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MATTOON – The City Council tonight will consider modifying its Midtown Tax Increment Financing District policies and approving related funding for emergency roof repairs to the Maison Blanche office building.

The Midtown TIF District, established in 2003, centers on downtown. Part of the tax revenue generated by the district is used to fund public infrastructure improvements and grants for work on privately owned buildings within this district.

Phase one of the Midtown TIF District is bordered by Charleston Avenue on the south, Richmond Avenue on the north, 14th Street on the east, and parts of 21st and 22nd streets on the west. Phase two includes some neighborhoods to the south, east, and west of downtown.

The city TIF Committee has only approved grants requests in phase two for demolition of existing buildings that are being removed as part of an imminent redevelopment projects.

However, the council meeting agenda documents report that the TIF Committee has identified an area of unique historical and architectural interest within phase two.

This “area of interest” encompasses the south side of Charleston Avenue from 14th Street to the Canadian National Railroad, both sides of Wabash Avenue from 14th to the railroad, and both sides of Lake Land Boulevard from Charleston to Edgar avenues.

“The committee intends to consider grant applications for façade improvements, emergency structural repairs, and code compliance for commercial buildings in the area of interest,” the council meeting documents state. “Grants will be limited to 50 percent of the eligible improvement costs with a maximum cumulative total of $40,000 per year.”

To make this change, the council is scheduled tonight to consider amending the Midtown TIF policies to allow an increase in the amount of grant funds available to properties in phase two.

In a related matter, the council will consider approving an agreement for a $35,508 Midtown TIF grant for emergency roof repair and replacement work at the Maison Blanche office building at 1521 Wabash Ave.

The agreement is with a trust administrated by First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust, not First Mid itself. First Mid is the title holder for the Maison Blanche property, but is not the beneficiary of the trust and is not an occupant of this building.

Tonight, the council also will consider hiring Feutz Contractors Inc. for $313,393 to carry out paving work around the new Public Works Building along DeWitt Avenue East. Feutz submitted the lowest bid among four bidders for this project. The city had budget up to $400,000 for this paving work.

“Feutz indicates that they are ready to start work right away. The work should be complete by the end of October, barring any unforeseen conditions,” wrote Public Works Director Dean Barber in a report to the council.

The council is scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m. tonight in City Hall, 208 N. 19th St. Other actions that the council will consider taking include:

-- Approving Plocher Construction’s bid of $559,000 to replace the intake screen at the waste water treatment plant.

-- Employing Stephen Sudkamp as plumbing and building inspector, effective Sept. 18.

-- Reappointing Ed Dowd and Don Freesmeier to the Tourism Committee.


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