Concert in the Cornfield returning in 2016

By Ryne Turke on December 3, 2015 at 9:34pm

The South Jacksonville Concert in the Cornfield Celebration will continue in 2016.

That decision was approved during Thursday night’s monthly meeting at Village Hall.

Village President Steve Waltrip was impressed with the work done this year by co-chairs Paula Belobrajdic-Stewart and Kevin Eckhoff and is glad the concert is returning for another year.

“The concert has always been going on and the board agreed to keep it running. Kevin and Paula agreed to run it again next year. We are going to stay on track of it and keep it going.”

Trustees also approved a motion for the concert’s tourism fund to not exceed $100,000.

During the Planning and Public Facilities Meeting earlier in the night, suggestions were made on ways to improve the annual village celebration.

According to South Jacksonville Treasurer Kathy Simpson, the current accounting process involves money being taken from general funds and then reimbursed into tourism funds.

Simpson stated it would be “more feasible” to write checks out of the existing tourism account or set up an additional fund for the concert. Simpson felt it would be better if there was an account dedicated specifically for the village’s annual celebration. Trustees also discussed holding the Celebration and Concert on separate weekends. Multiple trustees verbally supported these ideas, but no action was taken.

Progress was made on the Whewell Restaurant Development Project as well.

Attorney Tyson Manker spoke on behalf of Al Whewell, who plans to put the restaurant in front of the South County Cinema.

Most of the discussion involved a proposition for Whewell to utilize the TIF fund to complete the project, which is estimated to cost over $1 million and lead to the employment of 30-50 full time jobs.

Waltrip notes the Village and Whewell could be in negotiations on the subject into 2016.

“It is not going to be as high as they anticipated. As the development goes on it could be adjusted higher and lower. We are working on it and I am sure they are working on it too. I know they want to break ground in April, so I’m sure there will still be work going in January or February.”

In other action, trustees approved $388,900 generated through the General Fund tax levy ordinance and $71,000 from the Road District 15 tax levy.