• An amended city ordinance makes it easier for residents on corner lots to build the swimming pools of their dreams in their back yards.
Under the updated document, swimming pools may be built within 5 feet to any rear property line (or 5 feet to any easement, whichever distance is greater). Decks and patios constructed in conjunction with any swimming pool may be located within a required rear yard, provided they are not located within an easement or closer than 5 feet to any property line.
Previously, swimming pools had to be a full 10 feet from any rear property line.
“Late last summer, some homeowners building a swimming pool were in violation of our current ordinance, so we had them stop work until we could resolve the issue,” Mayor Alan Winslow said.
At that point, the zoning board initiated an overhaul of the ordinance, and the village has been working to free up the restrictions so homeowners would not continue to run into this problem.
“It’s not right that people on a corner lot should be penalized, just because they are on a corner lot,” Winslow said. “We have a number of corner lots that this issue will apply to. We do not want an inequity in our ordinances.”
• Thanks to the reinstatement of a $75,000 grant, the village’s computer lab will reopen Sept. 15.
“We had that program for three years,” Winslow said. “Last year, the state cut all funding for that program, but it has now been reinstated. We are glad to see that program come back.”
The lab was shut down last August when funding was depleted.
The library receives the grant through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The village provides the location and Microsoft instructor and manages the day-to-day operations of the lab.
• Two men from Meadowbrook, Nathan Cato, 18, and his older brother, Nicholas Cato, 21, have been charged with the theft of 25 grave-site markers, stolen from cemeteries in the village. About half of the markers have been identified and claimed by family owners, but several remain at the Bethalto Police Department, awaiting identification.
If anyone finds the grave site marker of a loved one to be missing, contact the village at (618) 377-5266.
• The village has amended its liquor control ordinance to accommodate a new business, opening within the next two weeks in Bethalto.
The Point, located at 511 North Prairie, will operate as a salon and will serve beer and wine to its customers. While an admittedly unusual business practice in this area, owner Ashley Hendricks says it is more common than people realize.
“I came here from Kansas City, and we had salons that offered alcohol there,” she said.
The Point will provide haircut and styling services, along with waxing and coloring. Hendricks has four stylist stations and is filling positions.
For more information, call (618) 717-0296.
• The holiday events and fireworks show were successes, according to the village.
“It is amazing that an event of that size goes off without a hitch,” Winslow said.”We had no drinking issues, no fights, and everyone had a great time.”
Traditionally, the Bethalto fireworks attract 3,500 to 4,000 attendees, in addition to the crowds in outlying areas, and Winslow said this year was just as successful.