The Jacksonville City Council had an extremely light meeting for their first of the month of November last night. The council heard from Mark Sorrill, civil engineer of Benton & Associates, about the Jones Place Lift Station project. The main from the lift station has been adjusted from a 6 inch water main to an 8 inch water main pipe and the path of the pipe will no longer be going through easements through people’s back yards to the street. Sorrill said the site will be resurveyed and the new pipe will be dug and laid heading towards Westfair Drive instead. The longer and wider pipe will provide better access for maintenance workers and will eliminate having to traverse through backyards in case of a burst pipe. The new costs would be $58,500 added to the force main replacement.
Next, the council approved the hire of a new probationary policemen. Police Chief Adam Mefford said that the current force had lost a member due to the new wave of hiring by the Illinois State Police. He said he put in the request now so that staffing can return to normal by January 6th due to the back up of enrollment at the police academy as well as the amount of time needed for necessary training. He says essentially he is hiring a trainee to fill the role until they are completely up to compliance as a recognized officer.
Mefford said that it will help keep staffing levels acceptable and relieve the need of any unnecessary stress and overtime his department will have to put in.
Prior to the meeting, the Parks & Lakes Committee held a meeting to discuss updates to the golf course and Veterans Park. An old business item came up for the committee dealing with salvaging the Nichols Park bandstand. The bandstand has become extremely deteriorated, and in years past, had been advised by engineers to be torn down. Kelly Hall and chair Lori Large-Oldenettel said they are going to explore avenues again to either rehab or raze the bandstand with the full city council at the next committee of the whole meeting for the entire city council. In the mean time, both said they would be reaching out to various community members, including former council member Marcy Patterson who had spearheaded past efforts into trying to save the historically significant structure.