In anticipation of Illinois' legalization of marijuana Jan. 1, the Village of Hutsonville has banned businesses that produce or sell cannabis.
In a 5-0 vote the village board voted to ban production and sales establishments within the village limits. After more than a month of reflection and a brief discussion, the motion to ban was made by Trustee Monte Newlin and seconded by Guy Rumler, with all trustees present voting to ban.
Also at the meeting, the board reminded farmers and drivers of heavy vehicles not to go north on Pleasant Street.
For several years that road has been posted with a 10 ton weight limit in consideration of the old masonry bridge. In recent years the village has spent several thousand dollars making repairs to the old bridge to keep it serviceable for local residential traffic. Recently a farm convoy with vehicles in excess of 30,000 pounds crossed the bridge.
Mayor Tina Callaway wanted to remind the board and residents that damage to the bridge would mean closure of a direct traffic route to and from the north, as well as impede the main watershed on that side of town. Replacement or extensive repair could cost the village millions of dollars, which it does not have.
The suggested and approved alternate route for farm or heavy vehicles is to use North Rose to North Street. North Rose is a solid road with no overhead wires or obstructions.
Violators could be subject to citation, fines and Department of Transportation inspection.
In other business, the board reviewed and accepted the annual audit presented by Kemper CPA. Callaway went through the report giving trustees and other attendees a better understanding of the village's finances, and how the various funds are managed. She also reported on the other required services Kemper performs for the village.
Last month local business owner Mike Kraemer came before the board to say he is interested in growing his business and ask if the village would be willing to sell the gravel parking lot south of the bridge, where he would build a new establishment.
As this was the first time many of the trustees had heard the idea, a lot of questions needed to be asked and answered before any decision could be made. Over the past month Kraemer has had informational conversations with individual trustees and the mayor, in answer to some questions and new ideas. During Tuesday night's meeting the board reviewed a letter from Kraemer requesting the official interest of the board in selling or exchanging properties, before moving forward.
One important question was putting underground fuel tanks that close to the Wabash River. According to Kraemer, there would be no barrier base on the information he has received.
As the issued is complicated and discussion will take time, an ad hoc committee was formed to communicate with Kraemer as they continue to discuss the issue. Trustee Guy Rumler said, "If someone wants to invest $1 million in our town I am for it, but I also have a lot of questions before we move forward."
Trick or Treat will be Thursday, Oct. 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. at houses with porch lights on.
Fall cleanup for Republic customers in the village will Tuesday, Oct. 22. Residents are reminded that mattresses must be wrapped in plastic and taped shut for pickup. Among the items they cannot take are household chemicals, paints and solvents, car parts and appliances with freon. Residents are also asked not to set items out too early to prevent animal or weather damage.
The next scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, Nov. 12.