City Council Renews Two Improvement Assistance Programs; Awards Merchant Street Reconstruction Project


Published on May 8 2024 10:06 am
Last Updated on May 8 2024 10:06 am
Written by Greg Sapp

Effingham City Council members Tuesday renewed the City's downtown/southtown business area redevelopment program policy and renewed its housing redevelopment program policy.

The downtown/southtown program allows the City to cover up to 25% of the cost of external improvements to buildings up to a maximum of $25,000.

The housing redevelopment program allows the City to cover up to 25% of exterior residential improvements from a minimum of $10,000 up to $25,000.

Both programs have deadlines for project completion.

TIF dollars are used to fund the programs in either the Central TIF District or the South Central Industrial TIF District.

Council members also renewed the City's group health insurance agreements; authorized a $25,000 contribution to the Effingham City/County Committee on Aging; accepted proposals for the oil and chip program and for the sidewalk replacement project for 2024; accepted quotes from Robert Simmons for demolition of buildings at 1401 and 1403 North 4th Street; and recognized City Clerk Abbey Nosbisch and City Treasurer Bridget Polk in recognition of May 5-11 being Municipal Clerks Week.

The Council awarded the project to reconstruct North Merchant Street from Eden to Flamingo Avenues to Effingham Asphalt for $1,068,038.93, and awarded a construction engineering contract on the project to Civil Design of Effingham for $56,000.

Council members voted to rezone a lot at 909 West St. Anthony Avenue from single-family residence district to two and three family dwelling district. The Council voted 5-0 in favor of the rezoning after the City Plan Commission recommended denying the rezoning on two separate occasions on split votes.

The Council approved appointments to various bodies, including Mike Mumm, Don Bushue and Brandon Weber to the Zoning Board of Appeals with Mumm continuing as chairman; Brian Hayes, Michael McHugh and Brian Meyers to the Plan Commission with Meyers succeeding Dave Storm who did not wish to be re-appointed; and Matt Greider, Shelby Dasenbrock and Jackie Tabbert to the Effingham Public Library Board of Directors. 

There was discussion of adding a bar or tavern license for an establishment to be located in the lower level of Exchange 1890 in downtown Effingham; and discussion of improvements to the Amtrak pedestrian crossing on the Illinois Central tracks with 100% of the $300,000 cost being paid with Federal funds; as well as discussion of using ARPA funds totaling $1.7 million to cover costs of police and firefighting equipment. The Council also discussed a joint project with the State to seek $960,000 in grant funds for an extension of McGrath Avenue in the city business park; discussed utilizing AI equipment to track firefighters when on calls; discussed an engineering proposal for storm sewer improvements along Jaycee Avenue; discussed a community forestry program and funding through a grant; and discussed the annual request for funding for the 4th of July fireworks display in Effingham.