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Village board agrees to help fund new tourism director position

Arthur Graphic-Clarion of Arthur, Illinois

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Arthur Village Board on January 20 pledged their support for creating and funding a tourism director position.

The city's commitment is for three years.

But the support comes at a price for the Economic Development Corporation. The city is splitting its usual financial support, which was set at $30,000, between the tourism director position and the AAEDC, with $15,000 going to the new position.

The motion to fund the AAEDC at $15,000 was for one year only, not three.

Voting in favor of supporting the new tourism director position were Dave Tiffan, James Aikman, Karen Good, and Terry Clark. Larry Miller abstained. J.D. Kuhns was absent.

Mayor Matt Bernius said before the vote that helping the AAEDC was the thing to do. He said a full-time tourism director will help get the word out about Arthur as a destination and what it has to offer visitors.

The tourism director will be stationed at the Welcome Center.

Although the city has no official tourism director yet, the unique shops and merchandise offered by businesses in and around Arthur will have a representative at the upcoming 2014 Governor's Conference on Tourism to be held in Chicago.

Sue Falk reported she will attend the conference at her own expense and will represent the Arthur Area.

Police Chief Mike Goodman and Officer Roger Hansen will attend the two-day Southern Illinois Criminal Justice Summit on February 26 and 27 at Keller Convention Center in Effingham.

The City will pay the officers' expenses to attend the seminars. The cost is $125 per person for a total $250.

Some of the topics to be discussed are problems that may be encountered due to recent changes in the law concerning marijuana, guns, drugs, and mental health issues; improving the performance of department personnel; new laws protecting the older adults and those with disabilities; and issues concerning resistance control, entry of structures, supervising training, and interacting with persons affected by mental illness and other disabilities.

The board approved a request to rezone and modify Lots 2 and 7 in Meadowview Subdivision.

The action rezones Lot 2 from R3 to R3A and designates both lots as "zero lot line" lots.

Attorney Bob Crossman will prepare a document to be included in the Tax Increment Financing papers, establishing an agreement between the village and other taxing bodies—such as the school district, library district, and fire protection district—concerning any excess Equalized Assessed Value of the property to be included in the city's proposed TIF district.

For example, the agreement states that if the EAV of the TIF properties doubles from $6 million to $12 million, the city will declare a 20 percent excess stnd distribute the earnings among the other taxing authorities. It also provides for a higher excess if the EAV triples from the original amount.

Mayor Bernius commended village employees for their diligence in clearing the streets following a snowstorm and repairing water line leaks.

Terry Clark and Larry Miller both commented on seeing a lot of people walking in the street where sidewalks had not been cleared. Dave Tiffan suggested that perhaps some businesses and residents could help clear the sidewalks.

"The city guys try to do what they can, but there should be some others taking the initiative, too," he said.

Miller added that he has seen several vehicles parked on sidewalks and the blocked sidewalk also aggravates the problem of people walking in the streets, especially kids.

Next regular meeting of Arthur Village Board will be 7 p.m. Monday, February 3. Meetings are held in the Board Meeting Room at the Municipal Building, 120 East Progress Street. Meetings are open to the public.

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Original Publication Date: January 29, 2014

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