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Jacksonville approves revolving loan, hears about watershed improvements

Thomas Clatterbuck

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The plans to improve the Northridge Golf Course were given a boost at this week’s city council meeting. The Jacksonville city council voted to approve a $125,000 loan to Rohn Investments, Inc. for their proposal.  However, it almost didn’t happen.

At the last meeting, John Rohn made his formal request to the council for the loan. His initial request was for far more than the funds available in the Revolving Loan account, so the council discussed how much they wanted to approve. They settled on the $125,000 amount.

Prior to the vote to approve the loan application, Alderman Warmowski proposed an amendment to increase the loan amount by $20,000. After discussion about the actual amount of money in the Revolving Loan fund, the amendment passed 3-2-1. Now the proposal was for a loan of $145,000. This vote failed 2-3-1.

Suddenly there was a problem. Because the council had already voted on the issue, it would normally be inappropriate to vote on the issue again at the same meeting. However, seeing no objection, Warmowski motioned to reconsider the question at the original $125,000 amount. This vote did pass 4-1-1.  Alderman Mike Wankel abstained in all of the votes to avoid a potential conflict of interests.

The council also voted against adding a stop sign at the corner of Michigan and Hardin. This proposal had been discussed at previous meetings, and was requested by South Jacksonville. The the vending machine proposal for Community Park was tabled.

The workshop session

The administration office wanted to lease a new copy machine. That may seem insignificant, but Jacksonville still conducts much of its business offline, including sending out bills. By leasing a more cost-effective copy machine, they expect to save over $200 per month in direct costs.

Superintendent of Administration Sally Long also took this opportunity to discuss the paperless options that the utilities department has been adding. She noted that they have not done a very effective job at spreading the word about this option. More consumers going paperless would save even more money for the departments. Those online options can be found at the link: https://jacksonville.merchanttransact.com

The second half of the workshop session was a presentation about the Lake Mauvaise Terra watershed project. This project was designed to limit the pollutants entering the lake, including manganese’s, phosphorus, nitrates, and sediment. The lake has been listed as “impaired” by the EPA due to these issues.

The recent project successfully reduced the amount of pollution entering the lake. While this was welcome news, it is only the start of what needs to be done for the watershed. As can be seen in the report, only a modest fraction of real goal has been achieved so far.

You can read the full report here. You can watch the full meeting below:

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Senior strategist, statehouse reporter and political correspondent for Springfield Daily. Graduate of District 117 and UIS. Thomas covers stories in both Morgan and Sangamon Counties, as well as statewide politics.

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