By Chris Johnson


PECATONICA – Trustees with the Pecatonica Village Board met in special session, on Tuesday, June 2, to vote on an ordinance allowing the appropriations of funds. The action leads to the ability to more efficiently spend money as requested.

The various department budgets have already been locked into place, as a plan was built for normal operations for the village of Pecatonica during the closing months of the last fiscal year. The funds can be spent by the departments, including Administration, for day to day operating expenses and salaries.

The Public Safety Department can distribute funds for police protection and emergency services and the Public Works Department can spend money to more aggressively attack the various road, water, sewer and public improvement projects, which have been planned. Some of the dollars released will allow for continued road and sewer line improvements, as well as refuse collection.

Regarding refuse collection in the village of Pecatonica, an earlier story in the Gazette Newspaper reported that a decision had been reached with Advanced Disposal Services for citizen refuse and recycling collection.

This was inaccurate, as the contract was not awarded to Advanced Disposal Services.

Apologies for the confusion are offered, as the residents’ recycling and refuse will be collected by Rock River Disposal/Gill’s Disposal.

Refuse and recycling collection continues, as has been the regular situation.

After calling a question regarding the release of village dollars, Village President Dan Barber entertained a motion to waive the rules on a first reading, to allow for vote to be cast, speeding up the process. A motion was made by Trustee Bill Smull and seconded by Trustee William Determan to allow the action to occur. All Trustees present voted to approve the rules adjustment.

Following the legal step, Trustees voted and agreed to place on file the Appropriations Ordinance for fiscal year 2016-2017.

In other action, a measure was presented for the employment of a patrol officer, currently working with the village of Winnebago, if certain agreements were placed on file.

Trustees were asked to vote on an indemnity agreement with the neighboring community in regards to liability and equipment usage. In any case, it is a good idea to find PI insurance for cases such as this. Professional Indemnity Insurance providers such as are usually a good place to start.
Smull asked the Board if the agreement as the same one that was presented to another governmental body.

“I wanted to know if this was the same agreement presented by the village of Winnebago to the Winnebago County Board. It was shot down by them.”

Smull said he questioned why they had voted the way they did.

An additional question posed by Smull regarding the indemnity agreement, had to do with a collaborative effort.

The opinion was offered which stated the village of Winnebago would have a similar agreement in place themselves. If something happened, Smull said, the issue of liability would have to be known.

“If our officer responded to a call in Winnebago and gets hurt over there, who covers the cost?”

Pecatonica Police Chief Bob Smith explained the liability would already be known, since a partnership of assistance already exists.

“This pertains specifically to liability. There is a cost shifting. Our agreement with them would be a cost sharing.”

Village Attorney Doug Henry explained there is a policy already in place.

“If a Pecatonica officer goes on a call in Winnebago, at some point in time and something happens, because of negligence, the responsibility, since he was in the scope of duty with the village of Pecatonica, that the village of Pecatonica is responsible.”

As the vote was cast, Smull, who had previously questioned the need for the agreement, voted against the idea.

With the Village President casting the final vote in favor of the agreement the measure passed.

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