knows to call 911.”
Commissioner Cory Chaney brought to the attention of the councilmen that on the Edgar County Neighborhood Watch Facebook page, they have stated for citizens not to engage anyone and their first call for suspicious activity is the police and if it’s any emergency, it’s 911.
“I read two or three posts on that today,” Chaney said.
Dolan stated that he was going to continue to re-enforce the knowledge to the citizens. “I want them to know. I think it’s going to take education to let them know how important it is,” Dolan said. “Even if it’s a suspicious character in your backyard to call 911 immediately. It gives us a chance to arrive when they are still there.”
Moving forward, Dolan mentioned that he’s all for having more eyes on the town, but that he wants the police response to be as quick as possible without so many layers.
The Chrisman Sesquicentennial Committee has contacted the council about purchasing a Sesquicentennial sign. Previously, the City has graciously donated $2,000 for the celebration. “I think we’re good with what we’ve done,” Crispin said.
In another matter, water and sewer operator Michael Burgess had four water pits in storage, but is now down to one. The price for the meters, totaling $70,000 – the price for all of the water meters was talked about. Some do not need replaced at the moment, but others have started failing.
“Our new meters that we just put in?” asked Mayor Owen.
City Clerk Autumn Perryman told Owen they were the first generation meters that were installed.
The original meters that were purchased had a shelf date of ten years. Unknown to the council, the ten year shelf life began when they were made, not when they were installed. “The new ones, you have to wake them up and that’s when their twenty years start,” Perryman said. “The first hot rods, they sat at the plant for two years.”
Mayor Owen said that the city would not start buying meters until the matter was looked into further. “We’re not buying these tonight,” Owen said. Commissioner Crispin mentioned that he thought they just started buying meters four or five years ago.
Haddix agreed, stating they were starting to be put on before he was appointed.
“The problem we’re running into with the original ones, it’s causing a problem with the grounding,” Haddix said.
Burgess said that some of the meters are reading different and he’s already had to reset three of the meters. “I’m going to use the handheld to see if I can get a better read on them.”
Places around town like Lincolnshire Apartments, Chrisman Nazarene Church, Country Place Apartments and a couple others have had the same read for the last few months. Because of this, Burgess has had to manually read the levels to get the correct price for the bill.
Commissioner Crispin brought up that the city usually buys the generator lights for the Chrisman Truck and Tractor Pull. Commissioner Haddix brought a quote for $175 for each of the six lights that are needed, bringing the total to $1,050. “We do it every year, so I make a motion to supply the lights for the tractor pull,” Crispin said.
Crispin also stated that he was given a time frame of the beginning of September for trees to be trimmed around town. The main locations would be the parade route to be taken care of.
This year, Dumpster Days will be Labor Day Weekend and we will provide dates and times in future editions of the Leader. Also in the meeting, previous meeting minutes were approved, along with claims in the amount of $56,542.32.
Building permits were approved for 135 North Indiana, 913 East Jackson and 221 W. Madison. A soliciting permit was granted for Cygnus Home Service LLC.