Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2013, 7:45 pm

Safe Harbor marina declared nonpublic

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By Sarah Ford, correspondent@qconline.com

Photo:
Hampton Village Clerk Mike Toalson, right, swears in new trustee Kevin Hamilton at the Feb. 19, 2013 village board meeting. (Sarah Ford/correspondent)
HAMPTON - The village board Tuesday learned that the Department of Natural Resources has reversed its decision on the marina at the Marina Villas of Safe Harbor, now classifying that area as nonpublic.

Residents of the waterfront community recently expressed concern that ice-fishers were trespassing on their property to reach the marina.

Police Chief Robert Fuller read the DNR's decision to the board, which stated that the marina was created by removing a strip of land separating a previously mined sand pit from the Mississippi River.

Becaue the sand pit never was a part of the river and essentially was a "manmade hole" before the marina project, it never was public water.

Chief Fuller said his department has been giving warnings to trespassers but will start issuing citations. He said the Safe Harbor Association needs to post signs around the villas, alerting people that the land and marina are private property.

Fire Chief Tim Saul, who has been chief four years, submitted his resignation to the board Tuesday, citing "job constraints." His last day will be March 31.

The board thanked the chief for his service, which included the FIRST program, a system of sharing resources with neighboring departments, including Barstow and Carbon Cliff.

"You've taken this fire department miles ahead of where it was, and you brought structure to our department. It'll be hard to replace you," Mayor Kevin Irby said.

Chief Saul said he's mentoring potential successors to ensure "as little change as possible, for both the department and operations" when he leaves.

The board also approved Mayor Irby'sappointment of Kevin Hamilton to fill the trustee vacancy created by Scott Newberg, who resigned and moved to Rock Island in December. Mr. Hamilton will serve the remaining two years of the term and chair the finance committee.

This is the first public office for Mr. Hamilton, who is a Moline firefighter and paramedic. He and wife, Courtney, and their two children moved to Hampton in April 2008. Mr. Hamilton said his great-great uncle was a trustee and Hampton village president.

In other business, the board:
- Approved spending $56,213 to buy a 2013 Ford F350 with a dump box, salt spreader, and plow. It replaces a 1998 GMC. Trustee Tony Earl said 80 percent of the cost can be covered by TIF funds, which the remaining $11,242 coming from a truck escrow fund.

- Learned that Family First Chiropractic and Wellness Center will have a grand opening on March 2, offering chiropractic, yoga, massage and Zumba classes.