Sandwich Alderman Pete Dell discussed the city's efforts to prepare for the spread of the coronavirus during a city council meeting Monday evening, March 9.
Sandwich Alderman Pete Dell discussed the city's efforts to prepare for the spread of the coronavirus during a city council meeting Monday evening, March 9.

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Sandwich Alderman Pete Dell wants his fellow residents to know the city council is quite aware of the serious nature of the coronavirus and that it will be working on preparedness.

“I just want folks to know that we’re thinking about it. I don’t think it’s insurmountable, but if we had a case tomorrow in town there’d be a lot of concern. So it is a serious matter, but I think it’s doable," Dell said during a city council meeting Monday evening, March 9.

Dell acknowledged that the coronavirus or COVID-19, which spreads mainly person-to-person between people in close contact with one another, is seemingly on everyone’s mind.

“At the city level I’m sure we’ve all been thinking quite a bit about preparedness as well,” he said.“I have some very specific thoughts of my own that I think the citizenry can take comfort from. There are some steps we could take to limit staff exposure to keep the departments running. I don’t want to share my thoughts on that now. I’d like to do that when we have a little more formal setting.”

No action has been determined, although Dell discussed that “most of us know to wash our hands for 20 seconds, or whatever, for those things.”

Monday’s meeting may have been brief, but a few other items of note were shared.

Matthew Blocker, president of G.A. Blocker, a grading contractor company based out of Oswego, has been named as Doug Scheidecker’s replacement on the Sandwich Planning Commission.

Sandwich Mayor Rich Robinson explained that Scheidecker had resigned last month due to his full-time job and travel. As Robinson was compiling a list of potential replacements he ran into Blocker, who recently moved to Sandwich.

Alderman Les Redden questioned if there was a residency requirement based on time living in Sandwich but Robinson responded that he didn’t believe there was.

Blocker’s company does mass earthwork, construction management of large multi-faceted site development projects, general contracting services on infrastructure projects, building excavation, remedial work, underground utility construction and marina construction. 

“He came up in the conversation and he seemed on the ball, very smart,” Robinson said. “I asked him if he’d be willing to serve on that commission and he said he would.”

In other news, an ordinance that defines cannabis establishments in Sandwich, allowable locations with restrictions and approval of a special use passed, although alderman Redden abstained on the vote.

An intergovernmental agreement for the provision of engineering services was approved which will allow DeKalb County to provide engineering service to Sandwich for general maintenance project.

Finally, an ordinance adopting the National Electrical Code was tabled after the suggestion of alderwoman Sheryl Chmielewski.

“Have we reviewed this enough to know what impact it’s going to make on businesses in our community,” she asked. “I don’t know how everybody else feels, but I’d like a little more time to discuss it more openly.”

Alderwoman Cara Killey and aldermen Shane Surratt and Kevin Kelleher voted against tabling it, but the motion still carried and it will be discussed in further detail during the next couple weeks.