By Alex Haglund
The Nashville City Council approved paying $800 per month to Washington County Senior Services, in order to help the group continue to operate in the assistance of local seniors.
Opal Koch, the director of senior services, spoke with council at their second regular meeting for August, held on Thursday, August 17 at city hall.
“Last year, we did about 14,000 meals,” Koch told the council.
Senior Services delivers meals (“Meals On Wheels”), and also operates two congregate dining sites – one in Nashville and one in Okawville.
Senior services can arrange transportation for seniors to these sites and also can arrange transportation to medical appointments, for shopping or for hair and beauty appointments.
Koch said that there are others services they provide for seniors as well.
“One of the other important things that we do is to provide assistance with Medicare and Medicaid,” Koch told the city council members.
If a senior comes in with their medication, staff at the Nashville or Okawville sites can enter the medications into a computer program and help find that person the best Medicare Part D plan for the money.
Another assistance service that the staff provides is assistance with filing for drivers license renewals and senior discounts.
Altogether, senior services operates on an annual budget of approximately $270,000, with Koch saying that approximately $100,000 of this from state and federal funding sources. Seniors also donate to help offset the cost (though money is not required for a senior who needs a meal), and area municipalities, like the city of Nashville, put money towards the program as well.
The city of Nashville has donated $800 a month to Washington County Senior Services for years into the past going back as far as any council member present on Thursday could remember. They voted to approve $800 a month for the next year, once again.
The city of Nashville has a residential requirement for employment, so employees are required to live within six miles of town.
Chris Przygoda, the full-time assistant greenskeeper at The Nashville Municipal Golf Course does not live within that area and, “under the current circumstances, he cannot justify moving to Nashville,” said city councilor Doug Hargan, who brought the issue before the council to seek a waiver for Przygoda’s case.
Przygoda was the only qualified applicant for his job, and since his position is one where it is unlikely that he will need to be called in to work in the case of an emergency (as a gas/utilities worker or police officer might be), Hargan recommended the waiver.
Another personnel issue that came before the council was the reappointment of two members of the planning commission, Tom McFeron and Ron Hejlick. The council approved both reappointments.
Two resolutions were passed to remove the mayor Erik Rolf’s position and treasurer Ricki Heggemeier’s position from the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). In the past, these positions required that 600 hours a year be worked, which retired mayor Raymond Kolweier and retired treasurer Rose An Hunter did. Now, the required number of annual hours worked has been raised to 1,000 hours per year, so those positions are being removed from IMRF.
The position of city clerk and collector, held by Terrie Kurwicki is still certified for IMRF and a resolution for that certification was also passed.
Two candidates are needed for the city’s zoning board of appeals. If there are any interested in filling one of these available seats, they should stop by city hall to ask for more information, or contact Mayor Erik Rolf.
Police Chief Brian Fletcher stated that he now has a price sheet for available options for a new squad car, the purchase of which was briefly mentioned at the last meeting.
Fletcher told the council that he should have some options ready to present before the council at their next meeting, to be held on Thursday, September 7.
Street department superintendent Rich Schuette said that he had received quotes from Morton Salt for this year’s road salt purchase. The cost will be $69.08 per ton, delivered, for up to 200 tons.
“It’s a little less than a dollar higher per ton than least year,” Schuette told the council.
While the price is good for up to 200 tons, the city is not required to buy anymore than they need.
Schuette also told the council that the streets department will be returning to their regular hours, starting the work day at 7 a.m. instead of 6 a.m., as of Tuesday, September 5, the day following Labor Day.
The employees of the utilities department will also be returning to regular hours on September 5 as well. This is the first year that the utilities department has also worked on summer hours along with the street department.
“It took some getting used to,” said utilities superintendent Blaine Middleton, but said that he has not heard any complaints and expects that they will switch to summer hours again next year.