By Charles Feldman, Reporter
After half a year of controversy, the Glen Carbon Village Board has approved an ordinance approving a special use permit for the construction and operation of a Verizon telecommunication tower in the Old Town section of Glen Carbon.
The meeting, held on Tuesday, February 12, lasted more than two hours – the first hour and fifty-five minutes dealing with comments from the public and with further questions from the board for Verizon representatives Scott Goble (also representing property owner CID Real Estate) and Jeremy Wall (radio frequency engineer) and third-party reviewer Kevin Robinson of Burns & McDonnell (hired by the village to evaluate the situation).
Other locations for the cell tower were once again discussed, but several in the discussion agreed that no matter where it may be moved it would draw petitions and protests from residents who live nearby.
“I just think that it’s a little short-sighted to say you can alleviate all the problems. I think it just shifts,” said Mayor Rob Jackstadt. “But this is certainly not a perfect situation by any means.”
“If we move the tower from where our proposed location is right now,” Goble said, “we’re adding another year to the process for us to get all our approvals – a hundred thousand-dollars cost to Horizon. We’ll be back here in about a year with a Planning and Zoning case. But I can tell you within a week or two if it will work.”
Choosing another location, even moving the proposed tower closer to the property line on the proposed site, would require restarting the entire application process again, notifying residents, holding hearings and causing further delay to solving the problem of improving police radio communications, meetingoers learned.
Despite a last-minute discussion about possibly tabling the issue until there was time to review two other sites the board voted to approve the ordinance as is, four yes votes with only one no.
At the meeting the board also approved the appointment of Stacy K. Jose to the position of building and zoning administrator. This position involves investigating, supervising and enforcement of all applicable building, rental, zoning and property maintenance codes and ensuring that residential, commercial and industrial properties meet minimum requirements.
The holder of a master of public administration degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, she previously served as director of building and zoning for the city of Wood River and as director of housing and economic development for Beyond Housing in St. Louis, Missouri, responsible for the day-to-day oversight of more than 412 rental units and a staff of more than 23.
“Given her education, her background and her experience I believe she will be an asset for the village of Glen Carbon for many years to come,” Jackstadt said.
Once approved, she started her new position on Tuesday, February 19.
Police dispatchers will now be able to work 12-hour shifts due to an agreement between the village of Glen Carbon and the Dispatchers Policemen’s Benevolent Labor Committee. This would allow one dispatcher to be assigned to a patrol sergeant and his squad.
In other action the board approved:
• A community garden to be located at Village Hall. There will be eight 4-by-8 plant beds. Applications will be available at a future date.
• Increasing the hours of operation for the Glen Carbon Heritage Museum and its director’s hours from 25 to 29 per week. The museum will now be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
• Authorizing the mayor to apply for park commission funds from Madison County for the 2019 PEP grant. If awarded, the funds could be used for improvements to the tennis courts, sidewalks and to improve the drainage of the baseball diamonds.
• A contract with American Banner Amusements for Homecoming 2019. The carnival vendor will have the exclusive right to sell lemon shake-ups and cotton candy. The Kiwanis Club will have the right to sell corn dogs this year.
• Permitting the St. Cecilia Council 13216 Knights of Columbus to solicit funds on a public way during their Tootsie roll drive on October 4 and 5 at the intersections of Main Street and Glen Crossing Road and at Cottonwood and Old Troy Road.
• Correcting a chapter title in the village ordinance pertaining to financial and accounting policies.