Council to discuss university’s future

By Tara Kulash

SIU Board of Trustees may be abolished

The Carbondale City Council may oppose a split between SIU Edwardsville and SIU Carbondale.

The group will vote tonight to approve a resolution against a bill that would abolish the SIU Board of Trustees and establish each university separately, according to the council’s meeting agenda.

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If passed, SIUC would be one university with its own Board of Trustees, and SIUE would have its own Board of Trustees and would include the Springfield School of Medicine and the Alton School of Dentistry.

The agenda states it is important the bill does not pass because both universities would see duplicated jobs and higher administration costs.

City Manager Kevin Baity said the two universities may also lose bargaining power with the state legislature and other government agencies.

“If the system were divided into two campuses with individual boards, their bargaining power on issues before the legislature or other state agencies could be diminished,” he said. “Instead of one voice, there would be two, and the two may not be heard as loud or as strongly as one.”

The move could also present difficulties for students. With the campuses acting as one university system, students can transfer credits easily and the campuses can maintain joint programs. If the resolution is passed, students may be unable to transfer credits as easily.

The council will also consider allowing fair days for Carbondale SpringFest and the second annual CarbondALE Microbrew and Music Festival. The events, which are co-sponsored by Carbondale Main Street and Hangar 9, will take place April 13 and Sept. 28, respectively, and will be located in the parking lot south of Hangar 9. They include live music and entertainment, as well as public alcohol consumption in designated areas. This will be Carbondale Main Street’s and Hangar 9’s first SpringFest, so there will be a festival in the spring and one in the fall with CarbondALE, which features beer tastings from regional microbreweries.

Meghan Cole, director of Carbondale Main Street, said she would have a festival every weekend if she could.

“It’s important because it brings foot traffic to downtown,” she said. “It brings people into the district to frequent the businesses here, to spend some money on restaurants.”

Another agenda item includes an ordinance to expand the Class H winery license to include microbreweries and microdistilleries. The license allows wineries to make and sell products on their premises. Under the new ordinance, the license would be split into H1 and H2 classifications. An H1 license would allow production and sale on a winery, microbrewery or microdistillery’s premises. However,  the H2 license would extend the H1 to allow 40 percent of the businesses’ sales to be produced off-premises. Another license — Class I — would also be created, and it would allow a farmer’s market to conduct product tastings.

One item includes the consideration of a special-use permit for dwelling units at 310 and 312 W. Monroe Street, while another will call the council to discuss a request to rezone property in the 400 to 600 block of North Washington Street from Low Density Residential to Light Industrial.

The council will also discuss amending the restrictions on the Neighborhood Business District.

The Local Liquor Control Commission will meet before tonight’s 7 p.m. meeting to consider allowing liquor licenses for SpringFest and CarbondALE Microbrew and Music Festival.

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