Infrastructure, economic development projects discussed during ‘Lunch with the Mayor’

Lunch with the Mayor

Quincy Planning and Development Director Chuck Bevelheimer talks during the "Lunch with the Mayor" event Wednesday in City Council chambers at City Hall. | David Adam

QUINCY — Mike Troup’s first “Lunch with the Mayor” drew about 15 people to City Council chambers Wednesday afternoon. 

“I think it was good,” he said. “We need to do more of these. Some ideas that came up today are important, and we need to follow up with them.”

Quincy Planning and Development Director Chuck Bevelheimer gave an overview of some of the local and regional economic initiatives his department is working on, while Utilities and Engineering Director Jeffrey Conte provided an update on infrastructure projects throughout the city.

However, some of the people in attendance also brought concerns to the meeting. Topics ranged from:

  • Replacing the doors at City Hall
  • Resurfacing 22nd Street between Harrison and Jackson
  • The amount of salt purchased by the city for the upcoming winter
  • Using bricks to pave roads
  • Cleaning the trash along the off ramps from Interstate 172
  • Putting lids on recycling tubs 
  • Improving diversity issues throughout the city
  • Widening State Street from 24th Street to 36th Street

Lead service water line replacement in older homes will cost about $25 million

Conte said about $45 million is committed for infrastructure projects in the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years. He detailed water replacement and sewer replacement projects, as well as upcoming road projects on Monroe from 16th to 18th, Spring from Second to Third, Second from Oak to College, Elm from 14th to 15th and Elm from Sixth to Seventh.

Conte explained a lead service water line replacement project that will cost about $25 million during the next 20 years. Approximately 6,000 lead lines used in homes built before 1940 will be replaced.

The renovation of City Hall also was a topic for Conte. 

The facility, built in 1972 at the corner of Eighth and Maine, originally was a bank. City offices moved into the former bank in 1995. 

“We have 11,000 square feet per floor, but the number of employees in here, not so much,” Conte sad. “The space is used so poorly that the annex building on the other side of the parking lot is where we have our planning and development people. There’s no reason why we can’t be in this one building.

“So what we’re looking to do is to renovate update the building. We’ve got to replace the heating and ventilation system anyway, and it’s going to cost probably a million dollars or so. Why not use that opportunity to reconfigure the city hall … and get all of our operations consolidated into one building?”

Beveheimer talks about projects along Quincy riverfront

Bevelheimer talked about implementing a plan to get rid of the Ameren’s high-voltage power lines on the riverfront that will allow other development along the riverfront to begin. 

“That really sets the table for us to do anything down there,” he said. “You really can’t move pieces of the puzzle of development down there with these high power lines running parallel to the riverfront.”

Bevelheimer also said city officials recently talked with Congressman Darin LaHood about a $5.4 million request to redevelop a two-acre plot of land south of the Memorial Bridge. The site was selected through the city’s master planning process to be a dock for large riverfront cruise ships.

“The bay is too shallow in front of Clat Adams Park,” he explained. 

Bevelheimer also talked about the development of Sixth Street between Maine and Vermont to create a more vibrant shopping area. He said the city has set aside approximately $1 million in TIF dollars for this project.

“The state also announced a program allowing communities to apply for up to $3 million to help downtowns revitalize and rejuvenate and help with COVID closure, so we’re using that as a grant source,” he said. “We’ll be meeting with Sixth Street property owners next Thursday to discuss this application. Assuming we get their support, then we’ll be going after grant funding to allow us to rebuild a streetscape from Maine to Vermont.”

Troup announced a not-for-profit Quincy Riverfront Foundation was created last week and waiting for approval from the Internal Revenue Service. He said the foundation will allow people to make a private contribution to the riverfront project. 

Only one alderman, Dave Bauer (D-2), attended the meeting.

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