ROCHESTER, IL. (ECWd) -
We attended the South Sangamon Water Commission's meeting on January 17, 2017, to raise an issue we had previously written about; the granting of an easement to Joseph Greene, of Greene and Bradford, Inc., for hunting and recreational use of SSWC real estate for the rest of his natural life, for him and his family (article here).
Kirk Allen spoke about hunting during public comment time and asked how he could go about obtaining permission to hunt on SSWC property this fall. He was immediately told that the commission did not allow hunting and had never allowed hunting because of the safety issues involved.
Later in the meeting, I read from our previous article and provided the commission with a copy of the Ordinance they passed in 2011 giving Joe Greene a lifetime easement on the property. The commission discussed whether they wanted to get involved in allowing hunting on their property, and, at least during the meeting, decided they did not want to allow any use of their property and would communicate with Joe Greene.
The commission acted like it would rescind the Ordinance and cancel the Easement on the property. Time will tell.
The underlying issue is preferential treatment of a contractor over other water commission residents, and the easement for far less than anyone could ever hope to obtain - virtually free - meaning essentially Joe Greene had lifetime unrestricted use of public property for his own personal use without having to pay any real estate taxes on it. Hopefully that has come to an end.
Finally, the only commissioner still on the board at the time the Ordinance was passed, was surprised, so he says, to see that he had voted in favor of granting the easement to Joe Greene.
Video of the entire meeting below:
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