June 25--MT. VERNON -- The Tax Increment Finance Advisory Committee approved allocating $100,000 to the Downtown Mt. Vernon Development Corporation to preserve a building at 223 S. Ninth St. and a $7,900 request from the Granada Center for the Performing Arts.
"The request is for funding to secure and stabilize what is known as the Manion Building," explained DMDC President Joe Gliosci. ... This building has been a priority for us for quite some time. It's been vacant for a long time, it has structural issues and when it goes, it will take out the two buildings on either side, creating a big ugly hole in the downtown area."
The DMDC request was one of four received Tuesday by the TIF Advisory Committee, which had $112,000 in funds for distribution, but $194,0457 in requests for projects, leading two of petitioners to voluntarily withdraw their project request until fall when the new TIF allocations are made.
The projects presented were for 1005, 1007, 1009, 1011 and 1013 Broadway by Kent and Marinda Renshaw, asking for $50,000 which he had previously been granted but returned to the TIF pool after changing the scope of the project. Renshaw has requested the $50,000 for a $56,000 project to replace the electrical service in the buildings, which is now located in a basement and includes old fuses. Renshaw said the electric in the buildings has been identified as a fire danger.
The other project which was presented to the committee for consideration is from Kingdom Seed Ministries for property at 118 S. Ninth St.
Tammy Henry presented the request for $35,800 of a total project cost of $35,800 for renovation to the building. Henry explained the project is to create a WIFI Cafe, provide area for technology classes for the community, families and business. Kingdom Seed Ministries, a non-profit ministry, has applied for a $75,000 Closing the Digital Divide grant from the state to open a technology center and has already been approved as an Illinois Worknet location once the computer labs are operational.
As members of the committee were discussing how to make the $112,000 in TIF funds stretch to help all projects, Henry first offered to wait until October when the next TIF allocations will be available.
"Kingdom Seed also agreed to wait in 2012 when they applied, and we turned down funds for a new roof for them in the last allocation," TIF Advisory Board President Paul Lynch said. "Then they volunteer to wait on this project to help other projects. That just goes to show their character."
Members of the TIF board said they view the DMDC project as "an emergency" as the loss of one building could affect a large portion of the block.
Henry's offer to wait for funding consideration was later followed by Renshaw's offer to wait. The board agreed to accept their offers and to put both the projects on the priority list for consideration during the next round of TIF allocations.
The recommendations of the TIF Advisory Committee will be presented to the City Council for final consideration and approval.
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