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Elburn trustees: Former officer’s injuries don’t meet benefit standards

Published: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 11:44 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 11:48 p.m. CDT

ELBURN – The Elburn Village Board on Monday voted to indicate that a former police officer’s request for public safety employee benefits didn’t meet the required standards.

Village officials now will prepare written findings of fact, based on Monday’s vote, and trustees will vote on that at their next meeting at 6:45 p.m. March 17 at Elburn Village Hall, 301 E. North St., Elburn.

The retired officer, Steven Furlan, appeared with his attorney, Richard Blass, at a previous meeting in which Furlan described the incident that took place Christmas Day in 2008. During his shift, Furlan took a fall while performing a security check at Lions Park, located at 500 S. Filmore St. in Elburn.

He had said that he was checking to make certain doors and windows were locked when he slipped and took a hard fall, and his head struck the pavement. As a result, he said, he suffered injuries that would not allow him to perform his duties. During the previous meeting, Furlan said he regarded such security checks as potential emergency situations.

Trustees at Monday’s Elburn Village Board meeting, as well as Village President Dave Anderson, voted unanimously that Furlan’s injuries were catastrophic. But the vote also was unanimous that it was not in response to an emergency, as well as that it was not suffered while he was investigating a criminal act. Those were the two criteria under which Furlan had sought benefits, and he had to meet at least one of those.

Also at Monday’s meeting, board members opted not to consolidate the village’s recreation fund into its general operating fund. Trustees agreed to consolidate several other funds into the general fund, including the park dedication fund, the school dedication fund, the Oak Street fund and the reserve-radium removal fund.

Trustees Ken Anderson and Ethan Hastert voted to consolidate the recreation fund into the general fund. Trustees Pat Schuberg, Dave Gualdoni, Jeff Walters and Bill Grabarek voted against it.

Officials said the fund had been used mostly for trees, but some trustees said they were concerned that moving such a fund to the general fund might somehow cause the village to shortchange recreation as the village grows.

“We don’t have enough recreation in Elburn,” Schuberg said.

Dave Anderson stressed that “we’re not eliminating recreation. It will be there.” He said moving the fund into the general fund was something suggested by the village’s auditors. But after the vote, he said the fund would remain separated.

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