By TESA GLASS firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON — The city council approved downtown tax increment finance agreements with seven businesses on Monday.
King City Books will receive $40,000; Lowery’s Irish Pub will receive $50,000; Girolamo’s will receive $75,000; Headpieces by Toni will receive $27,287; Once Upon A Lifetime Photography will receive $10,000; the William D. and Phyllis A. Edminson Trust will receive $50,000 for the former Jefferson Bank Building; and Steven L. Beal will receive $450,000 for Rare Chophouse.
Five of the projects are completed and are eligible for TIF funds through inducement resolutions which were approved by the council previously. Those projects are Lowery’s Irish Pub, Girolamo’s, Headpieces by Toni, and Steven L. Beal for Rare Chophouse.
According to City Manager Ron Niebert, after the latest round of TIF agreements, there is still between $20,000 and $90,000 in available funds. Three projects are eligible for funds, and if agreements are approved, the unallocated funds will be at $20,000. Of the remaining funds, $50,000 has not been accepted yet by Holly Kreup; $50,000 for five properties owned by Kent and Marinda Renshaw; and $25,000 for Mama Dee’s Cajun restaurant. The Renshaw’s have expressed the desire to re-apply their project with new cost projections and the Mama Dee’s project is waiting on an updated business plan before proceeding with TIF funding.
Mike LeVangie, co-owner of the proposed Mama Dee’s Cajun Restaurant, was at the council meeting on Monday to obtain a liquor license. The ordinance was held in first read only during the meeting.
“We want to serve drinks native to New Orleans,” LeVangie said. “We want our visitors to have the whole New Orleans experience, not half the feeling of New Orleans. When they step in, they will step into New Orleans and get the full experience.”
In other business, the council:
n Approved a bid of $201,631.30 from J.K. Trotter and Sons for a water main relocation on South 34th Street and Veterans Memorial Drive;
n Approved a bid of $8,130 from TruBuilt for construction of a storage building at the Mt. Vernon Police Range;
n Approved an agreement with Ameren IP for the relocation of power lines on South 34th Street and Veterans Memorial Drive at a cost of $204,874.31;
n Approved a resolution of merchant credit with Elavon, Inc., to allow patrons to use credit and debit cards at the Aquatic Zoo;
n Approved an application for grant funds from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Park and Recreational Facility Construction Grant program; and
n Approved an application for grant funds from the federal Economic Development Administration to construction the new industrial park.