The Carbondale Observer

News and commentary about Carbondale, Illinois and SIUC

City Council Meets Tonight

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The city council and local liquor commission meets tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Civic Center. The big items on the liquor control commission agenda are consideration of liquor licenses for five grocery stores (Kroger, Schnucks, Arnolds, Wal-Mart, and the Neighborhood Co-op).

There are three significant items on the city council agenda: the city is refinancing bonds and the council has to decide whether to issue bonds for the new west side fire station, the city’s refuse and recycling service is operating at a loss and the council has to decide whether to raise rates, and Home Rentals is requesting a special use permit to build a fourplex apartment building on Monroe Street next to the library.

I’m undecided on the bond issue. Because interest rates are low, the city could issue bonds for the new fire station while refinancing current bonds and the scheduled payments would remain the same. Another option would be to wait until the bonds for the road resurfacing project are paid off in 2018 and then issue bonds for the fire station. I lean very slightly toward issuing the fire station bonds as part of refinancing the existing bonds, but I don’t feel strongly about the issue.

I support raising the rates for refuse collection. No one wants to pay a higher trash bill, but we have to pay for city services. I’d rather pay a higher rate to the city than have the services privatized and pay an even higher rate to a private company.

I oppose the special use permit for Home Rentals. I think an attractive, well run apartment building would be a nice addition to Monroe Street. Carbondale would benefit from having more people living near downtown. Unfortunately, I don’t trust Home Rentals to build an attractive apartment building and properly maintain it in the future. Their record is far less than stellar, and Monroe Street doesn’t need another hovel.

Home Rentals is one of the larger rental companies in Carbondale – probably the largest locally owned and operated company. I’d like for them to clean up their act and clean up their properties. If they started delivering a better product, I’d be happy to support a special use permit for them. But until they start doing a better job maintaining their existing properties, I don’t think the city should grant any special uses to this company.

The full council agenda is available at this link.

Comments are welcome.

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Written by The Carbondale Observer

August 16, 2011 at 7:45 am

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