BEMENT — The Bement Village Council has recruited a new member and is now looking for another.
Gary Brennan was appointed on January 11 to fill a term vacated by the resignation of Woodie Dean last month. Brennan will be formally sworn in at the February 8 session.
Board members also learned that five-year board member Clayton Ahlden would be stepping down from his seat due to a proposed move to Florida.
“It was my pleasure. It was fun,” said Ahlden, just before the board accepted his resignation near the end of the monthly meeting.
“Good luck to you,” Village President Pat Tieman told Ahlden. “Thank you for the five years. It’s hard to find people who move up and I’m always happy when someone does.”
The terms of office for both board seats run until the election in spring 2024.
COVID time out
The board approved a measure that grants village workers up to five consecutive work days of paid time off if they test positive for COVID-19. Although not required – workers could be assigned to use sick leave or other benefit time – board members felt it was the right action to take.
“Personally, I think everyone should get at least five. It’s not her fault,” Ahlden said.
“It’s not as far as they can do anything about it. They must stay at home if they test positive,” said board member Joyce Good.
The five days are in addition to 12 sick days that full-time employees receive per year.
Proof of a positive test is required to claim COVID-19 days.
Village attorney Susan Nicholas said there are currently no federal or state mandates governing the COVID time-out, meaning the village has “a lot of discretion in what you do”.
She added her feeling that with proof of a positive test, it would be difficult to abuse the COVID sick days.
“It’s not really something to abuse. They’re safe or not,” she said.
Board members approved $200 to fund gift bags for seniors around Valentine’s Day, an initiative spearheaded by Recreation Manager Holly Fuson.
Village clerk Kay Lust said it was an alternative to an in-person activity amid rising COVID cases.
“She (Fuson) thought that maybe she would do goodie bags for the residents of the nursing home and then for other seniors at home. She takes names for people. I thought that would be a really good idea to do something.”
The Bement Lions Club also donates to the cause.
There was a brief discussion of a possible pool repair. Board member Frank Koebel suggested the village explore the possibility of a fiberglass liner, which may cost less than the $150,000 to $200,000 it would take to repair the concrete base.
Tieman said engineers are studying options that will be submitted to the village board for consideration. He also said there is $100,000 in the city pool account to fund repairs, plus another $120,000 in grants that may be available.