New appropriations approved by Village of Roscoe board

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In the Village of Roscoe, a 6 p.m. hearing on the 2023 Village budget lasted only a couple of minutes, due to the absence of any public at the public hearing. Since there were no comments on the proposed annual appropriation ordinance, the Board of Trustees adjourned until their regular 6:30 pm. meeting.

When they reconvened, the trustees voted unanimously to make public the previously recorded Village Board and Committee of the Whole (COTW) meeting videos. Village Attorney Josef Kurlinkus says the process of uploading the videos to YouTube will take some time, beginning this week with the most recent meetings first. Meanwhile, our own recording of the Dec. 22, 2022 meeting is available on the Rockton-Roscoe News YouTube channel, along with other local videos.

Then, before holding a final vote on the 2023 appropriations ordinance, Village President Mark Szula asked for an amendment to appropriate $3,000 to 50 North, a seniors group which has been meeting monthly at the Rockton Community Center. Trustee Carol Gustafson objected to having any budget item added at the last minute, without time to consider it with the others. Also, she said that 50 North had not given documentation to the board on how it benefits Roscoe residents. But the amendment and the appropriations ordinance passed 3-2, with Trustee Sue Petty joining Gustafson in opposition.



Next, during the Committee of the Whole meeting, as the board members began to discuss some of the proposed purchases included in the budget, trustee Carol Gustafson asked how these vendors had been chosen. Troy Taylor, Roscoe's Public Works Superintendent, said he had done comparison shopping online for some items, and received multiple quotes from others. Many purchases can be made through Sourcewell, a public cooperative created by the Minnesota legislature, whose website says they combine "the buying power of more than 50,000 public agencies and your choice of 400+ competitively solicited contracts." Gustafson asked, if in the future, such backup information could be included with purchasing requests if the items hadn't gone out for bid.

The trustees unanimously recommended that these purchases be sent on to the whole board:

  • 70” LandPride RTR Tiller from Bobcat of Rockford for $8,900.00. Public Works Superintendent Troy Taylor said this vendor offered the best price.
  • Purchase and installation of new sprockets and tracks by Bobcat of Rockford for $6,469.81. Village Administrator Scott Sanders said this was a repair and maintenance item for existing equipment.
  • Six 6’ rectangular picnic tables and three 46” round picnic tables from Uline for $10,200.17. Described as the "nice green ones," most of these will be used at Swanson Park and for special events, such as National Night Out.
  • Two 3-Line Electronic Sign Boards from Sherwin Industries for $40,165.00. Taylor said another company had quoted a price thousands of dollars higher.
  • A 49” two-piece aluminum lift gate (Tommy Gate) from Monroe Truck Equipment for $5,831.00

The trustees also voted in favorbof the 2023 Engineering Outsourcing Agreement with Fehr Graham Engineering & Environmental for $67,250, an agreement which is shared with South Beloit.  The two municipalities are working together on plans for Willowbrook Road, whose paved portion currently runs from Elevator Road in Roscoe to Gardner Street in South Beloit.

Trustees also voted in favor of paying Fehr Graham $55,000 for design and construction observation for the 2023 Residential Streets Program Agreement, which is not expected to be as extensive as the 2022 streets program. For example, Promontory Ridge already has curbs and gutters. But it's possible that some of the 2024 projects could start early.

The trustees also recommended paying Fehr Graham $26,900 to design the 2024 Residential
Streets Program. The contract for construction observation will be approved later. Brandon Boggs, a Fehr Graham employee assigned to serve as Roscoe's Village Engineer, says there won't be any unnecessary delays - when they're finished with one, they will start on the other. 

The audience for the meeting was larger than it sometimes is. Besides our reporter, Michael Wright and Mike Sima also attended, which made three. After the April election, both men hope to be serving on the board instead of watching it. By then, their running mate, trustee Carol Gustafson, who asked so many questions during the meeting, hopes to be sitting in the Village President's seat, where she will have to answer questions.

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