Aldermen authorize incentives for new residences built west of 12th Street, but not for entire city

Ninth and Spring

Gary Musholt, center, with Big River Investigations, 437 N. Ninth, talks about parking issues on Spring Street and North Ninth Street during a public forum on Monday night at City Hall. Pictured from left are traffic commission member Ed Holthaus, Quincy Police Chief Adam Yates, Musholt, Quincy Mayor Mike Troup and engineering manager Steve Bange. | David Adam

QUINCY — A resolution to authorize incentives for new residential constructions west of 12th Street between Harrison and Locust was approved during Monday’s Quincy City Council meeting.

However, an amendment to that resolution that would also have offered those incentives to residential constructions east of 12th Street did not.

The resolution called for waiving water and sewer connection fees totaling $1,750 and extending water and sewer lines to the property line at no charge to the developer. Extensions would be capped at $5,000 for water lines and $10,000 for sewer lines. Chuck Bevelheimer, director of planning and development, said the city would use American Rescue Plan Act funds to pay for the water and sewer connection fees.

“The focus of (properties) west of 12th Street is that’s where we have practically half (of the city’s) vacant lots,” Bevelheimer said. “We knew we had existing infrastructure there, water and sewer, currently within the front yards for most properties. As you go east, that becomes more of a development issue, because we don’t always have sewer and water easily reachable.”

Bevelheimer said 26 new homes were built last year. Two of them were west of 12th Street.

“I’ve heard that we have a housing shortage city-wide,” Mike Rein, R-5, said. “Why would (the resolution) limit when people want to build houses?”

“We’re not trying to limit,” Beveheimer replied. “We’re trying to sell (properties) west of 12th Street where we have the existing infrastructure. It’s already there. It’s in the ground. That’s the concept.”

Aldermen rejected Rein’s amendment 7-5, with Ben Uzelac, D-7, and Jack Holtschlag, D-7, absent. They approved the original resolution 9-3, with Rein, Mike Farha, R-4, and Tony Sassen, R-4, voting against it.

Aldermen discussed spending $499,483 on a contract with Klingner and Associates for construction inspection and engineering services. They earlier approved making Jeff Conte the director of public works and Steve Bange the manager of engineering.

Farha said the city has tried for the past 12 or 13 years to do more engineering work in-house. 

“Now we have two techs, and so now we’re hiring spending $500,000 with them for two more techs,” Farha said. “It’s very expensive.”

“We need the techs now because the construction is happening now,” Conte replied. “But in the long term, I agree with you.”

“We’re hiring way too many consultants, so I can’t support this,” Farha said.

The vote was confusing. An audio recording of the vote on the contract appeared to show Greg Fletcher, R-1, Jeff Bergman, R-2, Parker Freiburg, R-3, Richie Reis, D-6, Farha and Rein voted no. Sassen voted present. City Clerk Laura Oakman counted the votes and said, “Six nos, five ayes, one present and two absent.”

Oakman then recounted and said there were five nos and six ayes. After further discussion, the council determined the resolution had passed.

Troup reported “quite a lot of progress” on the former Kmart building at 36th and Broadway which is being converted into a Target. He offered to take aldermen on a tour of the site.

“The Ruby Tuesday building (in the same lot) looks like it’s now being set up for a demo,” he said. “In the next three weeks, you should start seeing the demolition of that property as well.”

Aldermen also approved:

  • Sending two requests to the Plan Committee. One was to rezone 1621 S. 24th from R1A (single-family residential) to R3 (multi-family residential) to allow for the construction of a two-family residential unit (duplex). Another was for a subdivision (dividing one lot into two) of property at 1122 Maas Road under the “small tracts” provision of the Subdivision Ordinance. 
  • The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics on Tuesday, June 14, beginning at 10:15 a.m. at St. Dominic School, 4100 Columbus Road. 
  • A request by the Machinist Local Lodge 822 to conduct a raffle and have the bond requirement waived from June 15 to November 5. 
  • A special event application from Roni Quinn, owner of The Venue, 124 N. Fifth, requesting permission to hold a bike night from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 18, 2022.
  • A three-year lease with the BlueHaven Café at Quincy Regional Airport with a monthly rent of $800.
  • Renewal of the contract with GateKeeper Systems, Inc., for Federal Aviation Administration compliance software for $4,300 for three years. 
  • Allowing the comptroller and interim airport director to pay pass through funding to all vendors involved in the rehabilitation of Runway 4/22 in the amount of $127,600, with the city’s portion being $6,380. 
  • A $687,227.65 bid from Rees Construction Co. for the 7th Ward capital improvements project. 
  • A $83,339.90 bid from Prairieland FS of Paloma for the purchase of oils and fluids. 

Before the meeting, a public open house about public parking along Spring Street and North Ninth Street attracted two residents of the neighborhood. A subsequent traffic commission meeting also included the topic. Residents of homes and business owners on the south side of Spring from Eighth to Ninth had complained that Blessing Hospital employees were parking on the street, taking away public parking spots.

Bergman said the commission plans to propose erecting signs on the south side of Spring to help educate Blessing employees about not parking on the street. He also said commission members will reach out to Blessing officials to monitor the parking habits of the hospital’s employees.

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