VOSJ Approves Monthly Meetings, Next Steps for Billing Cycle & Cannabis Sales

By Benjamin Cox on January 3, 2020 at 11:16am

The Village of South Jacksonville met in relatively short fashion for their first meeting of the year last night. The village approved all action items on the agenda and scheduled upcoming committee meetings.

John Green, Superintendent of Public Works, said that a well motor at the Village’s water plant had gone down over the past week. The water plant was down to one well. He estimated the maintenance cost to the motor to be $4500. He said work had already begun on the motor and the water plant would get it back online as soon as the work was finished.

Village Attorney Rob Cross and Trustee Dick Samples agreed to set a special meeting for one action item for the board at the regularly scheduled committee of the whole meeting on January 29th. The special meeting requires the passage of a single ordinance to delete out-of-date codes and ordinances from the city’s code book that go back to the village’s inception. Once the ordinance is passed, the codification process for the village should be complete.

Village President Harry Jennings provided brief reports on the two public meetings about the water billing catch up and recreational cannabis. Jennings says that there will be two separate ordinances for adult use cannabis sales: “We are going to go forward with an ordinance to add 3% sales tax locally if a dispensary were to come to town. The other ordinance will be for specific zoning rules for a dispensary. In that, [the village] will require a special use permit. If a dispensary wants to come to town, they would have to come to the board for approval.”

Jennings says he doesn’t believe the ordinances will pass unanimously but he believes that a vote will be made soon on the issue. Jennings outlines an upcoming letter being sent to the village’s residents: “To be clear it’s not a water rate [increase], it’s just a change in the water billing due to the billing cycle change. It’s currently 60 days behind. It’s going to go to just one month behind. The letter is going to go out this month, and then we will have another meeting after the letter is issued. Then, we will implement the new billing cycle some time in March.”

The public hearing for the water billing cycle change has been set for February 6th at 6:30. The Village also approved a change in the village employee insurance plan to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois’ BCE plan. Village Office Manager Tiffanee Peters says the change will save the village about $27,000 in costs.

The village’s public protection committee will meet on Thursday, January 23rd at 6:30 at Village Hall to discuss some upcoming action items coming from the Fire Department.