RAYMOND (Heartland Newsfeed) — The Raymond Village Board and village employees agreed to a new contract among other items of business during the board’s meeting on Monday, Apr. 2.

The board entered into a closed executive session to discuss negotiations for a new contract and upon closure of said session, trustee Scott Pinkston noted that full-time employees shall receive a wage increase of $0.50/hour for the next two years with part-time employees receiving a wage increase of $0.25/hour during the same contract term.

One exception was made in the agreement for streets department employee Ben Pope, whose hourly wage will be adjusted to $12.00/hour for the first year, including one week of vacation time, as well as paid sick and holiday time. Pope will receive a $0.50/hour raise in the second year of the agreement.

The board voted to approve the new employee agreement unanimously, with trustee Greg Bernhardt being absent.

A proposal was received from Henderson, Ky.-based Preferred Tank and Tower to inspect the interior of the water tower with camera equipment without the need for draining out the water. The board voted to approve the proposal in the amount of $995.

Water has become a major issue for the Shoal Creek Golf Course, as inclement weather going back and forth between heavy rainfall and snow has resulted in flooding throughout the region and the state, which has in turn has seen business slow down.

At the same time, it has resulted in the streets department and superintendent Mike Masten considerably busy while anticipating warmer weather to come, noting the mowers are undergoing preventative maintenance and that some ditches have had debris cleanup in order for free water flow.

Police Chief Valerie Sheldon notified the board that the village should soon receive a reimbursement check of $1,350 from the state’s Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board for her training and continuing education expenses.

Sheldon also noted that 2018 permit stickers have been received and those wishing to purchase a permit can do so at the village hall upon submission of current insurance and remittance of a $25 administrative fee.

The board also made distributions to the volunteer groups that help with the village recycling center — $100 to the Raymond Baptist Church youth group and $125 to Boy Scout Troop 77. The recycling center has returned to regular operation hours, which are every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

With no further items up for business, the board adjourned at 7:37 p.m., set to reconvene April 16 at 7 p.m.

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Jake Leonard is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. He is general manager of Heartland Internet Media Networks and an active contributor to four newspapers for Pana News Group. He also serves as chairman of Tri-Counties Libertarian Party and Capital Area Libertarian Party, deputy candidate recruitment director for the Libertarian Party of Illinois and as chairman/co-founder of the Libertarian Party Millennial Caucus.

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