Son Mitch replaces father Dwren on Galva City Council

Mitch Boston was sworn in as Galva’s new first ward alderman, and City of Galva employees received a one percent pay increase and one percent bonus at Monday night’s city council meeting.

Mitch Boston will take his father’s seat — Dwren Boston — on the council. Dwren Boston resigned after he and his wife, Dawn, moved to Oak Run. Mitch Boston will serve the remaining 10 months of the seat until the April election.

Regarding the pay hike and bonus for city employees, that motion was approved by the council after coming out of executive session.

In other council business Monday night:

n Two members of Galva's school board and both principals — Jerry Becker and Mary Kelly — were in attendance to discuss the possibility of teaming with the city to employee a school resource officer.

The city would hire the police officer and the school would share the expense for the time the officer would be at school and school  events.

The officer would be at both the elementary and junior-senior high school. They would ride on different bus routes, attend sporting events and help locate a student when they do not come to school without a call.

"Unfortunately in America we need to look at this seriously — even in Galva,” Becker said.

Both Becker and Kelly have worked with a resource officer before — Becker in Pekin and Kelly in Geneseo.

School board president Andrew Larson said the officer could leave the school if there was an emergency in Galva that required response.

Police Chief Kraig Townsend said the officer will need to get certified with a school resource officer and juvenile certifications. The officer will work for the City of Galva in the summer.

School officials would like the officer in place by Aug. 15, the first day of school, and the city hopes to have a contract ready for the school at its July council meeting.

Several people at the council meeting noted they were glad to see police officers on duty at Galva’s high school graduation this year.

n The council approved the ordinance to close the Southwest Fourth Avenue railroad crossing.  

The railroad raised the price from $107,000 to $127,000 to close the crossing. The city will have to pay for the permanent fencing across the opening. There will be no pedestrian crossing left at the site. The money from the closing will go into the MFT fund.

n The council approved two state-mandated ordinances for small wireless devices. Each carrier will have to put devices on poles for their service. There needs to be 10 devices for every square mile. The council passed the ordinances that these companies — such as Verizon, U.S. Cellular — will need a permit for each device and they cannot be on residential property. The city will receive revenue for each device installed.

n The council was given a copy of the solar ordinance. The solar panels that are already installed are not included in this ordinance. The council will look over the ordinance and take action at a future meeting.

An addition needed in the ordinance is that panels on the ground need to be fenced in. It was also noted that once electricity is turned off to a building, solar panels are still producing electricity.

n The council will put the lot at 115 S.W. Seventh St. out for bid. If anyone is interested in the lot, call the city administration office for bid details.

n Several ladies from the Galva: Ready, Set, Grow committee came to the council meeting. Annette Smith spoke for the group and they would like to know who damaged the gnome and the gate on South Exchange Street. The original gnome disappeared years ago and Galva: Ready, Set, Grow had one carved out of wood to replace the original. The gnome was a landmark in downtown Galva for years. 

Smith said word going around is that someone climbed over the gate and threw the gnome out on the sidewalk. She added several teenagers picked it up and returned it to one of the members of their group. Smith said it was on Facebook that if it was returned, there would be no charges filed. Smith said the group has worked so hard to make improvements and someone needs to be responsible. 

"We take two steps forward, and then they take us one step back,” Smith said. “We have plenty of work for them to do, too. I am tired of somebody ruining somebody else's property." 

She said people have offered to step up and fix the situation, but added the person or persons responsible need to take responsibility and pay for their damages. 

The council told Chief Townsend to see if the Galva Police can find the person or persons responsible so they can make restitution and maybe help with some of the projects in town.

n The council was given the appropriation ordinance for review. Mayor Rich Nordstrom reported the general fund is down $8,500 and water and sewer is down $126,000.

n The city received the following checks — Local Share of State use tax, February $5,075.63 and March $6,124.75; Income tax, April $35,508 and May $16,403; Sales tax, March $17,388; MFT, May $5,456; Video gaming tax, May $1,935; and Telecommunications tax, March $3,166.

The telecommunications tax is the new tax that all Galva residents pay for each phone they have, both home and cell. This money will go in the MFT fund which will help pay for upgrades on Galva streets.

n Second ward alderman Jim Hartman was absent from the meeting.