Joliet City Council News Briefs

3/7/2018, 10 a.m.
News briefs from the City of Joliet this week.
The Joliet City Council Photo by Brock A. Stein

Grant could help determine future prison plans

Joliet’s City Council this week approved a plan to apply for a certified local government grant that could provide a more thorough assessment of the Collins Street Prison property.

City director of planning Kendall Jackson said that the grant could help defray the cost for an assessment of the western portion of the property which the city took over with a five-year lease from the state at the beginning of 2018.

If approved, Jackson said that the grant would cover 70% of the estimated $42,000 cost for the assessment of all buildings in the prison’s west property. The city would pay the full amount up front and would be reimbursed for $29,000.

The city approved a 1-year agreement at the beginning of February for a haunted house to operate in a portion of the prison once used to house female prisoners. Evil Intentions, which operates another haunted venue in Elgin announced that that it plans to be open by Halloween 2018 in a section of the prison campus that sits on Woodruff Ave.

The city also has formed a prison committee that will help steer the future uses for the site which could include a mix of retail and historical preservation with the Joliet Area Historical Museum serving as a partner for the venture.

Joliet council votes to add collection fee

Anyone with outstanding debt owed to the city of Joliet could be on the hook for the costs incurred to collect.

The city council this week approved an ordinance that allows the city to add up to a 22% fee to recoup its costs for attempting to collect debts.

The fee will be added to the balance owed “so that the city is made whole” said City Manager David Hales on Monday night.

Hales called it a “common practice” in other towns which have “similar policies to recoup those costs of collection.” He said that residents always have the option to pay a debt early without any penalty.