Sherrard swears in new village board

Cala Smoldt/Correspondent

Cutline: Pictured from left to right are newly elected trustees, Lisa Sanders, Paula Rath, Kevin Iverson and Karen "Cookie" Dean. Swearing them in is village clerk Theresa Johnson.

The Village of Sherrard swore in the newly elected trustees Monday night, former trustees Karan “Cookie” Dean, Kevin Iverson, Paula Rath and newcomer Lisa Sanders. The new board wasted no time diving into the important issues facing Sherrard.

Up for discussion was the sale of undeveloped lots at Fyre Lake. Winning the bid with $850,000 at the May 7 Sheriff’s Sale, Steve Saunders has bought the property, “but not for himself,” said Village Clerk Theresa Johnson,” it’s for Commerce Bank out of Texas the way it sounds.”

Mayor Delbert Henry said, “he bought all 205 lots that were up for auction, all bought and sold at one time… nobody bid against him – the whole bid lasted probably less than 2 minutes.”

“The village can expect to receive back taxes that were required to be paid the day of the Sheriff’s Sale.” Ms. Johnson said, “it will be a nice little chunk.”

The feeling was overall positive, voiced by Mayor Henry, “Good to see it rolling again and not stagnant like it has been…  Back to possibly building soon I hope.”

Ms. Johnson told the board she has have spoken with Bi-State Regional Development about a possible grant for a new well water system.

Water Operator Dan Helm said the cost for a new water well, “depends on size, location and depth of the well.” He said for several years the EPA has strongly recommended the village put in another well or interconnect with another water supply as a backup. Mr. Helm said the current well also needs updating, “Things are working but it’s well over 50 years old… the control system of the well is archaic.” He said the issue is with the electrical and wiring.

Ms. Johnson said there are grants available through the Community development assistance program, “CDAP”. She said to receive it the village has to meet the low to moderate income levels for the state. She explained, “we can do this CDAP survey,  the Village of New Windsor is putting in a brand new sewer system, they received a 2 million dollar grant by doing what we’re about to do. They sent them out to their residents, they had a fit getting them back. You have to have 75 percent of the responses, which would be 202 households (in village of Sherrard).”

She said the survey is short, “What we are going to do is go door-to-door… They do not have to tell us their income – only a physical address, it’s not signed, no names, and the results are kept here locked up in city hall.”

Ms. Johnson said later, “We really need the people to participate in the ‘CDAP’ survey, all information will be kept strictly confidentially. This will hopefully prevent raises in water and sewer bills and or property tax increases,”

The board discussed posting notices for Sherrard residents to be aware of the visit they will receive in order to, as Mayor Delbert Henry said, “Let them know that this is a legitimate thing… we will have to either raise household taxes, raise water bills, or both of the above. This is the best way to do it.”

High School student, Junior Kaylee Gundling approached the board to request permission to beautify the village park as part of the Sherrard honors English class 3 year-end service project.

Haley Gunley, as an end of the year, pay it forward project we want to do a few things to make it (the park) look a little nicer, we want to paint the swing set, put in some planters with flowers…  also with your permission we would like to put in a little memorial spot for some of some of the students that went to Sherrard and passed away.” The students to be included on the memorial are: Cassie Turner, Jessica and Hollie Harker, Breanna Viager and Addy Swanson.

Permission was granted and she was directed to speak to park commissioner Larry Rhodenbaugh for direction on the needs of the park.

Re-elected Trustee Paula Rath volunteered to serve as the authorized representative from the village to cooperate with the Mercer County Health Department as part of the HGMP grant. The grant is used to update the hazard mitigation process. The village has to send a representative to participate in meetings for the municipality to qualify for help with disaster recovery and FEMA funding.

The board approved moving forward with the yearly audit. Ms. Johnson said, based on the auditing company’s knowledge of the Village of Sherrard they estimated their fees for this year to be $8,450. She said that’s, “based on anticipated cooperation from management and the assumption that unexpected circumstances are not required during the audit,” if something were to come up the rate would be adjusted accordingly.

It was agreed the finance committee would be looking into purchasing new conference chairs. Mayor Henry warned new board member trustee Ms. Sanders, “The chairs that we are sitting in now are on borrowed time, don’t lean back on any of them.”

Village wide yard sales were announced to take place June 6 from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Ms. Johnson said anyone who wishes to be on the map should call City Hall no later than May 31. Subsequently village Clean-up will be Tuesday, June 9.