Friday, January 18, 2019

American Tap Liquors

Noticed that American Tap Liquors, located on S. Illinois next to Bombay Olive, has been closed for the past several weeks. Apparently they finally decided that having a storefront less than half a block from a downtown institution like Old Town Liquors was not the best idea, at least not according to this notice on the agenda for the next Liquor Control Commission meeting:

2.2 Transfer of a Class C1 Liquor License (Packaged Liquor Store) from American Tap Liquors, LLC to change the location from 518 South Illinois Avenue, Suite A to 715 North Giant City Road, Suite 7

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Making Assumptions

Interesting, as a reader of the blog pointed out, that Mayor Henry assumes, based on his Meet the Mayor dates, that he will be re-elected. He has Meet the Mayor dates scheduled all the way through December.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Downtown Parking

There is some talk of the city removing metered parking in downtown Carbondale, replacing them with a 2 hour parking limit and, I guess, dedicating a city employee to monitor them. I have seen chalk markings on tires used in other municipalities. Monitor marks the back tire with chalk on the first pass, then comes by 2 hours later and tickets any cars still there with a chalk mark.

I was in Troy Ohio over the holiday season. The city had the two hour limit with a monitor but was in the process of phasing it out and replacing it with meters. Apparently it found the meters more cost effective than paying someone to check parking.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Warming Centers 2

Well, the city can move fast. following up on the vote to authorize putting in a warming center on the grounds where the Holiday Inn used to stand on East Main, the city will open the facility next week. However, based on feedback and complaints from businesses in the East Main area and a desire for a more centralized location, the city decided to move the location to 705 East College, about 2 blocks east of the Carbondale Police/Public Safety building.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Warming Center

This week, the city council approved a permit for a temporary  warming center to locate on the grounds of the old Holiday Inn/ Horizon Inn in the 800 block of East Main. The plan is to move mobile trailers onto the property during the winter months and remove them April 1st. The city doesn't appear to have had much luck selling the property after seizing it for unpaid taxes and razing the mold infested building, so at least this puts the grounds to beneficial use.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Meet the Mayor

In case you want to meet the Mayor (and city manager in most cases), here is the proposed schedule for the year. Generally about 6 to 10 people turn out for the event.:

Sessions will be held every month on Thursday. Times will alternate between 8:30-9:30 a.m. and 1:30-2:30 p.m. Citizens will have the opportunity to talk to Carbondale Mayor John “Mike” Henry, Carbondale City Manager Gary Williams and a Carbondale City Council member at various eateries throughout the city.
The locations will be as follows: 
Date                                 Location                                             Time                           
January 10                      Quatro's                                              1:30-2:30 p.m.
February 7                       Neighborhood Co-op Grocery            8:30-9:30 a.m. 
March 7                            Italian Village                                     1:30-2:30 p.m. 
April 4                               Kroger Starbucks                               8:30-9:30 a.m. 
May 2                                Fazoli's                                              1:30-2:30 p.m.   
June 6                               Harbaugh's                                        8:30-9:30 a.m. 
July 11                               Dairy Queen                                      1:30-2:30 p.m. 
August 8                            McDonald's (East Main Street)          8:30-9:30 a.m. 
September 5                      Longbranch                                       1:30-2:30 p.m. 
October 3                           Common Grounds                             8:30-9:30 a.m.
November 7                        Keepers Quarters                             1:30-2:30 p.m.
December 5                        Gloria Jean's Coffees                        9:30-10:30 a.m. (special time due to mall hours)
If you have questions or would like more information, contact Carbondale Public Relations Officer Amy Fox at (618) 559-1939.
“Carbondale prides itself on providing its visitors, students, businesses and residents with a unique mix of edge and ease. It’s a cultural town, yet free of pretense, embracing the great outdoors as readily as urban sophistication. Here, we are open to new ideas, experiences and cultures, so you are encouraged to both express yourself and be yourself, in all ways. That’s Carbondale…All Ways Open… for family, fun, business, new ideas and a bright tomorrow.”

Monday, January 7, 2019

EZ Street Station Open

The EZ Street station on West main has moved into the Old Dollar Family/Hollywood Video storefront at the corner of Main and Oakland. Open now although the gas pumps will be removed and replaced with more "modern" ones. The station will have access to the pumps from both Main and Oakland with a drive up to the store on the south side.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Rental Propery Percentages

One of the big problems Carbondale is the high percentage of absentee landlords and rental properties. I have seen data indicating that 71% of housing in Carbondale is rental property and only about 28% is owner occupied. That means we have a whole lot of housing in the city that is lived in by people who do not own it and have no vested interest, aside from their security deposit, in maintaining it. Meanwhile, we have comparatively few owners of property in Carbondale who are responsible for maintaining a lot of the housing in the city.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

International Students

Why go after international students so strongly? According to a meeting I sat in on today, each international student recruited to SIUC injects $10,000 per year into the local economy. In addition, each international student generates 2 additional jobs in the community during their tenure at the university.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

LAB Agenda

Only thing on this week's Liquor Advisory Board agenda is a proposal to allow taxi and similar compensated drivers to purchase and deliver alcohol to customers. Really not a bad idea as it would keep people who are going to consume the alcohol off the roads. Big concern I see is checking for underage purchases. How do you make sure that the people who order the alcohol are of legal age to consume it. When you buy it in a store, ID is required. ID would still be required but there is a lot less oversight of a taxi or Uber driver than a checker in a store.