By Chris Johnson


There is a concern that Pecatonica Village President Dan Barber said he knows could surface. In the realm of public safety, an agreement had been reached with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department, in which, the County assumed the responsibilities of part-time security patrols.

Now with Sheriff Gary Caruana attempting to receive necessary funding from the Winnebago County Board, for continued high-level operations, a problem being dealt with could filter down to residents in Pecatonica.

One of the issues the Sheriff’s Department is facing has to do with not having enough manpower, forcing a situation of required overtime.

As patrol officers spend more time on the roads, their effectiveness could be harmed, whereas a 40-hour workweek could provide better awareness than a 50-hour or more required shift.

The Village of Pecatonica has agreed to help support the patrol efforts of the Sheriff’s Department with funds used from the public safety budget.

In a referendum, over a year ago, a request for additional funding was refused by Pecatonica residents.

Barber said the way the Village of Pecatonica would be impacted is similar to other communities in the area who use the Sheriff’s Department’s services.

“It will affect us the same way. They have fewer officers on duty. They won’t be able to cover as much space. That’s just the way it’s going to work.”

If the Sheriff’s Department does not get all the funding it is asking for, impact could be realized in Pecatonica.

At this point communication between the Village and the County has been limited to a need-to-know, basis, according to the Village President.

“We haven’t been in touch with them that much about this. They continue to work on internal issues.”

During a recent meeting with Trustees and the Village President, it was announced that residents have the chance to receive a free gift from the Village.

A large selection of coniferous trees is available for selection. They are in sapling form now, however, they are ready to be planted.

Anyone within the Village has access to them, however, Barber said, there are certain restrictions when it comes to planting them.

“They are available for people now. Residents can contact the Public Works Department and they would give them to them. They can’t be planted in the Village’s right of way, though.”

The saplings could be planted on the sides of resident’s homes, or in a backyard area.

Public groups can have them as well.

They just can’t be planted on the berm, Barber said.

“They grow too tall and would interfere with the utility poles and lines. They will get pretty tall. When you look at them now, they are three-four inches tall, but give them five to ten years, and it’s a different story.”

The saplings could reach as high as 30 feet.

Residents were also encouraged to consider throwing their hat into the ring, with April elections coming up, according to the Village President.

“Anyone interested in running for the Pecatonica Village Board should think about it. The next election, in April, will be for five positions on the Board.”

In April, voters will have the opportunity to select new Village leaders, if they choose to, according to Barber.

“We will have five seats open. There will be three four-year Trustee terms up, one two-year Trustee term and the Village President’s seat will also be up for grabs.”

Residents who are interested in being a part of the Village’s administration team can contact the Village Hall for additional information.

“If someone is interested in running for office, they can contact our Village Clerk, Gwen Shirley, for additional information. I encourage those interested to come down and get used to how things are getting done or not getting done in the Village.”

This Thursday, July 7, Trustees acting in Committee capacity will meet, as part of the Village’s regular monthly Committee of the Whole Meeting.

Action gets underway at 6 p.m. at the Village Hall.

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