One of the main topics of discussion in new business at the most recent meeting of the Verona board of aldermen involved the nominations of new members to the city's planning and zoning board.
Aldermen could not come to a consensus about when the last meeting of the board took place, suggesting it has been a long time and that the group could use a reboot. Current members of the board, who were nominated in October of 2015, include Matt Pruente, Linda Gates and Greg Dawson. Their terms are set to expire in October of next year, but the aldermen decided it was in the best interest of the city to move ahead with nominating new members.
Mayor Joseph Heck initially nominated Sue Downs Pikari, Pam Dorton, Joyce Faulk, Tammy Jenkins and Alderman Michael Haynes for the board, adding that he would also attend the meetings. However, Faulk informed the mayor and alderman that she had changed her mind about wanting to be on the board, and two more -- Lisa Army and Denise White -- wished to be added to the nominations.
In the end, Pikari, Dorton, Haynes, Army, Jenkins and White had their nominations passed by the board of aldermen.
Prior to that discussion, a pair of old business items were discussed involving the police department. The board first agreed to hire a part-time police officer, although because the item was not specifically listed on the agenda, the board agreed to hire her temporarily through the mayor's ability to fill vacancies. The matter will be formally voted on at the next meeting. In addition, the board agreed to allow the city attorney to draw up a contract for police chief Levi Neely to be put on salary rather than hourly wage.
In other new business, the aldermen:passed a new, amended budget that includes 12 months of rental income from the Aurora Rural Fire Protection District. voted to move forward with providing a debit/credit card reader and online payment for sewer remittance -- a service free to the city. discussed bids for cleaning out ditches, drains and culvert repairs. discussed the railroad crossing at Main Street, at which trains have a tendency to block traffic in front of BCP for up to two or three hours, despite a state statute governing the amount of time a train may block a street. City attorney Darlene Parrigon offered to write up an ordinance mirroring the statute, giving the city the power to enforce the time limit. She also stated she would write a letter to the railroad informing it of the ordinance. discussed ideas for more community activities in addition to the Christmas parade, such as a farmer's market, carnival/festival or movie in the park. approved a request to purchase amber lights for the city's work truck for no more than $200.
Following the departmental reports, the board adjourned until the next month's meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m., June 26, at city hall.