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Stevensville airport annexation moving forward

By Michael Howell

The Stevensville Town Council is moving forward with efforts aimed at annexing the airport land located a few miles northeast of town on the Illinois Bench. At its meeting on Thursday, October 25, the Council referred the petition to annex the airport property to the Planning and Zoning Board for a review and recommendation.

Also referred to the Planning and Zoning Board was a request to consider an amendment to the 2009 Stevensville Growth Policy. Although the airport is mentioned in the town’s growth policy it does not specifically place the airport in a planning area or include it in the boundary map. These details need to be added to the Growth Policy before the annexation can be cone.

A request was also relayed to the board to consider and recommend a zoning designation of “light industrial” as part of the annexation process. The town does not have a heavy industrial zoning designation, but it was noted that all the businesses currently located at the airport would qualify for placement in the light industrial category.

The Planning and Zoning Board was also asked to consider an amendment to the Stevensville Development Code’s transportation and utilities chart indicating “Aircraft Transportation” as a Permitted Use in a “Light Industrial” zone and recommend approval to the Council.

In other business the Council approved the Mayor’s request to relocate temporarily just outside the town limits for family health reasons. The move is being made to avoid the use of three flights of stairs in their current residence while his wife recuperates from hip surgery. According to Town Attorney Brian West, the move is allowed by state law if the intent is not to change his place of residence permanently. The Mayor submitted a letter to the town stating his intention that the move would be temporary.

The Council also approved a contract with ABT Controls to replace undersized motor starters at the sewer treatment plant at a price of $14,363.

The Council got an update on the development of the town’s well field. The second test well to be installed showed signs of being well placed in a bed of course sand and gravel. A third test well, however, seems to have landed in a sandy pocket and may not produce as well as the first and second wells. Drilling of the first production well was scheduled for November 5.

Security issues at Lewis and Clark Park were discussed. Soccer Coach Cathi Cook noted that the gates were back up and the fence repaired, but that the gates were left open one night when she checked. Police Chief James Marble noted that it was not possible due to staffing issues to patrol the park as often as needed or even to lock the gates every night. He said they try to do a few sweeps of the area each night if possible and that the bathroom had been locked for the winter. He mentioned that lighting was a critical issue. Setting up a gate security schedule and a cost estimate of lighting have been placed on the November 8 council agenda.

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