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Council discusses downtown development

City+Attorney+Kirsten+Petrie+and+Mayor+Mike+Inman+discuss+continuations+of+the+Downtown+Revitalization+Project+presented+by+Downtown+Development+Director+Kristin+Terry.+
City Attorney Kirsten Petrie and Mayor Mike Inman discuss continuations of the Downtown Revitalization Project presented by Downtown Development Director Kristin Terry.

City Attorney Kirsten Petrie and Mayor Mike Inman discuss continuations of the Downtown Revitalization Project presented by Downtown Development Director Kristin Terry.

Jasmyne taylor/courier staff

Jasmyne taylor/courier staff

City Attorney Kirsten Petrie and Mayor Mike Inman discuss continuations of the Downtown Revitalization Project presented by Downtown Development Director Kristin Terry.

Isaiah Herard, News Editor

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Kickstarting the Macomb City Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday were discussions and considerations presented by Downtown Development Director Kristin Terry on the quote from Boehm’s Garden Center for the landscaping in the downtown islands.

 “We are going to put in a tree and it will be offset a little bit not in the middle,” Terry said. “It will range from purple, green and yellow and we will put our sculptors back into the islands as well. This is another part of the downtown revitalization project; it catches your eye right when you walk into the square and we feel like this is something that needs to be done in this part of the revitalization.”

 Moving forward, two Economic Development loan requests were presented to the Council from Drive Dance Studio and Chicago Beef Factory. Further discussion will take place at the Community Development Committee meeting on Friday.

 Mayor Mike Inman describes the entirety of the Economic Development loan and how it helps establish business ventures.

“We have a small business loan program help in many cases it is designed to be the gap portion of the business plan where a traditional lender is able to fund majority of the project but the entrepreneur or the business owner is looking for some gap finances to close a little bit of the financial gap to help the business come together,”Inman said.

 According to Inman, if approved, the two loan requests from Drive Dance Studio and Chicago Beef Factory will kickstart and improve both businesses.

 “The Chicago Beef Factory wants to locate a Italian beef type sandwich shop operation on the corner of N. McArthur and West Carrol St. in the former little music store,” Inman said. “The other one (Drive Dance Studio) requested $7700 and the current owner of that building is doing a good job, but she’d like to get in a different location along with some updating and modeling and this loan will help her do that.”

 In last week’s meeting, the City Council discussed an ordinance to amend Section 17-927 of Chapter 7, Article VIII, Historical Preservation of the Macomb, Illinois Municipal Code. This week, the Council added metal awnings to the Historical Preservation.

 Currently, the Macomb Historic Preservation Commission (HPC)  is proposing a downtown historic district that includes the area bounded by Calhoun and the Amtrak Depot on the north; Washington and Jefferson Street on the south; McArthur St. on the west; and Campbell on the east. Once this has been accomplished, the HPC may be looking at neighborhood districts along S. Lafayette and S. Randolph Streets.

“Under what we discussed tonight was the allowance of people who wanted to improve the awnings of the Historical Preservation downtown,” Inman said. “We changed the code to allow for metal awnings rather than just fabric or cloth awnings and that will be voted on next week for final approval.”

 The Council also continued discussions on an ordinance to amend the City fees for Alcohol Licenses, Rental Registration, Cemetery Services, Building Permits, Development Site review and Plumbing Inspections by amending sections of the City of Macomb Municipal Code. This ordinance had first reading last Monday pending final approval in next week’s meeting.

 “There are no new fees being implemented, we are increasing existing fees,” Inman said. “In some cases, the rental inspection fees have never been increased and they have been in place for 20 years. Our other fees; burial fees, cemetery plots, etcetera are on par with our peer communities. We’re looking to remain fair with the constituents.”

Finally, concluding the City Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting was resumed discussions on an ordinance to authorize the City of Macomb to lease property to be used as a Taxi Service Office for S & G Taxi.

 “S & G taxi service has been operating but they’re going to change the position as far as the depot their occupying,” Petrie said. They’re going from the ticket booth area to a larger area. They’re going to maintain the service they’ve been providing but they are going to change the depot.”

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Council discusses downtown development