Ezard Says Lakes To Remain Open in Jacksonville

By Jeremy Coumbes on April 15, 2020 at 12:14pm

Jacksonville Mayor Andy Ezard says there will be no changes to the access of Lake Jacksonville in the immediate future due to concerns over social distancing.

Mayor Ezard says that the lake will continue to be open for fishing only during Governor J.B. Pritzker’s stay at home order, after some concerns we raised about access Monday night at the City Council meeting.

Ezard says the city will take a wait and see approach with Governor Pritzker possibly updating his stay at home order, which is set to expire on April 30th.

On Monday, Pritzker said during his daily COVID-19 briefing that he and his team are reviewing a gradual return to normalcy, but widespread testing needs to be available to do so.

Pritzker says a gradual approach may be needed as opposed to a complete lift of the stay at home order.

Meanwhile several Republican state lawmakers sent an official letter to the Governor yesterday requesting he re-open state parks and lakes to allow residents to hunt, fish and hike state facilities while continuing to practice social distancing.

Ezard says that city officials will monitor usage of the lake more closely going forward, to ensure social distancing practices are still being followed.

He says that he and Parks and Lakes officials are still weighing whether to open the camping areas for lot maintenance as had been scheduled previously.

Mayor Ezard says the second scheduled date of April 25th is still tentative, though it could possibly be pushed back to Saturday May 2nd, and have a shorter window of time allotted for access to make sure people are doing clean up activities, and not taking advantage of the access.