Frese To Host Town Hall Next Month To Talk JDC, Other Concerns With Jacksonville Citizens

By Benjamin Cox on March 23, 2023 at 6:06pm

New State Representative Randy Frese visited Jacksonville on Monday. Frese is serving his current term in the newly drawn 99th legislative district.

The 100th legislative district, which formerly served all of Morgan County, was pushed south of the I-72 corridor, taking with it Jacksonville native and representative C.D. Davidsmeyer.

Frese, who has had his territory nearly doubled with redistricting, says he’s doing his best to get to know his new district and hear everyone’s concerns: “It is crazy. It is tough to get used to. I’m not sure I could show you exactly on a map where the district ends and where it begins because it’s parts of all of these counties – it’s part of Adams, it’s part of Morgan, it’s part of Brown. It’s not the whole, contiguous county, so it’s tough for us maybe to get to know, but we will take care of anybody that has an issue that lives in Morgan County or lives in any of the 5 counties that make up this 99th District.”

Frese says he’s working on efforts to get more local concerns and connections with special events in the coming months.

Right now, Fresse says he’s trying to get a bill for funding to abate and raise the buildings on the former Jacksonville Developmental Center grounds heard in the current session of the General Assembly. Frese says he’s taken the issue to the Governor’s Office: “I did have the opportunity to meet with the governor’s folks this past week just to bring [this issue] to their attention to get them talking about it. I want to expose this to every face that I can. I’ll have a meeting with the Speaker of the House about it, as well. It may not go through this year but guess what? It’s coming back next year, and we’re going to do the same thing. We’ll meet with the governor again. We’ll meet with the speaker again. We just cannot continue to let that go unattended over there. It’s a hazard already for youth, for anybody who would wander through that area. If you’ve been over there, you’ve seen those buildings. We don’t want anybody getting hurt. We certainly don’t want any kids getting hurt. It’s a wonderful area that could be put to good use.”

Frese says that the $67 million price tag to abate the buildings was a figure he was given by Illinois Central Management Services that they say is the approximate cost to abate the buildings and then, have them demolished. Frese believes there is some funding out there that could possibly feed into that number and lower the amount the state has to pay for demolition: “Now, it doesn’t mean that [the dollar amount] would have to come out of [general funds]. Where it would come from is the Build Illinois Fund, but it doesn’t mean that all $67 million would have to come from there. It may initially come from there, but there is some federal money that should be available that the Capital Development Board would probably do the research to find what federal plans apply to this remediation. We may have to put the $67 million into start, but then, we would also put the federal money that would come in to that and then, the rest of the unused funds would go back to the Build Illinois fund.”

Frese says he is hosting a Town Hall about the JDC bill along with any other issues that Jacksonville citizens may have on Monday, April 24th at 6PM at the Jacksonville Community Park Center. More details about the event will be released as the date draws nearer. Frese says in the meantime that if a citizen has questions or concerns about anything state related, they can contact him at his website or by calling his Quincy office at 217-223-0833.