Aldermen argue about conflicts as City gives $100,000 in TIF dollars and considers Annex sale

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Alderman Mike Farha (R-4th Ward)

QUINCY — Mayor Mike Troup provided the majority vote needed to provide $100,000 in Downtown Rental Rehabilitation TIF funding to Terrell and Vicky Dempsey for renovations of four upper-story apartments at 234-236 North Sixth.

The Dempsey’s law office is on the first floor of the building. They are also putting in $159,740 of private financing into the project.

The measure had a 7-4-1 tally with Jeff Bergman (R-2), Mike Farha (R-4), Tony Sassen (R-4) and Mike Rein (R-5) opposing and John Mast (R-5) abstaining. Troup added the eighth vote needed to pass.

Aldermen Kelly Mays (R-3) and Richie Reis (D-6) were absent.

Alderman Dave Bauer (D-2) asked for a second straight week to table a resolution to sell the City Hall Annex, which is located to the west of City Hall across the parking lot, to Quincy Township for $347,000, the council obliged. Near the end of the meeting, Troup asked aldermen to reconsider selling the building to the Township. He also cited a potential conflict of interest since the members of the City Council and the members of the Quincy Township’s Town Board are one-in-the-same.

“You know, I’m not convinced that the township office could not be accommodated here (in City Hall), Troup said. “If they don’t want to move to City Hall, that’s fine. But they need to look at what is the tax burden when they if they decide to buy the building, the maintenance costs, the repairs cost, etc…Also, the council members serve in a dual role, both as the Town Board and they have the inherent conflict of interest, because you established the sales price on behalf of the Town Board that you accepted as part of the City Council. I just don’t see that that’s in the best interest or the fair interest for the taxpayers.”

Troup suggested auctioning the Annex building.

Bergman asked Corporation Counsel Lonnie Dunn to research if there was in conflict from a legal standpoint. Farha said he didn’t see a conflict.

“And frankly, we just gave $100,000 of money. With no regard whatsoever to not affordable housing. And now we’re going to get a lecture about this. I don’t have any conflict. Frankly, I know what a conflict is. I don’t have one. And so I’m insulted by that. Frankly.”

Mast agreed with Troup and said City Hall renovation plans should be finalized before any decision is made on where the Quincy Township office will go.

Farha then snapped at Mast, saying there was more of a conflict for Mast in the TIF funding vote than there was in the Township discussion, even though Mast abstained from the TIF funding vote.

Mast also did not run for re-election and his term ends May 1.

In other action, Aldermen approved:

  • Buying a new Ford F250 engine for $8,303 from Gem City Ford for a truck at the Quincy Regional Airport.
  • Bids of $198,490 from R.L. Brink Corporation and $59,800 from Diamond Construction for patching material for street and sidewalk maintenance.
  • Having the Quincy Police Department sign another one year memo of understanding with Clarity Healthcare at an annual cost of $10,200 to be paid at a monthly rate of $850.

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