Council approves $500K for new downtown development project


The City of Quincy would like to see the now shuttered Welcome Inn redeveloped J. Robert Gough

QUINCY — Mayor Mike Troup’s plan that could lead to the razing of the crumbling Welcome Inn received the seal of approval from the Quincy City council on Monday night.

Alderman Dave Bauer (D-2), who had requested to table the $500,000 proposal last week, asked Planning and Development Director Chuck Bevelheimer if this money was intended to go toward developing either the Welcome Inn property at 200 Maine or the also-shuttered Eagle’s Nest at 300 Gardner Expressway. Bevelheimer acknowledged that was the goal.

But. with the reworked resolution stating the funding has to be for acquisition of real estate and new construction in an area within the boundaries of Broadway to State and from Fourth to the Riverfront, Bauer wanted to know why the language wasn’t more direct.

Troup interjected and, as he also told Muddy River News last week, since the city doesn’t own either property, they couldn’t take that action, but the city still has to sign off on any intended use.

Alderman Jeff Bergman (D-2) asked why Tax Increment Financing (TIF) wasn’t being used. Bevelheimer said TIF funding has to go toward rehabilitation projects and cannot be used for new construction, but he added the TIF fund for that area is already spoken for on other projects anyway, including a new hotel being developed by the Tanninger Company by renovating the Illinois State Building at 6th and Hampshire.

Another stipulation that was removed was a minimum of 100 rooms for a new hotel. Troup said some national chains are building hotels just under that threshold and any addition gets the City closer to its goal of 1,200 rooms.

The $500,000 is coming from the 1 percent Food and Beverage Tax, which was created for tourism and economic development.

Aldermen approved the resolution on a 9-5 vote with Bauer, Bergman, Mike Farha (R-4), Tony Sassen (r-4) and Mike Rein (R-5) voting against the plan.

The Council did have an opportunity to approve the use of a different pot of money for a new roof at the Quincy Medical Group Surgery Center, located at the Quincy Town Center.

Cullinan Properties, owners of the Town Center, formerly know as Quincy Mall, requested $100,000 for a roof at the QMG facility, which formerly housed Bergner’s Department Store. The funding is out of the Mid-Town Business District fund, which is funded by a 1 percent retail sales tax paid by businesses within that zone.

Aldermen approved that request by a 10-4 vote with Bergman, Bauer, Sassen and Richie Reis (D-6) opposing.

In other City Council action:

  • Mayor Troup read a proclamation from Governor JB Pritzker recognizing former Quincy Newspapers Inc. President/CEO Thomas A. Oakley, who passed away last week.
  • Approved the following low bids for purchase of materials required for annual street and sidewalk
    maintenance: Concrete – R.L. Brink Corp. $185,807.50 and Patching Material – Diamond
    Construction Co. $60,700.00, subject to approval by the IDOT. Funding for the purchase of
    maintenance materials will be available in the 2022/2023 MFT Fund fiscal year budget.
  • Approved quote from Daikin-TMI of St. Louis in the amount of $9,150.00 for HVAC diagnostic and evaluation services.
  • Heard the second reading of the 2022-2023 budget. The budget is expected to get its third and final reading next week. By statute, it must be approved no later than April 30.

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