Cell Tower Approved, Temporary Clerk Appointed in Village

By Jeremy Coumbes on August 4, 2023 at 5:17pm

The Village of South Jacksonville will have a new cell phone tower in the near future, and as of last night, a new Village Clerk- albeit a temporary one.

The Village Board of Trustees unanimously approved ratification of a zoning and special use request for AT&T contractors to erect a 195-foot tall cellular tower at 317 West Vandalia.

Village President Dick Samples says there is one small matter that needs to be worked out between the two before the village’s involvement is finished. He says otherwise the process can move forward. “It’s a go, go, go. I think you may see some construction happening this fall, but I think it will all be happening next spring.

The next thing that we are responsible for, and there is no problem here whatsoever, is giving them an easement across our boulevard so to speak so they can go in and do their thing on that land. So that’s not a problem at all.”

The approval clears the way for the tower project that has been more than a year in the making after both AT&T and the Village could not agree on previously proposed sites.

An AT&T representative in attendance said a lease agreement with Ameren Illinois will be ready soon, and the process of getting state and federal approval can now move forward. The new cell tower will be located on a section of property owned by Ameren Illinois between the Vandaila substation and the Village Fire and Police Complex.

In other action taken last night, Samples announced the appointment of a new temporary Village Clerk. Current Village Treasurer Mindy Olson will be filling the role following the resignation of the elected clerk Rebekah Pentecost last month.

Samples says that Olson has been performing many of the clerk’s duties in the absence of Pentecost. Olson says she doesn’t mind taking on the extra duties. “Just another way that I can help out the Village. I’m here quite and bit and was starting to do some of the activities anyway. There is some overlap between the Treasurer and the Clerk but we’ve worked out a way with the attorneys to be able to handle that situation, and the auditors as well.”

Samples says Olson’s appointment to fill the unexpired two-year term is intended to be only temporary, and that the Village is still looking for a qualified individual who would be interested in serving as Village Clerk. Anyone interested can contact Samples at the Village Hall on Dewey Drive by calling 217-245-4803.