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Open house next step for Bourbonnais' campus plan

Daily Journal staff report

BOURBONNAIS — The next step in the village of Bourbonnais’ Community Campus Plan is an open house from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 5, at the Municipal Center Community Room, 700 Main St. NW.

Last fall, village officials announced plans to create a central core for community gatherings around the Municipal Center and surrounding areas.

A recent online survey resulted in more than 1,100 people sharing their ideas in response to the village’s outreach efforts to “Imagine Bourbonnais.”

“We recognized the need for the campus plan, but the response from the community thus far has shown us what that need is,” Mayor Paul Schore said.

“The open house is another initial opportunity for public input, and we strongly encourage involvement,” Schore said in a press release. “In these digital times, it can be easy to click and complain. We are trying to make it easier for the public to come and voice their ideas.”

The first open house will include interactive workshops for the community to help determine campus planning goals and further offer opportunities to engage in initial visioning exercises.

One example includes a visual preference station that will solicit feedback on the look and feel of spaces and facilities as well as the types of programming that the community wants to see in the future.

All ages are encouraged to participate and can arrive at any time during the open house. The event will be led by The Lakota Group, an urban planning and landscape architecture consulting firm, with support from village officials.

To learn more about the plan and upcoming input opportunities, visit villageofbourbonnais.com/development/community-campus-plan.

A new stop sign has been installed on East River Street at South Wildwood Avenue in Kankakee, turning the intersection into a three-way stop in front of Steuben Elementary School, as part of Wildwood is a one-way street. Kankakee city officials said the new sign will assist in slowing traffic down to the required 20 mph in a school zone and help students to cross the street at the crosswalk.

Gas pump attendant mandate would guarantee price increase, Illinois convenience store group says

Proposed legislation in Illinois that would mandate your gas is pumped by an employee of the gas station would guarantee a price increase and is a “typical Springfield solution to creating jobs,” a convenience store group says.

Illinois drivers filling up at the pump started paying double the state gas tax last summer. New revenue from the state gas tax increase from 19 cents per gallon to 38 cents is going to pay for a multi-year statewide construction program. Drivers also got hit with increased fees in other areas, such as annual vehicle registration fees.

Last week, House Bill 4571 was filed by Democratic state Rep. Camille Lilly and would create the Gas Station Attendant Act. It says that “no gas may be pumped at a gas station” in Illinois “unless it is pumped by a gas station attendant employed at the gas station.” Lilly didn’t return messages seeking comment.

While some say the mandate would create jobs, Josh Sharp with the Illinois Petroleum Marketer’s Association responded.

“I would characterize it as a typical Springfield solution to creating jobs, which is to mandate it,” Sharp said. “What we need is a more economically competitive environment in this state to create jobs.”

Sharp said the state is already on track to have among the highest minimum wages in the country, another cost driver he said puts convenience stores in border communities at a competitive disadvantage.

“It’s policies like that that I think eliminate jobs and don’t allow people to fully embrace economic opportunity, that’s what the state needs,” Sharp said. “We don’t need more mandates from Springfield.”

To any safety issues, Sharp said the industry has been built with modern pumps. He’s not aware of any catastrophic accidents of people pumping their own gas. And for those with disabilities needing assistance at the pump, Sharp said that’s there too.

“Many of our members have those buttons that you hit at the pump, if you’re disabled and you need your gas pumped, and they’ll do that,” Sharp said.

“It comes completely out of nowhere,” he added. “I’m happy to work with Representative Lilly toward some kind of solution if this is what she wants to do but the way that the bill is drafted now we have to oppose.”

Sharp said the only thing the measure is guaranteed to do is to increase the price at the pump.

“The price for full service was always more, that’s just the cost of doing business. You have to add labor costs into the price, so the prices are going to go up when you mandate everyone offer, or require, to do full service gas,” Sharp said.

While he said he’s willing to work with the sponsor on whatever issues she’s wanting to address, he opposes the current form of the bill.

Messages seeking comment from Lilly about the bill were not returned. She’s the only lawmaker named as a sponsor on the bill. The measure has been sent to the House Rules Committee, but could be referred to another committee with a deadline of March 27 to move out of committee.

Regular session for lawmakers to pass bills is through May 31.

Only New Jersey has a similar law. The state of Oregon used to require gas pump attendants until 2018 when the state law changed to allow motorists in rural parts of the state to pump their own gas.

St. Anne H.S. put on soft lockdown after bullet found

Daily Journal staff report

ST. ANNE — St. Anne High School was on soft lockdown for a short time Wednesday afternoon after a bullet was found in a conference room adjacent to the main office, according to Superintendent Charles Stegall via a post on the school’s Facebook page.

The bullet was found at 1 p.m., according to Stegall. School personnel found no other evidence of additional ammunition or any weapons present on school grounds, Stegall said.

The lockdown was lifted at 1:25.

A soft lockdown is a preventative measure when there might be a threat.

No one is let into a building, and those inside are kept in place until the situation has been evaluated, according to St. Anne Police Chief Dave Skelly.

“This single bullet very well may have been brought in by accident, but in an effort to keep everyone safe, the soft lockdown was initiated and the search conducted,” Stegall said. “The safety and security of our students and staff are of the greatest importance to us.”

Police were contacted and will assist with any additional information that might come forward. Police were at the school at the end of school day and will be again at the start of classes on Thursday.