The Redgranite Village Board held a public budget hearing prior to the regular Nov. 10 meeting, with no one from the public voicing concerns or asking questions. Following the budget meeting, the board adopted the 2021 sewer and water utility budget and the 2021 general fund budget, with a tax levy of $296,177.00.
Former Village Trustee Richard (Mort) Piechowski was recognized at the meeting for his 21 years of service to the Redgranite community and was honored with a plaque that read: “We graciously say thank you. We as a board would not have crossed the milestones we have without your unending service and dedication on behalf of the betterment of the Village of Redgranite.”
Village Clerk-Treasurer Christy Groskreutz reported that the balance of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), effective Sept. 30, was $85,573. This balance is available to qualified village home-owners for home rehabilitation.
Village President Belinda Passarelli told the board that the Redgranite Advancement Association has cancelled this year’s holiday tree lighting ceremony and cookie walk, due to COVID-19. The board discussed whether they should plant a tree in Veterans Park and decorate it this year so residents and visitors can enjoy the lights despite the annual holiday activities being cancelled. They approved spending up to $250 to purchase a holiday tree to plant in Veterans Park or up to $250 to dig up and plant a tree donated by village employee Lamont Larkins.
Daniel Cromwell, the new prison warden at Redgranite Correctional Institution, attended the meeting to introduce himself, give some background about his employment, and told the board that he looks forward to working many years in the Redgranite community and learning more about it.
A village resident, Miles Miller, attended the meeting and voiced his concerns about the municipal building being closed to the public, claiming the board is “separating the people from their government.” He questioned the authority the board has to do that and requested the building be reopened to the public.
Village Clerk-Treasurer Christy Groskreutz told Miller that residents can pay their bills, get information, etc. using various methods, while Village President Passarelli told Miller that there are only eight employees that run village operations and if they “go down,” (with COVID) “we’re done.” She said they were advised to close the building by the village attorney.
In other business, the board approved:
*Employee health insurance for 2021 with Robin Health Plan, with a 6.1% increase from 2020. Dietrich Insurance Agent Cassie Bornick attended the meeting and told the board that other plans are 14% to 40% higher than Robin Health Plan and that the village is getting “a good product at a competitive price.”
*An employee wage increase of 3% for 2021, with an annual 2020 stipend of $75 net.
The next regular Redgranite Village Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. at the municipal building.