Village Board Ends Year With Donations, Zoning
Mayor Joe Werner presented checks to several local organizations on behalf of the Mokena Mayors Charitable Foundation at the Village Board's final meeting of 2012 on Dec. 10. Other business included the annual audit, property annexation, and zoning change
Mayor Joe Werner started off the Dec. 10 meeting of the Mokena Village Board of Trustees by presenting a series of checks to area organizations on behalf of the Mokena Mayors Charitable Foundation. He distributed $18,300 in donated funds among 12 organizations as a part of the foundation's annual donations.
The Mokena Mayors Charitable Foundation is independent of the village government, and all of the money it dispenses is donated by the Mokena community. Werner said he wanted to bring representatives of each organization receiving a donation before the board and the public in order to highlight the work that they do for the community outside of the public eye.
"What this is really all about is the opportunity to help great people do great things for people in our community that we, as I said, don't really get a chance to necessarily always see," Werner said. "We don't realize how many people there are out there that have all different kinds of needs, and this group of people that you met tonight and the young folks that were with them are a demonstration of that."
The full list of donations awarded by the foundation this year is as follows:
- $4,000 to Mokena Marley FISH
- $2,400 to Girl Scout Service Unit No. 41
- $800 to Boy Scout Troop No. 40
- $800 to Boy Scout Troop No. 725
- $800 to Cub Scout Pack No. 39
- $2,000 to Mokena Senior Citizens
- $400 to Will County Children's Advocacy Center
- $3,000 to the foundation's scholarship fund
- $400 in Student Government Day bonds
- $500 to the Mokena Women's Club
- $2,000 to the Mokena Cancer Support Center
- $1,200 to Lincoln Way Special Recreation
Other village business at the meeting included the approval of an audit of the district's financial reports for the fiscal year that ended in June 2012. The audit was conducted by Ed McCormick of the auditing firm of Mulcahy, Pauritsch, Salvador & Co., Ltd., who also presented a report on the audit to the board.
McCormick gave the village's finances a clean bill of health, stating his opinion that the financial statements the board provided were accurate and praising the village for what he called its responsible and conservative fiscal policy.
"You're conservative on the revenue side, and you're realistic on the expenditure side, and it works in the budget," McCormick said. "So when the actual numbers come in, your revenues were much higher, but even with the expenditures, you were still well within your means."
The board also approved, via unanimous vote, a motion to annex 1.25 acres of property located at 19715 S. La Grange Road into the Village of Mokena. The land had previously been part of unincorporated Will County, but its owner, Dennis Peters, requested the annexation. He also requested a rezoning for the property, which the board also approved, classifying it as a C1-A general commercial property to allow for an auto repair business, outdoor storage and a residential dwelling unit.
A motorcycle shop, a computer repair shop, a music store and a window replacement business are all currently located on the land, along with an apartment above the window store. The annexation will grant the village authority to regulate the zoning and use of the land and profit from sales tax revenue generated by the businesses.
The board also passed an ordinance amendment to update the village's current zoning regulations and definitions. The new zoning ordinance makes four main changes to the village's current zoning regulations:
- Businesses that are open 24 hours a day but aren't always attended by employees—such as a 24 hour gym with controlled access for members only—must receive a special use permit from the board.
- Charity drop-off boxes are only permitted at churches, schools, and other institutional public buildings, such as the library.
- The village no longer restricts the number of colors that can be used on electronic gas price signs. The previous regulations limited such signs to no more than two colors.
- The village's amusement device fee is now $25, down from $95, in order to comply with the terms of the state's Video Gaming Act.
As a final order of business, the board voted unanimously to cancel its Dec. 26 meeting, making Dec. 10 the final Mokena Village Board meeting of 2012.