Sunday, February 27, 2022

Dairy Queen

 In a sign of spring coming to Carbondale and southern Illinois, the downtown Carbondale Dairy Queen reopened this past Saturday.

Friday, February 25, 2022

$124,000 Consultant

 I found it interesting that the city council decided to use $124,000 of the $7.8 million COVID relief funds coming from the federal government to hire a consultant to advise them on how to spend the remainder of the funds. Rather thought that was what we elected the city council to do. I think the consultant will serve as somewhat of a shield for the council, by allowing it to defer blame towards the consultant if/when someone complains, as they will, about how the funds were allocated.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

ARPA Form

 In case your organization wants to apply for some of the $7.8 million the city is getting in ARPA funds, here is a link to the application. Application is due by 5 p.m. this Friday.  Here are details.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Denny's Closed

The West side Denny's has apparently closed for good. Supposedly the last day was this coming Wednesday but the doors were shuttered last night.

Friday, February 18, 2022

City Council Meeting

Next City Council Meeting is at  6:00 p.m. Feb. 22.  Agenda is below:

Due to the high transmission rate of COVID in the region and the state, the continuation of the

Governor's Disaster Declaration, and the City Council's determination that an in-person meeting is

not currently practical or prudent, this meeting will be held remotely only.

To attend this meeting, please follow the link below:

https://zoom.us/j/93277794999?pwd=aUl4U1FtN0VVYllXTDV3RXhFQVhJdz09

The public can join the meeting by telephone by calling +1 312-626-6799 and using Meeting ID

932 7779 4999 and Passcode 792419

1. Preliminaries to the City Council Meeting

1.1 Roll Call

1.2 Citizens' Comments and Questions

1.3 Council Comments, General Announcements, and Proclamations

2. Public Hearings and Special Reports

2.1 Public Hearing for Sale of City-Owned Property in the 400 block of North Robert Stalls

2.2 Presentation from Moran Economic Development on the Draft Amended Project Area Redevelopment Plan for Tax

Increment Financing District #2

3. Consent Agenda of the City Council

3.1 Minutes from the Regular City Council Meeting of February 8, 2022

3.2 Approval of Warrant for the Period Ending: 02/04/2022 for the FY 2022 Warrant 1426 in the Total Amount of

$2,562,917.50

3.3 Acceptance of Approved Meeting Minutes from Boards, Commissions, and Committees

3.4 Approve the Purchase of Various Water Treatment Chemicals for FY 2023

3.5 Resolution Establishing a 30-Day Public Comment Period to Receive Citizen Comments Related to Applications for

American Rescue Plan Act Funding

3.6 Acceptance of Deeds and Easements for the Improvement of North New Era Road CIP ST1901

3.7 Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Execute a Contract for the Purchase of Real Property Located at 303

South Illinois Avenue in the Amount of $140,000

3.8 Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Execute a Contract for the Purchase of Real Property Located at 401

South Illinois Avenue in the Amount of $256,000, and to Execute an Agreement and Grant of Platform Easement

3.9 Award of Purchase of Vehicle and Ordinance Authorizing a Budget Adjustment to the Police Department FY 2022

Budget

3.10 Approval of Consent Agenda Items

4. General Business of the City Council

4.1 Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Execute a Contract for the Sale of Land in the Amount of $10 to

Carlton Smith for Property in the 400 Block of Robert Stalls and to Authorize the Mayor to Execute a Quit Claim Deed

for Conveyance of Said Land

4.2 City Council Discussion and Approval of Staff-Initiated Proposals for the Use of American Rescue Plan Act Funding

4.3 City Council Discussion in Regards to Public Safety Police Technology Proposals

5. Adjournment of the City Council Meeting

5.1 Adjourn meeting

Thursday, February 17, 2022

More Security?

 Not only do we have NextDoor but now you can download the Ring Neighbor's app from Amazon, free of change, and share video, photos, text, etc. with other people in the designated neighborhood and the Carbondale Police department

SEMO Drops Mask Mandate

 Since I teach at SEMO,I am of course on the email list and received a message about 3 p.m. yesterday that, effective immediately, all mask mandates, save for those regarding transit  and health facilities. What really struck me was the fact that it was immediate. With no evidence, I rather think SEMO's president got some pressure from state government to drop the remaining classroom mandates. Missouri has pushed getting rid of mask mandates fairly hard so I could see state government not wanting a state university to maintain them.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Still a Decline

 However you want to spin it, spring enrollment is still down a bit over one percent from spring enrollment of 2021.. Fall may look good but we are not in fall yet and things could change before then. You have turned it around when enrollment numbers start going up and do so for several years in a row. One year is not enough to proclaim that implemented changes are working. The university has implemented changes for 20 years and ever time has said they are starting to work and they never have. Get some statistically significant numbers on the books and then claim you have turned the institution around.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Power

 Appears that a plane over by Murphysboro as taking out the power through much of the city from Wal-mart west. Lights in the Walnut and Poplar area of Carbondale flickered a couple of times around 6 p.m.  and the flicked about 4 times near Main and Illinois 

Friday, February 11, 2022

Home Rule

 given that Carbondale population has dropped to around 21000 over the past decade, the city will lose its automatic home rule status, which gives it more autonomy over decisions, especially beneficial in regards to taxes. Carbondale will have to put retaining home rule on the next ballot for the city to retain its status. It probably will, as the people who come out to vote are generally the ones who would support home rule. Carbondale first gained home rule status back in 1967 and has held it automatically ever since then. 

Monday, February 7, 2022

Name Changes

 Caught on the news that Carbondale Community Arts has changed its name to Artspace 304 and the Women's Center has renamed itself the Survivor Empowerment Center Appears that both organizations have decided their missions have changed and the new names better reflect the new mission

Sponsor Circles

 Carbondale is looking to welcome Afghan refugees to Carbondale. if you are interested in helping facilitate integration of Afghan refugees into the community, you can take the training at Sponsorcircles.org and email Jim Dooley at jimadooley@gmail.com

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Main and Illinois

 Saw a couple of men blocking traffic near the intersection late this afternoon. Not sure if they are still in the area but if you are driving through, be warned. One was walking west in the south side lane of West Main with his back to traffic and cars were swerving around him. 

The other was on a bicycle near the intersection of Main and Illinois and decided to lay his bicycle and himself down in the street in front of oncoming traffic. I managed to convince him to get out of the road before he or anyone got hurt, The last I saw he was bicycling against traffic south on Illinois. Still probably a good idea to keep an eye out for either when you are driving through the area.

Saturday, February 5, 2022

City Council Meeting

 City Council meeting next Tuesday at 6 p.m via Zoom. Here is the link to the session and the agenda


6:00 p.m.

Due to the high transmission rate of COVID in the region and the state, the continuation of the Governor's

Disaster Declaration, and the City Council's determination that an in-person meeting is not currently practical

or prudent, this meeting will be held remotely only.

To attend this meeting, please follow the link below:

https://zoom.us/j/95350994702?pwd=aGdjTkFaOTVtaXNRbFZ3ZXBNenNkdz09

The public can join the meeting by telephone by calling +1 312-626-6799 and using Meeting ID 953 5099 4702

and Passcode 365052

1. Preliminaries to the City Council Meeting

1.1 Roll Call

1.2 Citizens' Comments and Questions

1.3 Council Comments, General Announcements, and Proclamations

1.4 Black History Month Proclamation

2. Public Hearings and Special Reports

3. Consent Agenda of the City Council

3.1 Minutes from the Regular City Council Meeting of January 25, 2022

3.2 Approval of Warrant for the Period Ending: 01/21/2022 for the FY 2022 Warrant 1425 in the Total Amount of $1,353,069.87

3.3 Approval of Wells Fargo Warrant for the Period Ending 12/31/2021 FY 2022 Warrant # WF 12/2021 in the amount of $150,109.44

3.4 Resolution to Enter Into an Intergovernmental Agreement with Blairsville Water District to Provide Sanitary Sewer Service to

Walker's Bluff

3.5 Approval of Consent Agenda Items

4. General Business of the City Council

4.1 City Council Discussion and Proposed Response to a Carbondale Park District Letter Regarding City's Merger Proposal

4.2 Review of Community Investment Program (CIP) Checklist Items for Proposed New Projects

4.3 City Council Discussion in Regards to Various Housing Proposals

4.4 Resolution Authorizing City Staff to Initiate a Text Amendment to Title 15 of the Carbondale Revised Code Relative to Overlay

Districts

5. Adjournment of the City Council Meeting

5.1 Adjourn meeting

Friday, February 4, 2022

Neighborhood Alliance Meeting

 In case you would like to attend tomorrow's Neighborhood Alliance meeting with reports from neighborhood and community organizations as well as city manager Gary Williams discussing the effect of the recent census numbers, here is the link  Starts at 10 a.m. CT

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Roads 2

 Highways 13 and 51 are in very good shape, so much so that people are driving along them at normal or above normal speeds. Major side streets like Popular, Willow, Tower and Sycamore are in pretty good shape, though I did see evidence that a plow went up Poplar, plowed half a block on Syamore, then turned north onto Bridge. Strange.

Side streets generally have not seen a plow yet so drive carefully on them.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Roads

 As of 5:30 today the main road through town. Highway 51 and Highway 13 are clear and as safe to drive as a wet road is. Side streets have quite a bit of slush on them which will likely ice up when it gets colder. Kudos to IDOT and the city for doing a good job keeping them clear (so far).

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Town Square

 And I was right. Today's warm weather brought back out the habitu├ęs of the town square. I figure they are OK as long as they do not bother the people going into the shops in that area. Unfortunately, I do not think that will happen. I remember an incident from several years ago. The child card sent on Jackson Street has starting bringing the kids over to listen to the noontime Brown Bag concerts. It was only a block and a half walk and the youngsters enjoyed getting outside and listening to the music. From what it understand, the kids enjoyed the music and were well behaved, the staff kept an eye on them and enjoyed the music as well. Unfortunately, one of the people hanging around the square at the time decided it was a friendly gesture to pat each child on the head as they walked by to the pavilion. I imagine the staff told them to quit it but still, that was not the sort of thing one would expect. Needless to say, that was the last time the kids got to go listen to the music. No parent wants a stranger patting their child on the head and the staff did not want to have to deal with it. This did happen several years ago but as the saying goes "Once burnt, twice shy."