Planning Underway for a Distillery in Mount Carroll
By JOHN HUGGINS | For The Prairie Advocate News
MOUNT CARROLL – The Mount Carroll city council met for its finance committee meeting at 6:45 pm and its regular meeting at 7:30 pm on October 8, 2013 with the mayor and all aldermen present.
The City’s planning commission met on September 26 to discuss an application for a special use permit request submitted by Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Schubert and Mr. Brian Krull. The applicants were requesting the permit to operate a craft distillery and farm in the 300 block of North Mill Street.
“I’m excited about this,” stated Alderman Mike Risko. “Can you tell me why you picked Mt. Carroll to do this in?”
Krull answered, “We’ve looked at a lot of communities, and just how you opened up your meeting is one of the reasons we picked Mt. Carroll. I want something that’s hometown, that’s still true to the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer. I think that’s important. There is going to be some draw to the area.”
Krull estimates he will employ at least ten people. He believes this will cause a ripple effect because as they grow, so will the businesses who supply his business. He stated they want to “keep it local.”
There was discussion whether or not the property would pass an EPA phase one assessment. It was noted that if it didn’t pass, it would not matter if the council passed the special use permit or not.
During the roll call vote, Aldermen Charles, Risko, and Grimm voted yes. Aldermen Sisler, Bergren, and Rose voted no. Rose stated his reason for voting no was that he feels there are already plenty of venues in Mt. Carroll and Carroll County to obtain liquor.
Mayor Bates casted a yes vote to break the tie and pass the special use permit.
The council once again discussed possible changes to the noise ordinance. It has been on the agenda for a number of meetings after complaints of loud music from outdoor bands at Henry’s Double K.
Mayor Carl Bates asked City Attorney Ron Coplan for advice on how to word the city’s ordinance. He also asked if the existing ordinance should be modified or scrapped and rewritten. Bates said it needed some teeth to it so that it would be enforceable.
Coplan stated that he did not think the existing ordinance dealt with outdoor entertainment, so a new one would need to be written. He thought the council may want to include some exceptions, such as Mayfest.
Setting a decibel level was discussed. Numbers discussed ranged from 60 dB to 75 dB. Alderman Tom Charles said he would set up a sound system outside city hall at the next license and ordinance committee meeting to demonstrate what the various levels sound like. That way the aldermen could determine for themselves what an acceptable dB level would be.
In Other Business
- Approved hiring Robert Hopson to conduct the three year GASB (Governmental Accounting Standards Board) Statement No. 45 valuation for other post-employment benefits funding at a cost of $600.
- Proceeds from the sale of Walgreens common stock totaled $11,213.40.
- Heard cleanup at Bushy Flats was progressing. The front has been cleared and the dumpster will be moved to the back of the property.
- City will pursue fines for the 209 W. Market St. property since there has been no progress of fixing the building or clearing the weeds.