Arranging for observance of Halloween in West Frankfort became highly contentious at the City Council meeting Tuesday.
The holiday will be observed Wednesday, Oct. 31.
The traditional “Trail of Treats” will be from 3 to 5 p.m. and Trick or Treat hours are to 8 p.m.
Mayor Tom Jordan originally suggested the observance be held Friday, Oct. 26, a night when the kids could gorge themselves with candy, stay up late and not have to worry about school the next day.
There was a secondary, and probably primary, reason behind the mayor’s suggestion.
Wednesday — the “real” Halloween — traditionally has been a church night in Southern Illinois and that tradition is observed by Jordan’s church of choice, First Baptist Church.
The date rapidly switched back to the Halloween night on suggestion of Commissioner Tara Fasol-Chambers who said she is concerned for mothers and young children.
If the observance had been set for two different days, the mom’s would have been required to dress children in costume two different days, she said.
Commissioner Mike Simpson seconded the motion of Chambers to set the city observance to Wednesday.
On the vote, Jordan hesitated a moment, and proclaimed an emphatic “No.”
The remainder of the council voted affirmatively.
Commissioner Ed Blades rapidly is becoming known as “Bad News Ed” as each meeting he brings to council a new piece of bad news concerning the city’s crumbling sewage-system infrastructure.
Tuesday was no exception.
When workers were tearing down the old hospital, heavy equipment apparently crushed what is believed to be an 8-inch clay sewage line and destroyed two manholes serving about five or six homes, Blades said.
Service to the homes has gradually stopped up and council authorized an emergency repair at an unknown cost.
If the work is not done immediately, Blades believes the homes could quickly be left without sewage systems.
During the meeting, council took a firm action on the old hospital property, authorizing purchase of the land for $65,00 when the final structure is demolished, an environmental survey is complete and the site is returned to grade. The city has no firm plans for the site, but sought to place it under city control for future development.
During the meeting:
Council determined to move ahead with consideration of a non-owner occupied code ordinance.
Before it is introduced to the body, public meetings will beheld 6:30 p.m. Thursday and 6:30 p.m. Oct. 4. Both meetings are at City Hall.
Council hired the firm Select Energy to be the city’s consultant for electric aggregation, an item that will be on the November ballot. The firm will promote passage and, if given an OK by citizens, will negotiate for buying electricity at lower than the current rate.
Page 2 of 2 - Three derelict parcels of land, all with back taxes of more than three years, were purchased from the county at a cost of $650 each, to be reimbursed by the Community Council. Structures will be razed and the lots resold.
Council acted to sell five other lots where structures have been razed, a part of a continuing community improvement project.