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September 17, 2019

9/6/2019 11:32:00 AM
Oblong planning public meeting on pot business
Also: Village board approves use of non-motorized boats on park lake.
Daily News

The Oblong Village Board continues to look at recreation as a way to grow the community while continuing to weigh pros and cons associated with the legalization of marijuana in Illinois Jan. 1.

Across the state and county, communities are deciding whether or not to allow state-approved cannabis businesses. While the legality has been decided at the state level, local communities can still decide if they want to allow such a business and establish taxation for the benefit of the community, similar to alcohol sales and gaming. Moral and community standards also weigh into the equation.

During Wednesday night's meeting Oblong Village trustees took a few minutes to further discuss the issue and a proposed ordinance prohibiting cannabis businesses was reviewed.

It was pointed out that crime and social problems may increase from just the general legalization. These numbers have already been documented in Colorado and elsewhere, trustees said. But they also wondered if it is going to happen anyway, why the village should not capitalize on the potential revenue.

Before voting on the issue the trustees believe a public meeting should be held to get a better understanding of the residents' feelings and opinions on the issue. A meeting has been scheduled for Monday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. in the Oblong Community Center.

The village continues to look at ways to improve the city park, fair grounds and lake for more recreational use. The board approved the use of non-motorized water craft on the lake. All Department of Natural Resources laws would apply and some specific restrictions may be added. One restriction that would remain is no swimming.

The concrete slab that was built for skateboarding and currently used for pickle ball will be getting some new official-size portable nets in the near future. The board is also looking at removing the unused horseshoe pitching area to make room for other equipment.

Members of the Crawford County Fair Board also requested use of the grandstand area for a demolition derby Nov. 2, and would like to discuss increasing seating areas on the north east side of the track.

While the derby was approved, more information is needed on the scope of the seating project, which calls for filling in the area directly east of the stage to accommodate portable bleachers. The fair board is looking at writing grants for the project if they receive approval.

The board did approved the annual tax levy in the amount of $123,500. They also approved use of the four-way stop by the Shriners on Sept. 21, and VFW on Nov. 2. The route for the Spooktacular 5K run was also approved for Oct. 26.

Language changes to the employee handbook were approved reflecting changes to several laws and regulations.

A manufactured housing application was approved for Bill and Teresa Ikemire at 407 E. Illinois.

Two TIF grants were approved. One for a roofing project at 114 S. Range in the amount of $3,500, and the other not to exceed $3,500 towards the proposed mural project. A location and final costs are still being discussed for that project.

Mayor Teresa Fielder noted that fall cleanup will be Thursday, Sept. 26, and residents should check out her Facebook page for details and restrictions.

The monthly police report noted nine citations were issued, 12 offences reported two traffic accidents investigated and there were 108 calls for service in August.

The next scheduled meeting will be Wednesday, Oct. 2.

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