City Council Has Quick Meeting – Installs New Member, Places Old Firetrucks Up For Sale, and Hears Update on Proposed Zoning for Cannabis

By Benjamin Cox on September 10, 2019 at 11:46am

Jeff Lonergan takes the aldermanic oath of office from Jacksonville City Clerk Skip Bradshaw prior to the City Council Meeting at 7PM.

The Jacksonville City Council worked quickly through two major issues last night and appointed a new member to the council in a little less than an hour for their first meeting of the month of September. During the workshop meeting City Attorney Dan Beard said that the city’s Plans Commission was moving forward with zoning recommendations for the possibility of bringing an adult-use cannabis facility to the City of Jacksonville. Beard said that the commission has recommended a B-3 zoning with special use so the council can regulate hours of operation and parking among other things. He said the commission said that B-1, which is a business in a residential neighborhood, was strongly opposed.

Beard says another possible location is the Downtown area, but it presents both some positives and negatives due to proximity of bars and other businesses. Beard says he will be looking at other communities and their ordinances as well as digging further into the state cannabis legislation. Beard says a more formal discussion with a look at a possible draft ordinance will happen at the next city council meeting on September 23rd.

The Council also approved the changing of disposition of two firetrucks in the city’s fleet. A 1999 Pierce Heavy Rescue unit will be moved to a sealed bid process, with the minimum bid recommended by Fire Chief Doug Sills at $30,000. The other, 1991 E1 pump truck, Sills recommended that the council select a smaller, local fire district to donate the truck to them if they were in need. The council approved another 4 year term for Shawn McCombs to the city’s Public Building Commission.

The council welcomed the new installation of Ward 2 alderman Jeff Lonergan. Mayor Andy Ezard also notified the council that the city’s wastewater treatment plant had been nominated by the Illinois EPA for one of the best wastewater treatment plants in the state. The treatment facility is competing against Naperville, Sangamon County, and Granite City for an award given by the Water Pollution Control Operators. The operators will be in Jacksonville to tour the facility within the next few weeks for a final decision on awarding the recognition.

The next city council meeting will take place on September 23rd at 6PM at the Municipal Building at 200 East Douglas.