Triathlon, dog ordinance may be coming soon

Chelsea Peck

Triathlons, vicious dogs and the fire department’s improvements were on the agenda for the village board meeting Monday.

Dustin Weeks, vice president of Tazewell County Jaycees, presented ideas for a triathlon to take place in Morton May 28.

The triathlon would consist of swimming, biking and running in and outside of the village.

The money raised would go to support Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“We’re going to start at the pool at 7:30 in the morning May 28 for a race meeting. The race will start at 8 a.m. Everything will take place in the pool as far as the swim. They’ll have the bike racks outside between the school and pool,” Weeks said.

The bike course will start at Greenwood, go to Fourth Street, go down Broadway, on to Tennessee, then to Queenwood and back to Fourth Street.

The bikers will make the loop twice and end up back at the pool.

The run will start at Greenwood as well and go throughout the town.

Weeks discussed the route with Police Chief Nick Graff, who tweaked it to avoid major highways.

The village board will vote on whether to host the triathlon at the next meeting.

Mayor Norm Durflinger discussed an ordinance that may soon be under consideration.

Durflinger said he has been approached by a handful of concerned citizens about vicious dogs in the area.

“I was talking to our attorney about this and some people are wanting an ordinance that excludes a certain breed or breeds of dogs, and our attorney says that’s not possible based on the laws. But there is a possibility of the vicious dog ordinance that after an attack occurs we can do something, but there’s a whole process to handle that situation and future occurrences,” Durflinger said.

Attorney Tom Davies will draw upan ordinance example to present to the board.

The Morton Fire Department was notified recently that their Insurance Services Office’s Public Protection Class rating was improved from a five to a four.

Fire Chief Joe Kelley said this is not only good for the fire department, but for the village as well.

“They are used in insurance companies for determination for premiums for residential and commercial properties,” Kelley said. “It does not follow a bell curve, so that puts us in the top 10 percent of fire departments in the nation.”

The ISO takes into consideration response time, training, the water supply system and the dispatch center when rating fire departments on a scale of 1 to 10.

“It’s really quite an accomplishment, especially with a volunteer fire department,” Kelley said.

In other action and discussion, the board:

• approved an ordinance to lower the speed on Detroit Street near the car wash.

“We’ll be dropping it about 5 miles per hour. The number of cars going down Detroit warrants the decrease in speed,” Durflinger said.

• approved an ordinance for increasing the number of liquor licenses in the village by one.

• approved the health insurance renewal, with UnitedHealthcare of the River Valley, which represents a 7.9 percent increase in the total annual expected cost. The dental had an estimated  increase of 12.5 percent in the total monthly premium and life and vision stayed the same.

• approved the adoption of the ADA Compliance Transition Plan. The plan looked at where sidewalks intersect curbs. In the village, 317 locations were in full compliance, 525 were in partial compliance and 52 were non-compliant.

Partial compliance meant the curb was cut with a ramp, but no detector pad and non-compliance meant there was no ramp and no pad.

The estimated cost for the non-compliant locations is $4,000 each, or $200,000, and the estimated cost for the partial compliant locations range from $200 to $3,000, or $500,000.

Total cost of the transition plan spread over 10 years is estimated at $70,000 per year.