Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Neighborhood Business District Tabled

The council spent about two hours last night not coming to a conclusion on how to modify the description of a Neighborhood Business District. The main sticking point, and it is a major one, is how to deal with larger commercial buildings grandfathered into what is now a residential area.

The primary sticking point is the area surrounding the intersection of Sycamore and Oakland, as the old Carbondale High School, National Guard Armory and Coke distribution nee Oakland Avenue Auto Repair buildings, all build before current zoning regulations went into effect but none of which are suitable for residential use.  How does the city, and by extension its residents, let the owners make use of their property while still maintaining the residential aspect of the area? While Oakland Avenue Auto Repair operated, those living in adjoining houses complained of auto exhaust coming into their homes on a regular basis. Going out your front door to a face full of car fumes is not what the residents expected when moving into their properties.

A proposal requiring towing services to provide additional tie downs around the wheels and detachable lights on the rear end of towed cars died for lack of a motion after strong arguments against the ordinance by local towing companies. Expense, possible damage to towed vehicles and increase in towing time, all argued by the towing companies, convinced council members not to move forward with the regulation.

Rather surprisingly, the budget passed with little discussion and only one comment from the audience, a call for further cuts to the budget including civic center staff and police department officers.

Council went into closed session about 10:40.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

City Council Meeting

The city council meets tonight, right after the Liquor Control Commission.  Since the only think on the LCC's agenda is a request from Aldi's for a license to sell beer and wine, that should move quickly.

There's an ordinance regarding lights on tow trucks and the approval of the next year's budget on the council agenda.  Expect to see the budget passed after much discussion, not so sure about the two truck ordinance.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Historic Properties Bus Tour

In case you are free from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. this evening, a bus tour of historic properties in Carbondale leaves the City Hall lobby at 5 p.m. this evening. Limited seating so call Planning Services at 457-3248 to reserve a seat.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Saluki Way Sales Tax

Some years ago, when the Carbondale city council increased the sales tax for the purpose of donating $20 million to SIUC for the purpose of funding the Saluki Way project, proponents of the increase had two arguments:

1. replacing the hulk that was McAndrew Stadium with a brand new football stadium and remodeling the Arena, along with the additional construction comprising the Saluki Way project would draw more students to the university, thus benefiting the community as a whole by increasing the customer base for businesses in Carbondale.  That hasn't worked so well.

2. Building the sports complex would draw more people into town to attend games. These people would then spend money, thus driving up sales tax revenue. That hasn't worked so well, either.

However, so as not to end the evening on a down note, here are some pictures of cute cats.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Debate Team In Action

Promoted from the comments, if you have never seen SIUC's debate team in action or are curious just as to what a debate team does, SIUC's team will debate this Monday night, with the topic  "Should the State of Illinois increase the minimum wage to $10.10?":

 http://paulsimoninstitute.org/images/PDF/spring2014/psppi-paul-simon-debate-4-21-14.pdf

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Debate Team Follow Up

Following up on yesterday's post about the SIUC debate team, it is rather a shame that the university does not choose to devote more resources to supporting the debate team, given how well it consistently preforms at the national level as compared to say, the basketball team, which has not made an appearance at the national level since 2008.

However, the university keeps tossing resources at the athletic department, while cutting them from debate, indicating where priorities at the university remain

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

SIUC Debate Team

SIUC's debate coach Todd Graham made quite an interesting presentation at today's Chamber of Commerce lunch, pointing out that SIUC's debate team was nationally ranked, won back to back national championships, has won at least one national championship in every decade AND has placed in the final four at the national level for the past seven years.  Pretty impressive.

Also pretty impressive is that they have done this while fielding one and a half teams (one member dropped out halfway though the season), going up against universities fielding 4 and 8 teams.