Village to Review Issue with Liquor License Ordinance Wording, Special Meeting Called for Consideration of Full Time Fire Chief

By Jeremy Coumbes on January 18, 2022 at 9:59am

The Village of South Jacksonville Board of Trustees held a lengthy and productive Committee of the Whole meeting Thursday night, as new Village President Dick Samples gets up to speed on the current state of things.

Samples provided a list of approximately 20 items to go over with the Trustees. Among items included in the discussion were items that have lingered in committee discussion for some time.

Samples has called for a second committee of the whole meeting on the 27th of this month, dedicated to discussion on if the Fire Chief’s position should be made full time. Samples said he didn’t want to put Fire Chief Rich Evans on the spot and give ample time to discuss the possible change during the dedicated meeting.

Also planned for that evening will be a special meeting of the Board of Trustees to consider and likely approve a TIF agreement with Jose Lopez’s for his Casa Real banquet hall and grill project at the site of the former Reichert’s Banquet Hall.

Samples says he feels the board is in agreement and it will be approved at that time so long as the process has been completed in time.

I am contacting our TIF representative today, and it was the majority of the board last night all wanting to give him the 90% rebate and I have no problem with that. So yes that will be in motion as of today.”

Discussion was also had on the current Village ordinance pertaining to liquor licenses in the Village. When Samples came into office on December 29th, licenses for the current six-month period beginning January 1st had not been considered or approved. He says it was a scramble those last days of the calendar year but they all were caught up.

Samples says the focus on the licenses shone a light on a pretty big problem with the ordinance. “For whatever reason, I don’t know and I can’t tell you what’s happened in the past on this, but every other small town has the ability to allow a corporation to have a liquor license, and we don’t.

We’re still back in this individual deal, so we need to bring this up because almost everybody we deal with is a corporation or limited liability so something. It makes no sense. If they violate the law as a corporation, you turn around and still go in there and fine them or do whatever you need to do.”

Samples says the ordinance as it stands now means, of the person the license was issued to moved away or were fired from the business, the license would not be valid. He says he intends to have the ordinance updated to include corporate entities by the time renewals are due this summer.

Also announced this morning, the Village will hold a Public Information Meeting on the South Diamond renovation project on Thursday, February 3rd. Jim Burke with Hutchison Engineering will be on hand to answer any questions the public may have on the project. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 pm prior to the regular February meeting of the Board of Trustees at the Village Hall.