South JAX: Trustees make plans to solve malfunction at lift station; Village Celebration relocated

By Benjamin Cox on August 24, 2018 at 6:12am

The Village of South Jacksonville Board of Trustees met Thursday night.

During a committee of the whole meeting, trustees and city officials debated a few different topics. These included setting a location for the Village Celebration events, repairing damage after a fire at the southern Village lift station, and a pay raise for future Trustees of the village Board.

Stacy Pinkerton is the chairwoman of the Village Parks and Tourism committee. Pinkerton explains why the Prairieland Heritage Museum was unavailable for the Village Celebration and that the events will be moved to the Emergency Services Complex, the combo fire and police departments building at 1810 Sequoia Drive.

“It was just a scheduling mishap on their end. The folks at Prairieland already had something scheduled for that weekend. So, I called David Hickox, the fire chief, and we ironed out a few details and now have some more planning to do.”

Greg Nelson is chairman of the Planning and Public Facilities committee. Nelson details the lift station malfunction and how the problem is being solved.

“A fire at our southern lift station caused sewage to flood into the basements of two Village homes. We have, on the action items for the September meeting, the purchase of a replacement pump. There are two pumps, and the fire shut both down. We’ve gotten one back up and working, and the other will be taken out and repaired, and a new state-of-the-art current generation pump will be installed. Our insurance has told us that they will cover the repair costs at the Village facility, and have also assured us that if the basements flooding with sewage were caused by the Village as well that those would be covered. We want to make sure that our Village residents are wholly protected and can trust that this will not be a recurring issue.”

According to Public Works Superintendent John Green, the new pump would cost $33,000. However, the person who quoted that number, according to Green, added a stipulation that if the Village waits to buy the pump after January 1st, that bid goes up 10 percent.

Village Mayor Harry Jennings mentions that, though Trustees voted for a pay increase, it must be approved at the September regular board meeting and will not take effect immediately.

“The trustees, as of this time, make $100 per month. That’s pretty low in my professional opinion. As a board, the trustees have added an action item for the September meeting that will then provide trustees with $250 per month. This pay increase, however, will not go into effect for any current sitting trustees. This pay raise will only apply to anyone that wins a seat in next March’s election or the 2021 election. The idea is that the trustees aren’t giving THEMSELVES raises, they’re instead providing these raises for the future of the Board, regardless of future voting results.”

Every meeting of the South Jacksonville Board of Trustees happens at 301 Dewey Drive, just across the street from South Elementary School. As a final note, there are new stop signs on Dewey Drive to create a four-way stop in front of the school, increasing safety and maintaining order in relation to traffic.