Parks and Lakes Committee discusses lease agreement with youth camp

By Gary Scott on June 5, 2016 at 8:18am

Jacksonville City Council will vote on extending a lease agreement with Western Illinois Youth Camp at a meeting later this month.

The city has had several lease renewals since the first in 2006, but Parks and Lakes Committee chair Marcy Patterson says the city wants the new three-year agreement to cover changes that have been come about as a result of the program’s growth.

Specifically, the city is recommending Western Illinois Youth Camp officials pursue a sanctioned forestry youth program.

“We’re very particular with our trees, and how they’re cared for. Western Illinois Youth Camp wanted to have their own effort to have sanctioned timber management program, identify what trees can stay, which ones need to come [down]. With that, you end up with possibly a little bit of money, and we needed to resolve where that money would go,” explains Patterson.

“In forestry programs, certain trees are taken down because of the damage they do to the existing forest. Some of them have monetary value, and can then be purchased by companies that buy trees. So, the question is, who gets the money- the City of Jacksonville, or Western Illinois Youth Camp?”

Patterson says the lease agreement will include language that says any income made off of timber management can go back to the youth camp’s forestry program to maintain the city-owned land.

In addition, she says the agreement will mandate insurance coverage for wedding receptions the youth camp now hosts.

“Because they’re having wedding receptions in their venue, they’re having liquor license, occasional liquor license, therefore, we had to validate that they’re using the appropriate insurance that the city requires people to have if they’re using a liquor license,” she says.

Patterson says the lease agreement will go on the June 13th agenda.