South Jax Update: Godfrey Park still open, fireman resigns, new tornado siren purchased

By Benjamin Cox on July 6, 2018 at 9:01am

South Jacksonville Trustees approved the installation of a new tornado siren, and went over the 2018-2019 appropriations budget at last night’s meetings.

Prior to the standard monthly board of trustees meeting, the village held a legally-required annual meeting for the board and the mayor to publicly address the numbers for appropriated funds to various departments and the Village as a whole.

In the case of the Village, a three percent appropriation has been set as the standard for South Jacksonville, except for the water department, which is allotted a five percent appropriation. The total amount of appropriated funds by the village for fiscal year 2018-2019 is (just over $5.9 million dollars) $5,950,122. The expected total revenues for the village were appropriated to be (more than $3.4 million dollars) $3,467,568. During the Board meeting, an update regarding renovations at Godfrey Park was given. Mayor Jennings wants residents to know that the park is still open.

“People have been asking me if the park is closed, or is it opening back up yet?… We haven’t closed it yet, and we will not close it until we actually get some contractors in there to do the work. We’re gonna go in once we have our contractors secured, update and revamp a few things, and our goal is to have the park closed for as short a time as possible.”

South Jacksonville Fire Chief David Hickox also informed the board that the department had one fireman, Will Delaney, who was resigning.

“Will was with our department for a little over three years. Excellent fireman. The unfortunate circumstance is that Will and his family were talking about moving out of the village. He’s had some moderate medical issues, so he gave me a couple weeks notice. I tried to talk him into staying on with the department until they actually made the move, but it was his decision to go ahead and retire.”

A new tornado siren was purchased to cover more area in and around the village. With last night’s approval, this will now give South Jacksonville three different tornado sirens throughout the Village. Trustee Dick Samples explains where the siren would most likely go, and discusses the price estimate.

“We (the Village) have land that was either purchased from or given to us by Love’s Truck Stop for a potential new water reservoir system. That’s where we would like to put the siren, because that way we can cover all the motels and Love’s and it would have enough range to cover basically up to Vandalia Road. We waived bids, and the estimate we received from GTS (Global Technical Systems in Jacksonville) was $19,870 and not to exceed that number. We are expecting this to be much cheaper than that.”

In addition, Tom Veith was hired as the Village’s new Code Enforcement Attorney.

The mayor also made an announcement concerning next year’s election for the Board of Trustees. Petitions will come out for the April 2019 elections in October, and they are due in December. Three Trustee terms will expire at that time. Two are for Stacy Pinkerton and John Gotschall, who are both elected members of the Board, and also for Chris Norton, who was recently appointed as a trustee to maintain a six-member Board.