Trash solution makes sense

July 27, 2013 

I thought I would offer some historical context and observations about the recent criticism leveled about the use of TIF to construct a protected trash area behind several businesses on East Main Street in downtown Belleville.

I was an owner of Main Street Jazz & Blues from 2001 to 2006, which became the Blue Agave after it was sold. When we purchased the building in 2000, there wasn't a lot of activity or nightlife on East Main Street other than the 313 music bar (the property became Big Daddy's in 2005) and the Lincoln Theater.

These days, however, you can stroll down East Main and pass multiple fine establishments that would not exist "but for" the significant investment of their respective proprietors and the faithful clientele they serve.

As for proper trash engineering being voted in place of these locations, I can tell you that the area concerned has historically been a bit of an eyesore and was in need of some rework. The confluence of additional businesses there must make this especially so, particularly in light of the addition of several new bars and restaurants.

Some of the unintended beneficiaries are several longstanding businesses that don't create large quantities of trash (Liese Lumber, Kurt Smith Shooting/Sporting Goods, Eye on Design).

In short, the previous system of merely dropping Dumpsters on the congested back parking lot alley was neither the best nor safest alternative, and I'm glad that an improvement and solution is being provided.

Neal Connors


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