Thursday, April 28, 2022

North Illinois

 The city is moving along on upgrading the streetscape along north Illinois. New sidewalks getting installed on the east side of the street up to the Thrift Shop. Of course, this means you cannot get into the Thrift Shop as the sidewalk in front of it is currently torn up.

Monday, April 25, 2022


Appears that Stix will be reopening in its original downtown locations, sometime within the next month. Spoke with one of the people involved in the business who said they have done extensive remodeling on the South Illinois location. He was not sure how the rumor that Stix was moving to the Levels location on East Grand but that is not happening.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Council and Park District Meeting

 The joint meeting between the city council and park district proceeded amicably although without any resolution. The city wants to see a proposal from the park district. Of course, this means that the park district has to come up with a proposal, which it has been loath to do. Here is a more lengthy look at the disputes between the two entities. One of the big financial problems the park district has to deal with is Hickory Ridge Golf Course, which, last time I checked, had a huge amount of debt.  If the park district merges with the city, of course the city assumes that debt, which the city may not want to do. Hickory Ridge has been a financial problem for the park district for over a decade and is the primary reason for the shuttering of the park district's BMX track. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Sustainability Commission

 The Sustainability Commission meets tomorrow via Zoom.  here is the link if you want to attend. The commission has discussed establishing a Green Spot Award, similar to the Bright Spot Award, for several months now

1. Call to Order & Roll Call:

 2. Approval of Minutes: Minutes from the last meeting

 3. Presentations: None

 4. Communications: None 

5. Old Business: ● Monthly Updates/Review of: o Solar Projects o City Composting o Former Koppers Wood Treatment Site Status Report o Updates and amendments to the Proposed Sustainability Action Plan have all the data to finish the base line report from 2019 Full meeting in January focused on this o ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability - discussion on green bonds and a resilient city. ○ catering clients to reduce waste 

6. New Business: Green Spot Award

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Downtown Shopping

 Looking at downtown, there are not a lot of places to shop. Most of downtown Carbondale consists of bar, restaurants, tattoo parlors and hair salons. There is Legal Smile at the south end of the Strip, Shawnee Trails, Jerry's Flower Shop, Insomnia cookies, a small clothing boutique above Traxx, the Printing Plant, Slabz, Old Town Liquors, Phoenix Cycles, Carbondale Cycle, Yesteryear tobacconists, Priority Sports, Consume, Town Square Market, Electric Larrys, La Unica, Castle Perilous Games and Books and Dona Camilla. What, if any, am I missing?  

Pretty eclectic collection of shops, almost all of which will draw their own group of customers who will shop there and then leave. there is no moving from store to store looking for different items. Not sure how to fix it, given that the downtown landlords appear in no rush to fill the empty spaces.

Monday, April 18, 2022


 Well looks as if Denny's has completely bit the dust. The signs are all removed or covered up on the building. That, as far as I can count, leaves Burger King,  Pita Alley, Dale's Burger Shack, El Paisano and Tequila's for food on the West side of town

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Barnes and Noble

 Barnes and Noble no longer sells books, I guess. Else they was to de-empathize the selling of books? Anyhow the company has replaced the sign on the west facing side of the building. Previously it read "Barnes and Noble, Booksellers". The new sign says "Barnes and Noble". I would assume this is part of the company rebranding as an entertainment retailer, rather than solely a book retailer. Of course, on the occasion I have to walk into the place, it is still wall to wall books

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Council Meeting

Special joint meeting of the City Council and Carbondale Park District next Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. at the Garden Grove Event Center on West Main.  That is quite a bit earlier than normal and I would be willing to bet it is an attempt to smooth over the rift that has developed between the two bodies. Unfortunately, due to Illinois open meetings law, the meeting has to take place in public which means neither body will likely be willing to ceed anything from their position. 

Special Joint Meeting of the City Council and Park District

Garden Grove Event Center, 1215 East Walnut Street, Carbondale

Tuesday, April 19, 2022, at 8:30 a.m.

1. Roll Call

1.1 Roll Call for Each Body

2. Approval of Agenda

2.1 Approval of the Agenda

3. Citizen Comments

3.1 Citizen Comments on Matters Not on the Printed Agenda

4. General Business

4.1 General Discussion Among Board Members about Carbondale Parks and Recreation

5. Comments from Council and Board

5.1 Comments from Park District Board Commissioners and City Council Members

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Memorial Hospital

 SIH is requesting a rezoning of properties on West Oak and N. Almond, including the old Regions Bank parking lot, from residential to professional/administrative. I would guess that the  rezoning is a precursor to pulling down the properties and expanding the Memorial Hospital campus.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Home Rule

 Had it pointed out to me that if the electorate fails to pass a home rule ordinance this fall, any future taxes the city might want to implement would have to be passed by a referendum. That would mean that, I think, the city council could not amend the sales tax ordinance to keep the Saluki Way tax on the books. Instead, the tax would expire unless a referendum was passed keeping it in place.

Why talk about this now?  Because people need to be discussing it now, rather than a few months before the tax expires. I still remember when the CCHS box tax was due to expire. There was little discussion of it in the months before the expiration and the night council voted to amend the ordinance to keep the tax in place, there were only about 3 people in the audience.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Saluki Way Tax

 The portion of the sales tax funding bonds for the  the new stadium, Arena remodel and Saluki Way project is scheduled to expire in 2027. I would be willing to bet though, unless people start pushing for its expiration. The city will likely argue, as it did when the tax funding bonds for repairs at CCHS was due to expire, that it needed the funds from the tax and had already figured the revenue into its budget.

 The argument made at the time for passing the sales tax increase was that the enhancements to the campus would attract more students and draw more people to campus to attend events in the new stadium and remodeled Arena, despite evidence that revenues do not increase when tax payer money goes to fund sportscapes and attendance at SIUC has trended downward for 3 decades. Still it will be easier for the council to argue it needs the money from the tax and vote to extend the ordinance that established it, rather than letting it expire and passing a new one. 

Friday, April 8, 2022


Since no one was available this morning to put them out, the Chamber of Commerce, as a test, left a row of Saluki flags bordering Main street out all night. Came in this morning to find all of the flags on the south Side of the street bent over so that likely will not happen again. Of course, someone lit one of the bushes around the trainman's statue on fire so it wasn't just target at the flags.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Carbondale Spring Fest

 The first Carbondale Spring fest takes place this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Out on the Town Squar Pavilion though which means that the vendors get to spend most of the day sitting in 50 degree F temperatures, at least accounting to the current weather forecast. If it is sunny that day, that should bring outpeople but if the day is grey, expect turnout to be pretty light.

Monday, April 4, 2022


 Looks as if the city is starting on the streetscape north of Marion on Illinois Avenue. The street here is a lot flatter so we will likely not see the "walls" put in further south on Illinois to adjust for the changes in gradient on the sidewalks. I just wish the design could make getting up on the sidewalk easier as there is quite a step up to the sidewalk if you park on the street.

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Tourism 2

 Following up on the last post, the Carbondale Tourism office has moved into the old Nest storefront, next to The Cellar. Not sure why they made the move now, since it involved shifting quite a bit of office material. the plan eventually is, when the multi-modal transport station opens, to move the tourism offices as well as Carbondale Main Street and the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce into offices on the north side of the building. Maybe the rent is cheaper in the new location? Since Carbondale Tourism is funded, last time I checked, by the hotel tax, COVIC may have hit its revenue stream pretty soundly, causing it to need a less expensive location. No evidence to back this up on my part but moving less than a block away does seem a bit odd.