By Charles Feldman, Reporter
The Glen Carbon Village Board voted 4-2 in favor of an ordinance prohibiting cannabis business establishments during its Tuesday, October 22 meeting.
It met in the atrium at Eden Village retirement community as part of an annual effort to bring the proceedings out to where the people are. Last year’s special meeting was at Meridian Village, another year, a school.
Pros and cons of prohibiting the business establishments were presented by Police Chief Todd Link, several trustees, a member of a women’s temperance organization who addressed the board right after the meeting opened, and finally, Mayor Rob Jackstadt. He spoke against banning the businesses, saying that residents deserve a chance at real estate tax abatement that would come with a 3 percent sales tax on recreational cannabis.
He also said it would also place Glen Carbon commercial property and business owners under a “competitive disadvantage” compared to their counterparts in nearby Edwardsville and Maryville.
“The issue before us is not whether to legalize cannabis,” he said. “That ship has already sailed.”
The prohibition passed.
“It is what it is,” Jackstadt said after the meeting. “I thought it was a very professional process that the village followed. We didn’t run into it quickly. We tried to learn as much as we could about it. I’m very comfortable with the process, so I’m very comfortable with the result.
“I obviously wish it would have been different, but that’s why you have the elected officials and seven of them,” he said.
“My only two issues on this,” Link said after the meeting, “because it is legal in seventy days for recreational possession of marijuana, is that the federal government still considers it to be a crime and because of that all cannabis-based business transactions have to take place in cash, which I see is a public safety issue.”
An ordinance to allow cannabis with a village tax, on the agenda in the event that the prohibition was rejected, was considered moot and was removed by the board from the agenda.
The board also approved a contract with Fowler Technology Services for a new village phone system in the amount of $48,538.29. Toshiba, the current system, has filed for bankruptcy and was sold. Its services and parts will be completely unavailable 12 months from now.
Both hardware and software will be replaced. Money is available in the village’s capital fund to pay for the new system. Fifty percent of the installation will be covered in the monthly service contract.
The village passed an ordinance to levy the inaugural tax for the recently created Cottonwood Five Special Service Area in the amount of $5,000. It also voted to abate tax levies relating to the payment of General Obligation Bonds (Alternate Revenue Source) Series 2018 and the payment of interest and principal on General Obligation Bonds (Waterworks and Sewerage Alternate Revenue Source)Series 2011B Bonds. Revenues for Fiscal Year 2020, cash on hand and the transfer of funds from both the Water and Sewer funds into the bond fund in next year’s budget are expected to be more than enough to pay off both debts.
In other actions, the board approved:
• The purchase of a trailer-mounted jet rodder for the utilities department in the amount of $54,900 using a competitive low-bid process. It uses high water pressure to blast items like bottles, sludge and other debris out of sewer lines. This item came out about $30,000 lower than what had been budgeted for it, according to Public Works Director Jennifer Doody.”We got a really good deal on our trade-in,” she said.
• The purchase of a 2020 International HV507 with a dump truck upfit kit for the streets department in the amount of $104,924 using the State of Illinois Bid. It had been budgeted for about $125,000.
• A preventative service agreement with Eaton UPS, which provides a 126-hour backup power supply to the telecommunications center, including 911 operations and radio functions. This is a renewal of a previous contract and has been budgeted for Fiscal Year 2020.
Business of the Month for October 2019 was Kirkland’s, the home decor and specialty gifts shop located at 6624 Edwardsville Crossing Drive.
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 12 at 7 p.m. at Village Hall. A presentation on the Fiscal Year 2020 budget will be made (a draft will be available for public view beginning on Friday, November 8) and the board will vote whether to approve the estimated tax levy ordinance that will be used to collect the village’s portions of the 2019 real estate taxes for the next fiscal year (final action will be taken on December 10).
The public is welcome to attend and may also see it as it unfolds on the Village of Glen Carbon Facebook page.