New TIF, New Website Highlight Lengthy VOSJ Meeting

By Benjamin Cox on October 23, 2019 at 5:54am

Many new things are heading towards their next phase after the Village of South Jacksonville Committee of the Whole meeting last night. A new website, a new revenue stream possibility, and a new TIF agreement with a local land developer are all heading into their next phase after lengthy discussions pushed committee of the whole into the 11 o’clock hour.

The meeting kicked off with a public comment presentation by a Vermillion County-based Medical Cannabis outreach company lead by Daiven Kayne. Kayne’s group is looking at putting a possible distribution center in West Central Illinois as a part of the adult-use expansion coming on January 1st. Kayne advised the board at length on taxing and the possibilities that his business are trying to harness before the go-live date in the State of Illinois.

Next, Matt Martin presented the board saw the final tweaks to the village’s website which was met with consensus approval to finally go live as soon as possible. Martin advised that codes and new water billing pay options can be added down the road if the board were ready to go live now. All in attendance seemed to agree that the implementation of the site was ready to move forward without delay.

The board heard from a Representative from Edwardsville, Illinois-based Moran Economic Development on behalf of a project being funded by local land developer Albert Whewell. Mayor Harry Jennings describes the consensus agreement on the TIF proposal with Whewell: “We are going to approve a TIF District agreement on November 7th with Whewell Developers on a 3-phase restaurant development. It’s looking at a possible pizza delivery establishment, a fast food restaurant, and then the third phase is a fine dining/steakhouse establishment. Very excited about it. We need some more restaurants in the village. It will really compliment are hotels and truck stops.”

The total estimated eligible project costs are just over $1.3 million over three phases running up to the year 2028. Jennings explains the break down of costs: “It’s a 75% TIF agreement so his 75% will come off the top. Of the remainder, 40% will go back to the TIF districts and the village keeps the rest.”

The new restaurants will be a long south Main in the open lots in front of the movie theater that have set vacant since development began south of the village during the mid to late 90s.

Streets & Sewers Department Supervisor John Green said that software was the ultimate failure at the village’s water plant and that once new drives for the automated system arrive and are installed, the water plant would be up and running at complete capacity again.

Fire Chief Richard Evans, Jr. told the village that David Vye had been selected as the new 2nd Assistant Fire Chief for the village in a vote on October 7th. The fire department is also looking at new equipment and repairing equipment for the department as well as some new vehicle acquisition in the near feature.

Police Chief Tim Mann is looking at updating a rental property ordinance in the village in the near future and that the South Jacksonville golf cart is almost ready to go after parts are installed within the next week. He requested the board hire a new part time officer, Matthew Watson, who currently works for the Winchester Police Department to replace a current officer who is resigning. The resignation of Officer Tyler Griffin will be made official at the November 7th meeting. Griffin currently took a new position with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department. Mann also explained to the board the new civil asset forfeiture process implemented in the state over the last year that effects the seized fund account.

Trustee Paula Belobradjic-Stewart brought up a resolution to pass a similar closed captioning resolution recently passed by the City of Jacksonville as possible new business. Mayor Harry Jennings passed out literature about the Jacksonville Promise scholarship as a possible donation from the municipality. Jennings said he normally stays away from tax dollar donations for the village but he said he does see the economic value that the scholarship program may bring. The board made a consensus that they would like to hear from the group at their next meeting.

The next Village of South Jacksonville meeting where action will likely be taken on all of these items is Thursday, November 7th.