City council plans for Charleston’s growth


Mackenzie Freund

John Dallas, owner of L D Mechanical, hands apples out to the Charleston City Council members at the City Council meeting Tuesday in City Hall. Dallas said he was apreciative of the ordinance that the council placed on file for public inspection.

Lynnsey Veach, City Editor

­­­­The Charleston city council announced the temporary waiver of all building, permit, and plumbing fees for new single-family residence construction at Tuesday night’s meeting.

The waiving of fees will start Feb. 3 and last until the end of the year.

Mayor Brandon Combs said this plan will help Charleston’s growth and development, and business in general.

“We are doing this to be progressive,” Combs said. “We know we want people to be building inside the city.”

Combs said one developer told him the waiving of these fees could save homebuilders in Charleston over $7,000.

“That’s a significant difference when looking to build a home,” Combs said. “This is just the beginning, a big step. We are thinking outside of the box.”

Combs said there is more to his plan of growing and developing Charleston.

“I want to thank (the council), this is truly a team and staff effort,” Combs said. “We will see where it goes, we are starting here. There is more to come.”

Hadley Phillips, a Charleston resident said, “I want to say thank you for being a progressive council, and thinking about the future of our city as well as EIU’s growth potential.”

Phillips said he encourages the City Council to keep heading on the progressive path for homebuilding in Charleston.

“Hopefully we are at the bottom of the barrel here, and we are going to climb back up,” Phillips said. “I think we all want that.”

John Dallas, co-owner of L D Mechanical, said he is also thankful for the direction the council is heading with the waiving of construction fees.

Combs said the council and police department are looking at starting an inspection program, with more information to come.

Combs said Naperville is the only other city in Illinois starting this program, which gives $75 to the police department per inspection.

Combs and Charleston Police Chief Bryan Baker sat down and spoke with the Illinois Department of Revenue for Alcohol Enforcement, since they approached the city with this program.

“Chief Baker put his blessing on this, so looks like we are going to go ahead and go with the agreement,” Combs said.

The first eight items mentioned during the meeting were approved, including raffle licenses for the Veterans of Foreign Affairs Post #1592 and the Eastern Fraternal Order of Police #777.

A new ordinance approved by the council determined changes in traffic regulations are in the best interest of the community, making new stop intersections at Fifth Street and Van Buren Avenue.

According to the ordinance, it will be unlawful to drive any vehicle into the intersection of Fifth Street and Van Buren Avenue without first bringing said vehicle to a full stop.

Combs also announced the appointment of Bob Newell to a three-year term on the Charleston Carnegie Library Board of Trustees.

Combs also announced the re-appointment of Kathryn Morice to a three-year term on the Historic Preservation Commission, along with the reappointment of Lexe Volk and appointment of Jill Nilsen to five-year terms on the Board of Zoning Appeals & Planning.


Lynnsey Veach can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].