Lake resident concerned with safety issues
Robert Ashby, a Carlinville Lake resident, attended Thursday’s meetings of the Carlinville Lake Recreation and Public Safety Committees to discuss recent incidents that he felt jeopardized the safety of lake residents.
First, Ashby showed the committee members an arrow he had found near his residence, embedded in one of two dead deer. “That’s only about 25 yards from my house, folks,” he said, noting he has confronted the person he believes killed the deer. “I know who’s doing it. I can take you to his house. But I can’t prove that he’s in the timbers.”
Ashby recommended the installation of trail cameras, but it was pointed out that cameras that were installed previously have been stolen. “They sneak in and they sneak out,” Ashby said. “It’s out of hand. You’ve got two or three guys hunting 15 acres, and they’re not even supposed to be back there.” Hunting is not allowed on city-owned property, but there are currently no signs stating that.
Ashby said someone put a deer blind near the lake road, so he called the game warden, who told him the person could hunt with an arrow there as long as he wasn’t hunting across the road. “We’re not even talking a hundred feet from the road that the guy’s hunting,” Ashby said. “There needs to be something done.”
Police Chief David Haley said that there is now a conservation officer assigned to this area, so hopefully they will be available more often to help patrol the Carlinville Lake. “We try to watch the south side of the lake for hunting when it’s hunting season, and we do our best to watch Lake 2 when it comes to duck season,” Haley said. “With limited resources, it’s very tough for us.”
Secondly, Ashby was unsatisfied with the Carlinville Police Department’s response time to an incident involving someone hauling a propane tank in an unsafe manner with a tractor. He claimed it took an hour for police to respond, in which time he confronted the individual and the argument turned heated. Haley told Ashby he would look into what caused the delay and what the officers were doing before they arrived on the scene; the day after the meeting, Haley reported to the Enquirer-Democrat that the officers’ response time had been 12 minutes, not an hour.
Haley also told Ashby that if he was the one to escalate the situation by confronting the person breaking the law, he could be arrested. “If you become the aggressor on a situation out there, you could be arrested for being the aggressor,” Haley said. “You have to allow us to get there. You should not attempt to stop them.”
In a separate matter, lake residents at the meeting suggested the possibility of getting a lake resident onto the Lake Ad Hoc committee to act as a liaison, reporting residents’ concerns to the committee. Mayor Deanna Demuzio said she would consider that; another option would be for the lake residents to create their own committee and have someone from the council serve as a liaison.
Lake Manager Jeff Guntren said things are going well at the lake. Playground equipment was recently cleaned and painted, and a portion of fencing at the beach was taken down. Due to all the recent rain, most of the sand for the beach has been lost and needs to replaced so that grass doesn’t start to grow.
Guntren said that there are several boats on the lake without permits; of nine boats, approximately five do not have permits. A conservation officer came out to patrol the lake with Guntren and make a list of violations; he will be back in a week or so to write up state citations, and Guntren will write up local citations. “People who are not in compliance should think about getting in compliance,” said Guntren. “It would be a heck of a lot cheaper and a lot less hassle and a lot less problems if people would just do what they have to do.”
Work on the new lake office cost $18,466, including construction, electrical work and furniture. The community room is open for public use.
Lake lot leases were renewed for 15311 Lakeshore Drive, 15371 Lakeshore Drive, 16875 Shady Lane, 16900 Briarwood Lane, 15304 Lakeshore Drive and 16081 Carlinville Lake Road. Bill Ambrose and Steve and Pam Davis requested longer leases — 10 and 20 years, respectively — but the committee will check with their lawyer before making a decision; in the meantime, their leases were renewed for one year. Lease transfers were approved for 16849 Shady Lane and 16805 Shady Lane.
Wayne Burns requested a waiver on the required septic system for his lot; it was pointed out that he has not been forced to comply for more than 13 years. In 2002, he was told he had six months to install a septic system, but it has not been done yet; the committee gave him a final two months to get it installed. “At some point we’ve got to draw a line and say time’s up,” said Randy Bilbruck.
Matt Whitley requested permission to install a carport in front of his residence at the lake; however, past precedence has been not to allow structures built in front of residences. The committee will look at the property in question before making a determination.
In other action, the Lake Rec Committee approved the release of executive session minutes from Sept. 11, 2014, and Dec. 11, 2014; set the duck blind lottery drawing for Aug. 13; agreed to allow Doug Downey to bid up to $800 total on two paddle boats being auctioned by the state, for possible use at Carlinville Lake; and agreed to rent a dumpster so that summer help can clean up trash and junk from vacant lake lots.
Public safety meeting
Fire Chief Mike Kirk reminded the board that a skid unit has been purchased for the fire department’s Humvee, which will allow it to be used for brush fires in place of Truck 9, which is being replaced, along with Truck 1, due to them being maintenance-heavy. A skid unit is a small pump tank unit that fits in the back of a vehicle; this new one will be built specifically to fit the Humvee.
Last year’s rookies have received their gear and are permanent firefighters, and a new recruit class will begin their year-long probationary period in August. Interviews were scheduled for July 17. “For those of you who don’t know about that process, it’s a whole lot of fun for who’s getting interviewed, because it’s 20 some-odd firefighters asking questions, and you’re sitting there by yourself in the middle of the room,” said Kirk. “We figure if you can deal with that, you can be a firefighter.”
There was some discussion of possibly turning a portion of the southwest corner of the square, near CNB, into a motorcycle parking area to help alleviate parking issues on the square. In order to do that, there would have to be an ordinance, the parking spots would have to be striped a different color, and signs would need to be put up. “We wouldn’t be able to get them all in there, but those that do go in there, unless we pass an ordinance, they could get a ticket,” said Demuzio. “We don’t want that to happen to our visitors.” Currently, there is no limit to the number of motorcycles that can park in a regular parking spot, as long as they stay within the lines. The topic was tabled.
Haley said he only received six applications for the part-time dispatcher position, and three were deemed unsuitable even before being interviewed, so he wants to advertise it longer in hopes of getting more.