By TESA GLASS email@example.com
---- — MT. VERNON — An update of city capital projects was presented to the council Monday, and bids were accepted for two park projects.
City Projects Manager Nathan McKenna and City Engineer Brad Ruble presented the updates, which included capital projects, transportation, water, sewer and sidewalks.
Among the projects updated were the housing program for the city. McKenna reported the new website for residential housing developers and builders is now live, with more than 1,500 hits since late June. He said the site, at buildmtvernonil.com, also has links on the city website, and there have been meetings set up between the city and developers as a result of the information available on the web site. Phase two of the housing program, which includes maketing the web site, will be presented to the council at a council workshop slated for Aug. 26.
McKenna said asbestos abatement on the former armory site is expected to start Aug. 19, with the removal of floor tile, pipe insulation and windows. In addition, the city is seeking Illinois Historic Preservation Agency approval on replacement windows and staff are considering options for roof replacement, which includes the PVC roof or metal roof options. Once work is completed on the Armory, the city can determine its best usage.
At this time, the city has leased the use of the grounds to the Mt. Vernon Festivals, Inc., which has been putting on the Mt. Vernon Market Days during the first Saturday of each month. Market Day was hosted during the last weekend, with City Councilman Todd Piper saying the event has grown over the last three months to more than 100 booths and thousands of visitors each month.
In other business the council:
Approved a bid of $84,970 from Rooter's American Maintenance, Inc., of Beckmeyer to resurface the west parking lot at Veterans Park;
Approved a bid of $50,000 from Jax Asphalt of Mt. Vernon for the surfacing of basketball courts at Dawson Park;
Granted permission to the Fraternal Order of Eagles 2791 to close Prairie Avenue from South 10th Street to Big Lots on Aug. 25 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a car show;
Approved a conditional use to allow commercial building in a flood plain district for 2845 Benton Road;
Approved rezoning property at 210 S. Third St., from industrial to B-2;
Approved changing the terms of those serving on the Parks and Recreation Board to three years staggered and requiring members to attend at least three meetings in a calendar year;
Approved changing the number of members of the Tourism Board from 11 to 9 and requiring members to attend at least three meetings a calendar year;
Held a first reading on an ordinance amending the Tax Increment Finance Plan for the West Side TIF to allow residential development;
Approved an ordinance for the least purchase agreement and tax exempt lease/purchase of a fire pumper and roll off truck with U.S. Bancorp Government Leasing and Finance;
Held a first reading on an ordinance changing the number of animals allowed on property and re-defining the term "kennel;"
Approved a resolution to request authorization from the Illinois Department of Transportation to close streets on Dec. 7 for the Christmas Parade:
Approved TIF inducement resolutions for 300 S. Ninth St., and 1005 through 1013 Broadway;
Approved a proclamation for National Night Out; and
Appointed Myron Moreland to the Fire and Police Commission Board to replace Robert Brown, who has served on the Commission for 18 years.