The Village of South Jacksonville set the date for two major public hearings coming up in the month of December. The village’s residents may be seeing a temporary water bill increase soon. Village President Harry Jennings explains: “What we have discussed is two-fold, one is a possible water rate increase – not the sewer rate, just the water rate. The bigger issue is our water billing is two months behind. We have all the new meters installed in the village, and we are switching to a much easier-to-read and a more conclusive water billing system. In doing that, we will have to catch up from being two months behind to only one month behind. The reason we were two months behind before is because it took so long to manually read the meters. In catching up, it will throw one week’s worth of a bill across four months or something along those lines. We want to talk to the public. Get their input and also make sure everyone is educated and aware of what that increase is and why it’s happening and that it’s a temporary issue.”
The other public hearing will occur directly after and involve the permission of retail sales of recreational marijuana within the village’s limits. “Recreational marijuana usage is going to be legal on January 1st. We don’t have a say in that,” Jennings wants to remind residents. “What we do have a say in is whether or not the village will allow the sale of it or not. That’s all the public meeting is discussing. The biggest hurdle I’m finding is that we are just going to be discussing the sales. The use of marijuana is going to be legal whether we allow sales or not. There is only going to be one license available in Central Illinois on January 1st, this meeting is determining whether or not we want one in the village.”
Village residents are encouraged to bring ideas, questions, and discussions on both topics. Jennings also said during the meeting last night that the recreational marijuana sales discussion will be open to residents only. The village board will not be looking to hear from companies or those interested in setting up cannabis businesses. The discussion into cannabis will help guide the village on whether or not the sales will be prohibited within the corporate limits. The scheduled date of both hearings is set for Thursday, December 12th at 6:30PM at Village Hall on Dewey Drive.