Godfrey Park renovations and Fiscal Year 2019 budget highlight June South Jacksonville Board of Trustees meeting

By Benjamin Cox on June 8, 2018 at 5:55am

South Jacksonville Trustees will wait until early next week to approve the Village's budget for the fiscal year 2019.

Last night at the monthly South Jacksonville Board of Trustees meeting, a special meeting was called for by Trustees Stacy Pinkerton and Paula Stewart and scheduled for next Tuesday the 12th beginning at 6:30 p.m. to further discuss and vote to confirm the budget for fiscal year 2019. Part of this discussion concerns scheduled renovations to Godfrey Park.

Pinkerton, as chairman of the Parks and Tourism Committee, says why the special board meeting needed to be established.

"We just want to make sure that enough money is placed in the right budgets to cover the parks expenses that we're going to have. We'll make agreements on how much goes where during the committee meeting, and the renovation of Godfrey Park has to be approved as part of the 2019 fiscal year budget. And we'll have those votes in the special board meeting at 7 p.m. and approve it then."

Stewart explains why the clarification of the specific numbers regarding costs for updates to Godfrey Park for the 2019 budget is so important.

"Stacy Pinkerton has been gathering some estimates for work we want to do at Godfrey Park. She'll have all of those, and we need to go over those in detail. She'll bring those to us Tuesday night. That'll be at a committee meeting right before. Once we all know the amounts for these different estimates, we as a board have to approve them, and that will be completed at the special board meeting at 7 o'clock. And then we also need to go over a few specific parts of the fiscal year 2019 budget just to make sure that everything is lining up correctly, because once the budget is passed there's no going back."

Village President Harry Jennings describes some of the planned updates for the park.

"That park is thirteen years old, so it needs some updates. We have a tree that's dropping a lot of berries on the splash pad that was there before the park was built. So we're going to try and remove that and replace it with something. Bathrooms need updating. We want to take out the wooden mulch with some better mulch that won't get wet and start decaying, and some of the toys just need some minor repairs."

Jennings also wants to ensure that, though village resident tax dollars were initially necessary for roadwork by South Elementary School, use of general funds was temporary.

"Originally, when we started the work around South School, we had budgeted part of it out of the general fund and part of it out of the TIF fund. We took a loan just from the TIF fund to cover the additional costs. The citizens aren't paying out of their tax money. The original money used from the general fund is being reimbursed by the TIF fund."

Another thing mentioned by the Village President during his report was the Village Cleanup Days happening through Saturday at 1 p.m. Village Superintendent of Water, Sewer, Streets and Parks John Green says typical items will not be accepted.

"It's down at our Hardin shed facility. Drop stuff off, there's two dumpsters and a sign on the gate saying what we do and don't take. Everything should be on that sign, but basically no yard waste, tires, e-waste (electronics), no paint or motor oils. Also, it's for village residents only."

In addition, a total of $3,000 in Tourism Grants were approved for the 4th of July Festival and fireworks for that night. Also, the approval of a Part-Time Police Officer to Full-Time was approved unanimously, but one NO vote was declared by new Trustee Chris Norton when the board was called to vote on the hiring of a new code enforcement officer, which still passed.