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Comings, goings at Somerset village meeting

The April meeting of the Somerset Village Board had both ends of the employment spectrum.

It was Bob Krueger's first meeting as a Village Trustee. He was elected to the office earlier this month, replacing Bartt Palmer on the board.

It was also Bob Crotty's last meeting as public works director. He announced his retirement last month, after 25 years of service -- not counting the years he worked part-time for the police department.

There will be an open house for him at the Village Hall on Friday, April 29, from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.

Another retirement was announced at the meeting. Xaro, the 14-year-old Belgian Malinois who has served on the Somerset police department since he was one year old, has retired.

He has been Sgt. Mike Kappers partner since 2001, when his former partner retired. Kappers is on medical leave, so officer Tom Sirovatka spoke on the impact of Xaro's retirement during the meeting.

"As an officer and member of the offical police union, there is a full committment to provide whatever volunteer services necessary -- through grants, donations -- to have the program continue," said Sirovatka. "It is a great thing here, we are willing to keep it up and running."

"We thank Xaro for his years of service," said Greg Sayer, board member and chairman of the public safety committee.

Xaro will be adopted by Kappers, and the board voted to recognize Xaro with a certificate or plaque, as well as paying for his food and routine vet care for the remainder of 2011.

The future of the Somerset canine program will be discussed in upcoming public safety committee meetings.

In other news:

The board approved a report from S.E.H about re-doing impact fees, such as transitioning sewer charges out of impact fees and into traditional hookup fees. The board will look at changes in the ordinance at the May meeting.

The board approved a park land dedication ordinance that clarified defintions of "park land" vs. "green space."

The board approved a plan for expanding the police department. They will send out the design for bids.

The board decided to continue with past practice regarding liquor license tax collection. They had debated about tying the license to any real estate taxes owed, but ultimately did not. They said that the county makes the full payment to the village, regardless if they collect, so the village will not interfere.

The board got a draft from the attorney to give the Somerset Township board regarding the 180th Street agreement. They will present it for discussion at the joint Somerset board meeting on Tuesday, April 26.

The board reminded everyone of an informational meeting on Wednesday, May 18, at the Village Hall from 6-7 p.m. about property assessments.

The Village of Somerset board meets the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Village Hall. The public is welcome to attend.