The Village of South Jacksonville will have a new leader a new budget. The Village Board of Trustees have selected Trustee Mike Broaddus to be the president pro temp of the village until the next municipal election. Broaddus was appointed to his trustee position by former Village President Tyson Manker to fill the seat vacated by Jason Hill back in June. Broaddus will officially be accepted at the next official board meeting.
Broaddus said after the meeting that he wants to heal the village and begin working on the local economy: “I’m honored they chose me. I’m looking forward to healing the village and getting us back to normal. Right now, I think what we should do is try to get stuff along better lines of communication, work on more things with [village] employees, and like I said, just get things back to a normal standard of operation. I think the main thing right now is just make sure we try to get back to drawing more businesses down here to South Jacksonville. That is one of my number one goals is getting more businesses down here – restaurants, stores, and so forth and basically try to balance the village’s budget.”
The village did pass their Fiscal Year 2022 budget during the meeting after several weeks of contentious debate on particular line items. Revenues appear to be fairly flat across the village. Village Finance Committee Chair Megan Davidson says the main sticking point for the last several weeks were salaries and particular line items in the administration: “The main reasons is just the unknown of the salaries and their increases. I think we understand that now, and we’re working on a raise, and figuring that all out. I think that was the biggest issue.”
The trustees did vote to table a 3.5% percent salary increase for certain village employees until the next meeting.
In other action items, the only two events surrounding Freedom Fest that are continuing under unanimous board approval are the dedication and ceremony surrounding the new American flag site and Little Ms./Little Mr. Pageant. Trustee Stacy Pinkerton asked if the board wanted to partially dedicate the flag to former Mayor Tyson Manker. Trustee Tom Jordan disagreed with the idea that it was for everyone in the village and not just one person, so the idea was dropped. Public Works Superintendent John Green is working on identifying if a proper building permit was issued for the flag project and is expected to get back with board of trustees in the next few days. The board is also going to communicating with the billboard company Lamar to change the Freedom Fest billboard graphics to identify the event’s changes.
The board also approved the purchase of a new Code Enforcement vehicle for around $10,000 and approved trading in the former car to Auto Mart in Jacksonville. The board also approved a $25,000 tourism grant to the Prairieland Heritage Museum for its upcoming Steam Show festivities.
The board tabled new language to be included in certain code enforcement ordinances. Those changes will be listed on the agenda and voted on individually for the board’s next business meeting.