CHRISMAN – The City of Chrisman now has a public works supervisor position.
Council members discussed creating the new position during an executive session at the regular city meeting Monday, Dec. 3.
“I think it is time we hire a supervisor. I’m distressed by the amount of work I think is not getting done,” Commissioner Bryan Haddix said before the vote to go into executive session.
Under the mayoral/commission form of city government, each of the elected officials is responsible for overseeing a department of local government, but the council members also have fulltime jobs and are not always available to manage daily operations of city employees. Haddix is responsible for Chrisman’s sewage treatment plant, Rodney Wolfe is the water commissioner, Thad Crispin is the streets and alley commissioner, Tyler Alexander is the finance commissioner and Mayor Dan Owen oversees public safety.
Thad Arrasmith was hired as the city’s first public works supervisor for a 90-day probationary period at $21 per hour. A condition of employment is he must work toward obtaining a Class 3 sewer operator license and following that obtain a water operator license.
“It is all public works,” said Crispin. “We are looking for somebody to oversee the water, sewer and street departments.”
Arrasmith starts in the new position Monday, Dec. 9. As part of the restructuring, the council also set the official workday for city employees as 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In another matter, Haddix reported meeting with licensed trapper Rick Tweedy, who the city hired to capture skunks. At least six skunks have been caught in the latest round of trapping.
“He told me Chrisman has the worst infestation of skunks of any community he has seen,” said Haddix.
Wolfe advocated taking a different approach to the vermin problem. He noted this is the second or third time the city has hired Tweedy but that, Wolfe said, is only a stopgap and does not address the real problem.
A single, dilapidated and empty house is apparently the denning site for the skunks.
“We need to take the property owner to court and get the house demolished,” said Wolfe.
Who owns the property is a matter of conjecture at this point. City Clerk Dena Burns said a Chicago resident has apparently purchased the taxes on the property but at last report the taxes were delinquent again.
City attorney Robert Morris was asked to investigate options.
The council got into the Christmas spirit and authorized a $1,000 reimbursement to the citizens group that decorated the city park. Alexander said $600 was used to rebuild an old Frosty the Snowman decoration and the remainder of the money was for new lights.
“The park looks great,” said Owen.
A bit more was done to move the water project forward with the City of Paris. The joint venture has Paris building a pipeline north to the Horace-Brocton Road to supply water to the Equity at Horace. Chrisman takes over construction at that point and brings the line to the city. Chrisman will then buy water from Paris.
The council authorized Owen, as mayor, to sign the loan agreements with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
Burns told the council nobody came to the city office during the protest period to sign an objectors’ petition against the water project.
“It won’t have to go to referendum,” said Burns.