Village Farm, Website, New Businesses All Next on VOSJ Board’s Agenda

By Benjamin Cox on October 4, 2019 at 9:32am

The Village of South Jacksonville will have several issues coming up for their committee of the whole meeting on October 22nd. After the village finally put the retainment of Alice Hancock of village accountant to rest last night at their monthly meeting, Village President Harry Jennings believes the village will move forward by posting the job out for bid because the work of the office is really a two-person operation. He says the board of trustees will explore several options moving forward.

The 2019 village audit also agreed with the separation of duties within the village’s office. Suzanne Steckel, representative of Zumbahlen, Eyth, Surratt, Flynn & Foote, said during the meeting last night that the finding for segregation of duties had finally been removed from the village’s audit report findings after over a decade. Otherwise, the duties that were done by Alice Hancock will now fall on Village Office Manager Tiffanee Peters.

Jennings also said that the village is looking at completing their website upgrade soon so citizens can pay bills, view ordinances and easily navigate city departments online. He says all ordinances will be available online once the codification process is completed by the village’s law firm.

Jennings says that an update of banking for the village and new businesses are also in store for the village trustees in the next few weeks with the exploration of a TIF grant.

The village board also heard from farmer Tim Finch who has farmed the village’s farm for 22 years. Finch spoke last night at the meeting about the village wanting to move from crop share profits to cash rent farming. Finch noted the amount of time and personal equipment he has used in upgrading the property from a simple sewage lagoon to tillable land. Finch said that he also receives personal permission from surrounding landowners to enter and leave the farmground, despite the village having no legal entrance or easement to get into the property. Finch noted that if the village moved to cash rent, they would no longer be eligible to receive any subsidies from the federal government for crops. Jennings said that Finch’s issue would be discussed at length at the committee of the whole meeting on October 22nd.