The Soldiers Grove Village Board approved appointing village trustee Jerry Moran to serve as village president until April of 2015.
The board began by approving Moran to preside over the meeting in President Laurel Hestetune’s absence.
As it’s next order of business the board accepted and approved Hestetune’s letter of resignation in which he cited his need to resign for health reasons.
Several trustees expressed their disappointment at having to accept Hestetune’s resignation. Among them were Shayne Chapman and Jim Helgerson, both of whom noted Hestetune would be greatly missed on the board.
Moran indicated the board should consider doing something in the near future for Laurel Hestetune to acknowledge his service to the village.
The next order of business was filling the position of village president through the end of the term in April of 2015. Helgerson nominated Moran for the position and village trustee Bob Froiseth seconded the motion. There were no other nominees and Jerry Moran’s appointment to serve as village president was approved.
The appointment of Moran to village president meant that this village trustee seat he occupied would be open until April of 2015.
Village trustee Paul Nicholson suggested that the board seek interested individuals to serve the remaining year of Moran’s village trustee term through an advertisement in the Independent-Scout. Anyone who is interested in serving on the board for a year will be encouraged to contact village Clerk Tammy Kepler.
Moran suggested that perhaps by the next meeting, someone to serve his trustee term can be found and appointed by the board.
The board then considered and appointed fire department officers suggested by Soldiers Grove Fire Chief Jim Cox. Cox was unable to attend the meeting, but sent a list of suggested candidates.
The board approved Ben Clason as the First Assistant Fire Chief.
Offered a choice by Cox of Ryan Clason or Brian Copus for the Second Assistant Fire Chief position, the board approved appointing Brian Copus. Village trustees noted the availability of Copus to respond to daytime calls was an advantage for the department.
The board approved Nicole Nelson as Secretary of the Fire Department and Roger Olson as Lieutenant of the Fire Department.
Cox suggested either Josh Byl or Todd Salmon for Captain of the Fire Department and the board selected and approved appointing Salmon for the position.
It was agreed earlier that village clerk Tammy Kepler will act as the department’s treasurer.
Following the appointment of the fire department officers, accountant Melanie Lendosky, from Johnson Block and Company, discussed a rather positive audit report on the village finances.
Of note, Lendosky pointed out the Redcoats’ account used as a secondary account by the fire department will become a regular part of the village finances and will be reported in more detail in the audit in the future.
There was a brief discussion about the account as reported in this year’s audit and Lendosky explained a conversation she had with the fire department’s former treasurer Bill Zirk about recording some of the expenditures in the account.
Lendosky also advised the board to have a full review of the water utility rates and seek permission for a full rate increase from the Public Service Commission. This is necessary to cover expenses in the utility, according to Lendosky.
The board also authorized Soldiers Grove Director of Public Works Brain Copus to purchase a used GMC pickup truck from a local dealer for less than $10,000.
The board adjourned to closed session for the purpose of considering financial or disciplinary data of a specific person.
When they returned to open session, Helgerson made a motion, seconded by Chapman, to have the clerk check on an invoice from Best Buy for purchases made from the Redcoat Fund in January of 2013, and to contact the village’s attorney to write a letter to former Soldiers Grove Fire Department Secretary/Treasurer Bill Zirk demanding that he turn in all Fire Department Minutes and Treasurer’s Reports. The motion passed.