December 4, 2023 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Live at St. Joseph Village Board

We are here at St. Joseph Village Board.

Julie Hendrickson is filling in as clerk.

Going over money now. In short, they have some because they are fiscally responsible.

Zoning update from Greg Crowe from MSA. #towncenter

Crowe went through the minutes and news articles to find the concerns with the zoning update that did not past last time. The first one was the name.

“I don’t know if it is really that big of a concern or not.” This guy is my hero.

He said there is no reason to believe naming the zoning area anything would change property tax rates.

He suggested other names but #towncenterorbust for me- because it really does not matter. It’s a fancy name for a business district.

Said there were 24 kinds of businesses that were banned in the previous document from building in the #towncenter.

Apparently #towncenter is really #town center.

Crowe is saying the movement in zoning is not to prohibit uses but to focus on design standards. Meaning, don’t ban an auto shop but just require it looks nice.

Shoutout to Tiffany McElroy-Smetzer for keeping amazing minutes. A quick search on the village website tells me the banned businesses would have been: adult use, gas station, lumberyard and building materials,vehicle dealership with outdoor storage and display, vehicle repair/service major, contractor storage yard, landscape business, self-storage warehouse, storage yard (outdoors), warehouse, welding shop, bus terminal, towing and other road services, farm chemicals and fertilizer sales including incidental storage and mixing blended fertilizer, farm equipment sales and service, artificial lake of one or more acres and a sewage treatment plant.

Mayor talking about how the building standards may be a better way to approach this so people aren’t automatically turned off by the #town center name.

Google tells me that towns in Illinois that have town centers are usually larger than St. Joseph.

“Our biggest concern is protecting residents from something undesirable popping up next to them.” – Mayor Tami Fruhling-Voges.

Tami feels very strongly about this. She has spoken before about how she wants to maintain the integrity of the village’s neighborhoods as well as the village downtown.

“I like the idea of saying ‘here are our standards’ and we go from there,”-Trustee Art Rapp.

Dan Davis talking about a former business in St. Joseph that is using his former building for storage for boats and how zoning could help that situation.

Based off the agenda I did not anticipate an hour discussion on zoning.

The board wants to get “everyone” together to discuss it and get everyone on the same page.

Zoning should not be this controversial honestly. No one wants a garbage dump in the downtown. That needs to be the messaging on this.

Luke Fisher and Mike Peters are leaving to deal with ice on the curve on Grand. #thankyoustjosephpublicworks

Audit time. Clean opinion. The best that they can get. #goodbookkeeping

Rapp discussing the comment in the audit saying that there isn’t anyone in the village office who can create an audit report. Auditor saying that the majority of communities this size get this comment and it means nothing.

Discussing donating money to visit champaign county IHSA boys basketball bid.

Art saying $500 could be a good donation.

They are donating $500. The point was maybe people from the tournament will venture out to smaller towns, ect.

They updated the liquor ordinance for microbreweries.

They are hiring Hayden Cargo for full-time employment with the Public Works Department.

They just spent 20 minutes discussing an ordinance to issue refunding bonds.

101 N. Monroe is all cleaned up! “It was uneventful in the end.” Little Bear Hauling billed the village $1,409. The Dumpsters were $1,090. They had 19 semi tires out there. Tire removal cost was about $300.

A total of $2,832 will be billed to the property in addition to the fines the village has already issued.

The park benches are in and will be placed at the sports complex.

Dan Davis is still looking into turning the tennis courts into a skating rink for a winter festival. Wants to tie the festival into the 5K run.

Dan has been talking to the brick and mortar restaurants about food trucks in St. Joseph. I am guessing the businesses are concerned about competition and the fact that the trucks don’t pay property taxes. Plus, competition for restaurants and fundraisers at the sports complex.

Question: do food trucks pay sales tax to the village they sell the food in or the village they are based out of?

Hackler restrooms are still being updated because the siding was late being shipped. #storefail

meeting is over.

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