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Minooka Village Board approves natural gas tax, police hires

Newly sworn in police officer Michael Osborne (left) stands with Police Chief Justin Meyer.
Newly sworn in police officer Michael Osborne (left) stands with Police Chief Justin Meyer.

Mayor Pat Brennan swore in a new police officer Tuesday evening at the village’s monthly board meeting.

Michael Osborne graduated from the Cook County Police Academy in April. He is a graduate of Illinois State University, where he majored in criminal justice.

“He was the No. 1 marksman in his class of 33,” Brennan said after the meeting.

Brennan also swore in Jerry Wall for a three-year appointment to the police commission. Wall served with the Bolingbrook Police Department in different capacities before retiring, Minooka Police Chief Justin Meyer said.

New natural gas tax

Minooka residents will begin seeing an increase on their natural gas bill with the approval of a 5 percent utility tax.

Trustee Terry Houchens voted against the ordinance.

The state allows municipalities to create a utility tax, and many already have one.

“We just never implemented [the tax] until now,” Village Administrator Dan Duffy said.

The increase will be based on Nicor’s revenue of a residence or business and not on use, Duffy said. If a natural gas bill typically was $50, the increase would be $2.50.

The revenue will go directly into the village’s road improvement fund. The tax is estimated to bring in about $180,000 annually.

Park designer gets approval

Minooka’s newest park – Aux Sable Springs Park – 250 acres off Holt Road, took a first step in the development process.

Upland Design was unanimously approved as the Landscape Architect and will help develop a master use and design plan at a cost of $37,511 plus a $1,200 reimbursement.

Upland will work first with board members to decide what the plan may look like and then multiple open houses will be held to get input from Minooka residents, Duffy said.

About half of the property is wooded and will remain in a natural state, while the other half will be developed.

Nepotism ordinance approved

Trustees approved an amendment to the village’s personnel manual, prohibiting relatives of employees to be hired for either part- or full-time work.

The subject was raised after relatives of employees worked as interns for the village the last couple years.

After review, it was decided that the new nepotism ordinance will not affect seasonal employees or interns.

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