Yorkville Police Chief Jim Jensen

Yorkville Police Chief Jim Jensen (file photo; WSPYnews.com photo by Tyler Bachman)

Those interested in soliciting on a state highway through Yorkville may need to find another location to do it at.

The Yorkville Public Safety Committee discussed the city's solicitor ordinance at their meeting on Thursday and recommended adding language that reflects a ban on roadside soliciting on state routes through the city.

Those who spoke said the issue comes down to safety. Yorkville Police Chief Jim Jensen says recently, police received a call from a local, non-profit organization asking for permission to solicit funds at the intersection of Route 34 and Route 47. Previous requests were denied, police citing traffic concerns with construction taking place.

Legally, soliciting wasn't technically allowed on a state roadway, as state statute requires a municipality to permit it in an ordinance.

Jensen said the city code does not expressly permit solicitation on a highway, but it is not addressed. After questions from aldermen, Chief Jensen said the updated language would mean organizations like Knights of Columbus or even emergency responder agencies that collect for "Fill the Boot" campaigns would need to collect elsewhere.

Alderman Seaver Tarulis agreed that soliciting can be done elsewhere.

Alderwoman Jackie Milschewski also agreed.

Officials mentioned organizations could obtain permission to take collections outside of businesses where they can still get the traffic for donations. Chief Jensen told the committee he's willing to aid groups in whatever way the police department can help out at safer locations.

The city council will need to formally add the language at a future meeting.