The Village of South Jacksonville has been given the go-ahead by the State of Illinois for a construction project along I-72.
South Jacksonville Village Mayor Tyson Manker announced today that his American Flag Project will begin as soon as possible now that the Department of Transportation has agreed to allow for the land to change hands.
Manker says his administration has been working with the state to determine where the flag could be placed, and if the state would agree to a transfer of ownership of the site.
“So you can imagine we were ecstatic today when an IDOT representative got a hold of me and that their council had reviewed all of the provisions and had given us the thumbs up, and that the state would be deeding all of that land to the village, which we can use for our flag project.”
IDOT District Engineer Sal Madonia followed up his call by sending an email to the village confirming the state has agreed to both transfer deed of the land along I-72 near the Love’s Truck Stop but also granted the village permission to begin construction before the transfer process is complete.
Madonia said the state recognizes the Villages jurisdiction over the parcel of land, which has been maintained by the Village since the agreement was first reached in 1995.
On July 6th, the Village Board of Trustees approved the plan to construct the 120-foot tall flag pole which will hold a 30 foot-by-60-foot American Flag. The project is estimated to cost approximately $40,000 and will be paid for using village tourism funds.
Manker says the project will include a dedicated bike path using a former frontage road that remains on the property. He says over time, other additions will be made to the area with the goal of making it a destination point for the village, as well as a form of a greeting to anyone who passes by or enters the village.
“This is us reclaiming our identity as Americans and setting the course for the next one hundred years in the Village of South Jacksonville. One component that is going to go along with that is we are going to bury a time capsule near the base of the flag.
So we are not going anywhere as a municipality. We are growing and strengthening our economy, and we are going to be signaling to everyone that passes by and visits the village, that this is a patriotic place to come to, to raise your family, and to do business in.”
Manker says he plans for the flag project to be completed in time for a first raising of the flag ceremony on September 11th of this year, during the Freedom Fest village celebration.