South Jax Tables Cannabis Zoning, Reworking Regional Planning Contract, Works On Park Signage

By Benjamin Cox on February 27, 2020 at 9:06am

The Village of South Jacksonville held a lengthy committee of the whole meeting last night, touching on several topics. Planning & Public Facilities kicked off the meeting with a decision to table marijuana dispensary zoning. A draft ordinance from the Illinois Municipal League for zoning a district for special use permits was presented, but the consensus decided that more time was needed to make a formal action item decision.

Parks & Tourism decided they would like to speak with Bob Stambaugh of Tri-County ABATE and see artwork before granting permission of the village’s billboard for Motorcycle Awareness advertising during the months of April & May. Godfrey Park’s sign was still up for debate, but a consensus was given that the a red granite rock should be purchased. The Village would like to place mention on the sign of the recently passed Barb Baker, who was instrumental in the park’s renovation and design. The village is still awaiting plans or ideas for updates to Dewey Park next to village hall. The discussion of designing and placing a war memorial in the park to make it a destination site of the village so village tourism funds could be used for renovations and upgrades had been mentioned as a possibility.

Public Protection had a lengthy discussion on the procedure for private cash donations given to the village police department. Police Chief Tim Mann said that he’s simply looking for direction since his department doesn’t really have a rainy day or petty cash style fund to place donations into. “For the sake of transparency, we just want some direction on what the police department can do with the funds. We have received some direction on what to do with the money from donors, but we want to make sure where those funds can go and what to do them when they come in.”

The village is also looking at some animal control issues in the village. The Fire Department has recommended that Brian Kitner be hired on for a vacancy. An official hiring will come at the village’s official meeting next week. Fire Chief Rich Evans, Jr. said that the village EMS recently purchased $1800 in new EMS supplies, $1600 for 2 I.O. Kits for intravenous emergencies, and needed approval for new Class B lightweight polo shirts for all firefighters for $725. The fire department is also moving ahead with a new keypad security system on Sequoia Drive for $5750.

Regional Planning Commission Chair Dusty Douglas made a brief presentation during the Finance Committee Report letting the village know that the regional commission’s co-administration contract for the village’s TIF district was no longer eligible to be funded through the TIF. Village President Harry Jennings explains. “We’re just looking at re-doing the contract where there are some more services the [Regional Planning Commission] can provide that are still TIF eligible; and outlining the ones that aren’t TIF eligible so that we have good reasoning to pay for those services out of the General Fund.”

Jennings said that Douglas has been integral in behind the scenes work for the village in the past. “He helped with the original [design] of the TIF district. He’s helped with writing of our zoning ordinances. He’s helped with our subdivision ordinances. He’s helped a lot with the development that’s occurred to the south in the village.”

The village will first have to pass an ordinance to negate Douglas’ $8000 annual contract and write a new ordinance with new costs and pass it to move forward so the Regional Planning Commission can continue to consult on economic and planning development.

The village next meets on Thursday, March 5th at 7PM.