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Where the Rails Cross the River

 Mayor's Message:

 Demolition of the former Four Seasons property on Cedar Street should be underway shortly.  The property is in a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District, a designation created some 30 years ago by the State of Illinois to help local government generate economic development of rundown properties.

After owning the property for several years, the City worked out a redevelopment agreement with Imagination Products Corporation – makers of Flexisnake – to put up a new building to house all their local operations.   The project is a good fit for TIF – it develops a blighted property, helps a home-grown business, and gets the property back on the tax rolls.  Watch for progress over the next few weeks. 

Also, the Council will be looking at amending an agreement with Sycamore Trail LLC, developers of residential property off Sycamore Street, to allow for the sale of 17 acres to First United Methodist Church for its future building plans.   The City has been promoting residential development and while taking 35 lots out of future residential growth is not its first choice, the Council will weigh the proposal carefully. 

A public hearing July 13 gave residents of Sycamore Trail, the developer and church a chance to make their respective cases.   The issue on the Council agenda that evening was tabled and additional discussion is seeking to clarify some concerns.   An amended agreement could be on the Council agenda soon.

Finally, Downtown Thursday last week featured the annual corn boil.  A lot of work goes into that event, and this year, Castaways took on the task of preparing the meal, including preparation of the corn.  A big ‘thank you’ to Amanda and her team on a job well-done!

Please . . .  do something good for your community.

Doug Crew