The Joliet Zoning Board of Appeals has given preliminary approval to the city’s first electric fence since a ban was lifted in December.
The board voted, 5-0, Thursday for the fence at JND Truck Repair, 251 Republic Ave.
“It passed unanimously. That’s a shock,” board Chairman Ed Hennessy quipped after the vote.
The fence still requires final approval from the City Council. Hennessy did say he was “surprised there aren’t more people from the area interested in it.” No one from the general public commented at the hearing for the fence.
The applicant for the fence was Electric Guard Dog, the company that will install it and had urged the city for months to lift the ban. Cindy Williams from Electric Guard Dog said the company expects to seek electric fences at two more Joliet locations, including FedEx Freight.
Williams said trucking companies and terminals form the largest group of customers for Electric Guard Dog, which has installed 4,500 electric fences.
Ed Hoogakker from JND Truck Repair said the company wants the fence to protect trucks while they are at the repair yard.
“We’ve had quite a few homeless people take up shelter inside box trucks,” Hoogakker told the board. “We’d rather be proactive than reactive.”
Williams said the fence gives a small shock comparable to running your feet on a carpet, but it works. Signs are posted warning of the fence, she said, and, “most of the bad guys, that’s enough to deter them.”
The city ordinance on electric fences also requires a non-electric perimeter fence that a trespasser would have to climb.