Aldermen vote to take back $200,000 commitment in TIF money from riverfront project


Dave Bauer (D-2), right, also a member of the Quincy Riverfront Development Corporation, said he hated to see the city rescind a $200,000 commitment in TIF funds for the riverfront development project "because we're kind of moving here in the right direction and working with the arts.” At left is Jeff Bergman (R-2). | Photo courtesy of City of Quincy Facebook livestream

QUINCY — The Quincy City Council voted Monday night to rescind its commitment of $200,000 in tax increment financing (TIF) funds to the Quincy Riverfront Development Corporation.

The vote was 9-4, with Ken Hultz (R-3) abstaining. Voting in favor of the resolution were Greg Fletcher (R-1), Jeff Bergman (R-2), Kelly Mays (R-3), Mike Farha (R-4), Tony Sassen (R-4), Mike Rein (R-5), Glen Ebbing (R-5), Richie Reis (D-6) and Ben Uzelac (D-7).

Dave Bauer (D-2), also a member of the riverfront corporation, said he “hated to see this be done because we’re kind of moving here in the right direction and working with the arts.” 

Jason Parrott, community development planner for the city, said Arts Quincy received a $50,000 grant for an engineering study of a riverfront amphitheater at Clat Adams Park. The grant was awarded by the Illinois Arts Council Agency from the Rebuild Illinois Capital Planning Fund.

“It’s moving ahead. It’s just going to take a little time,” Parrott said. “Once that is in place, once there’s a feasibility study for the location, then they can apply for — we hope — a larger amount for actual construction.”

“The money is not going to bury power lines,” Bauer said. “It’s (for) actually putting a structure there that can be used. I hate to see us go backward on this.”

Eric Entrup (R-1) asked Parrott if having the money committed helped with the grant process.

“In the experience of every other grant we’ve written, if you can put some money on the table, it’s going to help your application,” Parrott said.

Mike Rein (R-5) emphasized that the money pulled back from the project is TIF money, “and there are a lot of TIF needs and infrastructure needs in the TIF district. That’s where it ought to be spent.”

In other business, aldermen were presented with documents showing Coalition Health will deal with continuing health insurance claims, along with former city treasurer Linda Moore, to fix errors made by Blue Cross Blue Shield. 

Moore said in a memo to aldermen that Coalition is due at least $186,000 if the city held to a resolution passed by the City Council in September 2021 to compensate the company for 20 percent of the money the city saved. Instead, Coalition will bill the city a flat fee of $5,000 per month for January, February, March and April 2024.

The Health Insurance Premiums bank account at First Bankers Trust was closed March 30. Any funds left in the First Bankers Trust account will be forfeited by Coalition and remain with the city. 

Outstanding claims from calendar years 2022 and 2023 will continue to be processed and/or paid by Coalition until all have been closed. However, no fees will be paid to Coalition after April 30. Coalition will provide to the city a detailed worksheet of the negotiated rebate from Quincy Medical Group on or before April 24.

“While we knew there would be a claims runout period, we did not anticipate the volume of work necessary due to BCBS and provider errors,” Moore wrote. 

Moore asked aldermen to compensate Coalition and close out this project. However, the resolution was tabled for two weeks.

In other action, aldermen:

  • Approved a special event application from Jimmie Patterson requesting permission to hold a “Dwarf Wrestling Show” on April 19 at the Scoreboard, 234 S. Eighth. “It’s nice to see new events coming to Quincy,” Entrup said as he rolled his eyes and smiled.
  • Approved the construction of an outdoor storage facility at 517 Kentucky. 
  • Approved the construction of eight self-storage structures at 3305 Locust.
  • Approved a contract with the Illinois Fire Service Institute to provide the pro-board evaluation of students in the Western Illinois University practicum for $10,075.
  • Approved signing the Illinois Central Management Services rock salt contract/joint participation agreement for 2024-25.

Near the end of the meeting, when Mayor Mike Troup typically asks aldermen for any new business before wrapping up, Jake Reed (R-6) got a few laughs when he said, “I will be abstaining from comments after the meetings — at least for this week.” Reed caught grief after last week’s meeting when he offered his thoughts about a recent video interview with Kenzie Vallee, an model, on and later apologized on social media for using his time to bring the matter up.

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