City Council approves downtown renovations

Steven Barnum , News editor

In addition to approving Sunday liquor sales and the transportation budget, the Macomb City Council also discussed downtown renovations during Monday’s meeting.

Chris Trotter, who now owns part of the property at 133 W Jackson St., is seeking to replace windows in the structure. The lowest bid for the project was $37,625, according to Downtown Development Director Kristin Terry. After last week’s committee discussion, city officials decided that they will pay Trotter $20,000 once the project is completed.

Six aldermen voted yes on the reimbursement and Alderman Annette Carper abstained. The city of Macomb recently awarded Trotter, a local entrepreneur, with the downtown building. The structure is in need of significant renovations, which Trotter plans on completing and then making it available for rent.

In a separate downtown renovation decision, the city council approved a project at 133 S Randolph St. The renovations will include the replacement of 24 of the building’s windows and will cost $31,500. Terry said that the owners will also be eligible for a $20,000 reimbursement and that she is pleased with the work they have done recently.

“We were honored to give them grant money the last couple of years,” Terry said.

Moved by Alderman Tom Koch and seconded by Alderman Gayle Carper, the council approved the renovation and reimbursement. The building’s renovations will be complete once the windows are replaced on the north side of the property.

The West Central Illinois Art Center will be able to serve alcohol during its upcoming fundraising event.

The event will take place April 13 from 6 to 10 p.m. at 25 East Side Square in Macomb. City Attorney Kristen Petrie said that planners submitted all of the important paperwork and information about the fundraiser and that she does not see any potential issues.

After last year’s success, the council decided to approve the liquor license for the event. The council also waived the second reading for the ordinance, which will save the non-profit organization money they would otherwise have to pay the state in a liquor license application.

“Every little bit counts,” an organizer of the event said, “so we appreciate it. We anticipate that this will be a very fun event.”

During next Monday’s meeting, the city council will consider reducing the late fee for late rental registration and adding a motor fuel tax to generate additional funding to maintain streets and highways.

Mayor Mike Inman reminded the public that curbside yard waste pickup would begin this Monday. The city will not require stickers until May 2.

In Aldermanic reports, Inman said that he traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark with a group of 20 students from Macomb High School last week. It was the 17th year that the exchange program gave students the opportunity and Inman wasn’t disappointed with the trip.

“It was a really nice opportunity and I congratulate the students who were able to attend,” Inman said. “We represented the community really well.”

Elsewhere in the community, Alderman John Vigezzi welcomed students from Western Illinois University and Macomb High School back after spring break and City Clerk Melanie Falk said that she was pleased with the first annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade that the city of Macomb organized last week.