GENESEO — Aldermen on Tuesday expanded downtown economic development incentives citywide.|
The city now has the option of giving incentives to all new and existing businesses enlarging or substantially modifying to increase business. At the council's discretion, one or more incentives may be given, including all or part of any sales tax payable to the city for construction materials for six months; a 20 percent rebate on utility charges for two years; and all or part of property taxes payable to the city for two years.
Sales tax and property tax incentives don't apply in tax increment financing districts. The city also can offer incentives over and above the stated ones for large or important projects.
The council also discussed the countywide enterprise zone application Tuesday, planning to designate specific parcels for the application at its Aug. 26 committee of the whole meeting to meet the county consortium's Aug. 27 deadline.
In an enterprise zone, the state waives its 6.25 percent sales tax on construction materials in the building phase and state utility taxes on an ongoing basis. A total of 47 enterprise zones will be named next year; if applicants aren't successful they can apply in three succeeding years.
Before entering closed session, Ald. Doug Crow, 4th Ward, asked Mayor Nadine Palmgren about her contact with Larry Vandersnick to have Ted Hamer replace him as the city's municipal hearing officer. She said she had spoken to Mr. Vandersnick and he was fine with it.
Mr. Crow challenged that, producing an Aug. 12 letter from Mr. Vandersnick about the city's "decision to terminate" him. "At no time did I tell Ms. Palmgren that I did not want to continue as the hearing officer," the letter stated.
In the letter, Mr. Vandersnick said Mayor Palmgren told him she was going to ask Associate Court Judge Dana McReynolds to take the position. Judge McReynolds was unable to because Geneseo no longer has an official circuit court branch.
In other business:
— Aldermen postponed action on an effort to eliminate vandalism at parks. The city had a quote of $12,980 for equipment and installation of surveillance cameras at City Park, with a monthly maintenance fee of $168. The cost at Richmond Hill would be $11,400 for equipment and installation and $125 per month. Staff said the maintenance fees are actually most likely per year; they will check.
— The Geneseo Kiwanis received approval for their fundraising to double the size of the city park pavilion.
— The city will seek more bids to install casing under Illinois 82 before time runs out on an EPA permit for the work. The actual water main will be installed later, running from Roos Hill to the west. Only one bid was submitted for Tuesday's letting; it was sent back unopened.
— Aldermen approved a $5,000 annual membership fee in the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce. Geneseo was referred by the Chamber 199 times, according to a June 5 invoice from the Chamber. Aldermen also approved the $1,000 membership fee in the Henry County Economic Development Partnership.
— The council passed an ordinance allowing free-standing signs of up to four square feet for garage sales or other neighborhood events as long as people comply with all rules and regulations on underground utilities, including phoning JULIE at 811.
— The council honored Marlene Ong for 25 years as a police dispatcher and Ruth Clearman for 39 years as a dispatcher/administrative assistant.
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