City Council looks at regulation, fee changes for Lake Jacksonville

By Blake Schnitker on March 13 at 10:15am

Jacksonville aldermen discussed a number of items, including the approval of a first reading of an ordinance for changes at Lake Jacksonville.

Last night, member of the Jacksonville City Council discussed several items, such as regulations and fees for Lake Jacksonville, whether or not to put a stop sign at the intersection of Hardin and Michigan Avenues, and surplus property with the Jacksonville Police Department.

During the workshop session, aldermen discussed regulations and fees for Lake Jacksonville. Addressing the council was Director of Community Development & Recreational Facilities Kelly Hall, who approached the council with three specific items that he hoped to have discussed. Hall explains what those items were.

“We just changed the resolution for fishing, boating and overnight camping rules to an ordinance, that gives some enforcement powers to the management. The other item was establishing a maximum size limit of the boats on the lake, which would be a 28-foot ski boat and unlimited pontoons still. And the other item was for non-motorized vehicles on the new Rocket and Crimson trails,” says Hall.

Aldermen eventually did pass the first reading of an ordinance to amending the Jacksonville Municipal Code regarding regulations for the use of public campgrounds at Lake Jacksonville, as well as for fishing, boating, and overnight camping fees and regulations at Lake Jacksonville.

As for the limits on the size of boats allowed on Lake Jacksonville, Hall explains the reasoning behind wanting to limit that to 28-feet.

“With our small lake, once in a while we get some pretty large boats out there, some of those cigarette type boats and that type of thing. They really have no business on a lake the size of ours. There’s always Springfield and Shelbyville and the river for boats of that size,” Hall explains.

This new 28-foot boat limit would only be applied to non-Pontoon boats. In terms of the new trails surrounding Lake Jacksonville, Hall says that while they saw only a handful of issues last year, he believes it’s best to have the rules clearly spelled out for everyone.

Other items discussed last night included whether or not to place a stop sign at the intersection of Hardin and Michigan Avenues. Speaking to the council last night was South Jacksonville Police Chief Tim Mann, who laid out the reasoning why the Village wants to have a stop sign implemented at that location, saying that it would help reduce the amount of traffic coming through Hardin Avenue, simply by placing a stop sign there, being that there are no stops between Morton and Vandalia.

In response to Chief Mann, Jacksonville Police Chief Adam Mefford says that he is “neutral” on the decision to place a stop sign at Hardin and Michigan. Mefford says that there has only been one accident near that location over the past several years, and doesn’t foresee a major impact if a stop sign were to be placed at that location.