Honoring Madeline Walberg

By Bob Balgemann


POPLAR GROVE – A lot of what the village of Poplar Grove does while it provides services to its residents can range from the routine to the controversial.

Elected officials in recent years have implemented new taxes and tax increases, approved the result of union negotiations for employees and amended ordinances, or enacting new ones, which impact residents’ lives.

They also have approved ordinance amendments that drew no interest, approved new multi-million-dollar budgets, which drew no residents to public hearings, and approved a lengthy list of housekeeping matters.

There also is a softer side to village government, as was in evidence during the May 16 board meeting.

On a personal note, Village President John Neitzel presented Madeline Walberg with a proclamation, thanking her for donating a “little free library” to benefit readers, primarily children.

The box now stands alongside Poplar Grove Village Hall at 200 Hill St., near the walking path. Participants are asked to take out a book to read and return it when finished.

Little Free Library is a national program established in 2009.

Operation of the village is made possible by tax dollars, which come from residents. Village officials aren’t shy about giving some back, as was shown May 16. They agreed to spend $5,000 on fireworks for the annual Neighbors Night Out celebration.

The well attended event is held at Lions Park and this year will be June 18.

There is another, much newer tradition, a holiday celebration, which has been held in December in recent years.

Public safety concern

Public safety may not be on the warm and fuzzy side, but it could rank high on some lists of resident conveniences.

While approval was not required, the village board agreed street signs should be put up in undeveloped neighborhoods, which have nothing to identify their names.

“We have received calls in the past from school bus drivers and public safety officers expressing concerns,” Village Administrator Diana Dykstra said.

Missing signs in Bridlewood Glen have been identified as five along North Hill Street; five on Hughes Parkway; three on Olson Lane; two on Westergren Way; and two on Roland Road.

In Breakaway Trail, there are three missing signs along Meadow Lane; and two each on Sunset Ridge, Shadow Crossing and Breakaway Trail.

The total cost would be $900.

Looking for help

People who go to village hall to pay bills, attend meetings or to talk with officials probably don’t look around the building to be sure everything is in order. If the place was dirty or in disrepair, they would be quick to lodge a complaint.

Keeping the building in good condition is the job of a custodial firm, and right now, village officials are receiving requests for proposal to do that job. Village hall was built in 2006 and encompasses 5,000 square feet.

Deadline for responding is June 3.

There also is an opportunity for a resident to give back to the community in which he/she lives. A vacancy exists on the village’s planning and zoning commission for appointment to a five-year term. Call village hall at (815) 765-3201 for details.

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