Jacksonville City Council Has No Quorum, No Actions Taken After Presentations

By Benjamin Cox on February 15, 2022 at 6:55am

The Jacksonville City Council met in quick fashion last night and were unable to accomplish any action.

The council failed to meet quorum, as Ward 1 Alderwomen Darcella Speed and Erin Williams, Ward 4 Alderman Mike Bartlett, and Ward 5 Alderman Don Cook were all absent. City Attorney Dan Beard said it’s the first time he can remember the city not having a quorum since he began his tenure as the city’s attorney in 1994.

The attending members instead proceeded with the workshop meeting and heard a detailed presentation from Benton & Associates Engineer Jamie Headen about completed and upcoming city utility projects.

Headen says that the Anna Street site with Ameren is currently on track to be finished sometime late this Spring possibly. Headen says the city will get pavement rehabilitation on top of some important utility work that Ameren paid for during the remediation of the old coal ash plant site: “We worked with the Ameren folks over a period of about 6 months trying to negotiate a favorable position for the city to get the sewer replaced from the back side of Taco Gringo and West Street. So, that project has been moving along, and eventually the 24 inch [sewer pipe] was replaced and moved over to the East, and tied into the 36 inch [pipe] on the east side of the site, east of the rehabilitation area. Then, also, a whole new block of 42 inch PVC sewer pipe got replaced as well. Now, coming up to the west side of this location, there was already new sewer put in, so it kind of takes you a step further on [sewer] replacement in this area. It was about $950,000 [of work] from Ameren, so they were a good partner with [the city] on [this project]. We are just about done with that, but some of the very large diameter sewer tanks, again about 2/3 of the city’s flow is down this pipe, so it’s a very important [sewer] main for sure.”

Headen says that a $1.2 million water main replacement project, an evaluation of the sewers on the city’s northwest side, and a proposed $800,000 rehabilitation of Lake Jacksonville’s spillway are also on the horizon.

Members of the New Directions Warming & Cooling Center came back to the council to once again request funding. Ward 2 Alderwoman Lori Large-Oldenettel proposed a graduated depreciation of donation from the city to the shelter while the shelter focused on budgeting and sustainability. A consensus of getting members of the city’s development, housing, and homelessness community stakeholders together to come up with proposed funding and grant opportunities was also floated.

The meeting stood adjourned shortly after 7PM due to no action that was able to be taken.