Quincy taking another shot at 6th Street grant, this time for $2.4 million

6TH STREET 2

Aldermen unanimously approved a $2.4-million state grant application to help pay for part of the $4.45 million plan to spruce up the two block stretch of Sixth Street between Maine and Vermont.

QUINCY — Quincy is trying to take another bite at the apple in order to make the Sixth Street Promenade a reality.

At Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, aldermen unanimously approved a $2.4-million state grant application to help pay for part of the $4.45 million plan to spruce up the two block stretch of Sixth Street between Maine and Vermont.

In 2020, Quincy applied for a $1.03-million IDOT grant to help pay for the project, but it was rejected. City Planner Chuck Bevelheimer said application was not funded that year because most of that year’s IDOT grant money
went to hiking/biking trails as opposed to streetscapes.

But when the city learned of a new grant opportunity through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Rebuild Downtowns and Main Streets Capital Grant program, they decided to have another go at it.

This grant funding has $50-million set aside to fund “commercial corridors or downtown areas with multiple public-facing commercial establishments.”

The city’s match will be $2.05 million. Bevelheimer believes that while the state says a local match is not
required with this grant, it will strengthen the application.

The city’s share of the match will come from the following funds:

  • $1.25-million in TIF funds already allocated for the project, which was supposed to begin construction next spring had the city received the first grant.
  • $800,000 in water/sewer revenue identified for water/sewer work in the area.

Bevelheimer said if the application is unsuccessful, the city will move ahead with plans to complete a scaled-back streetscape using the allocated TIF funding.

Aldermen hear first reading to establish Small Rental Rehabilitation Program

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the City Council has heard a proposed ordinance to begin a program to aid developers in rehabbing rental units in the city and targeting the area west of 18th Street.

The Small Rental Rehabilitation Program (SRRP) would mirror the Downtown Rental Rehabilitation program that is already in place and offers assistance to developers who convert vacant upper floors of downtown buildings into apartments.

Bevelheimer asked aldermen for the city to provide $1 million over four years for the program, which would offer a 50 percent match up to $20,000 to turn vacant homes into rental units. He said there is a high vacancy rate of housing stock west of 18th Street and much of that could be removed from the Fix or Flatten program.

The City Council is expected to vote on the ordinance in two weeks.

In other action, aldermen approved:

  • Having the Quincy Police Department pay $12,828 in tuition for Officer Richard Peat and Officer Eric Nielsen, who recently completed the basic law enforcement training class at the Macon County Law Enforcement Training Center.
  • A short-term loan of up to $750,000, as needed, from the Cash Reserve Fund to the Quincy Transit Lines to pay operating expenses.
  • A quote from SHI in the amount of $7,900.10 for the BitDefender Annual Maintenance Renewal and that the IT manager be authorized to generate a bill for the Quincy Public Library to reimburse the IT Department for their $2,235.29 share of the renewal costs.
  • A 3-year contract in the amount of $14,434.20 with 3 annual payments of $4,811.40 for the purposes of security awareness training and additional compliance training options.
  • A quote from Accurate Home Audio, Inc. in the amount of $18,550.15 for the upgrade of the City Council Chambers Audio/Video system.
  • The purchase of a 2022 F-450 dump truck for $82,660 with $48,485 to Morrow Brother Ford, Inc of Greenville for a chassis delivery and the remaining amount of $34,175 be due when the truck bed has been installed, payable to Knapheide Truck Equipment.
  • A quote from Liberty Surplus Insurance Corporation of Boston, MA for the renewal of required tank liability insurance in the amount of $13,465.

Other notes:

  • Alderman John Mast was absent.
  • The Council met on Tuesday night as City Hall was closed Monday as part of its Christmas holiday break. Next week’s meeting will return to Monday night.
  • This was the final Quincy City Council meeting of 2021.

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