Several public works purchases also approved at Sept. 21 meeting
By Andrea Earnest | Enterprise Staff
At its Sept. 21 meeting, the Plainfield Village Board approved an ordinance banning the purchase, possession, use, sale or other transfer of replica firearm cellphone cases in Plainfield.
The cases, which are referred to as trigger cases or gun grip cases, are designed to look like a firearm. According to board documents, these replicas have the appearance of a handgun and are virtually indistinguishable from a real weapon, making them a potential safety risk to law enforcement and residents.
“There are several communities that have already enacted ordinances outlawing this,” Plainfield Chief of Police John Konopek said.
He added that he’s talked to several people, including law enforcement professionals and residents, who don’t understand why someone would use one of these cellphone cases.
Konopek displayed one of the cases to the board and showed that it even has a trigger that can be pulled. The first violation of this ordinance would be a $250 fine, the second violation would be a $500 fine. Trustee Margie Bonuchi thanked Konopek for being progressive by bringing it to the board’s attention and added her support.
Trustee Garrett Peck also supported the ordinance, saying he would like to see an increased penalty.
“This could be a life or death situation that puts our officers in a very bad position,” he added. “I don’t want anybody to even think about having one of these in Plainfield.”
Public works purchases
Board members also approved the purchase of a tree and brush chipper, new parkway trees and 4,800 tons of road salt.
According to board documents, the existing chipper is from 2001 and undersized for its current workload. The village rented a chipper this summer for the removal of Ash trees and determined that that chipper would increase efficiency.
That chipper was purchased for $47,676.25, at a lower cost because the old chipper was traded in and the rental cost was subtracted from the retail cost. Since so many Ash trees were removed this summer, the village board also began the process of replacing parkway trees. The board approved the purchase of 800 trees at a cost not to exceed $200,000. Planting is expected to start in October.
“There’s still quite a bit of stump grinding that needs to take place,” Director of Public Works Allen Persons said. “But, we believe that we can make a significant impact on the replacements this year.”
The village received a bid from Morton Salt for 4,800 tons of road salt at a cost of $62.21 per ton. According to board documents, the village worked to avoid challenges it faced last year. In 2014, the state did not receive any proposals from suppliers to provide salt to Plainfield. Because of that, the price of salt increased to $107.20 per ton.
“We’re very happy with the price [this year],” Persons said, adding that the bid would end the village’s relationship with the state regarding road salt.