July 30, 2014

Belleville spends $70,000 for temporary space

The city of Belleville's Health, Housing and Building, Engineering and Sanitation departments will open their doors at a new site on Lincoln Street on Monday.

These three city departments will operate from 407 E. Lincoln St. for about three years as the city moves the Police Department to 720 W. Main St. and renovates City Hall at 101 S. Illinois St.

The renovated City Hall will have space for the three departments that are dislocated temporarily.

This past Monday night, aldermen voted to waive bid procedures and spend $70,290 from the general fund to make the building at 407 E. Lincoln St. suitable to house these departments.

The 9-3 vote took place at a special City Council meeting.

Ward 2 Alderwoman Melinda Hult, Ward 7 Alderman Trent Galetti and Alderwoman-at-Large Lillian Schneider voted no.

Ward 3 Aldermen Kent Randle and Gabby Rujawitz, Ward 4 Alderman Jim Davidson and Ward 5 Alderman Phil Silsby were absent.

Aldermen voiced concerns about the city hiring a contractor without going out for bid and spending money on certain improvements -- such as enclosing the service counter with safety glass -- when the city plans on using the building only temporarily.

Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert said the majority of upgrades are necessary to bring the building into compliance with the American with Disabilities Act and the city's own building codes.

Aldermen approved a $60,940 contract with Erlinger Construction for upgrades to the building on an accelerated schedule.

And, aldermen approved about $9,350 for work by six other businesses for new signs, roof and awning repairs, sealing and striping the parking lot and relocating dishes and antennas.

The council previously approved $4,575 to have Joshua Mandell and The Lawrence Group design the upgrades at the site. The city bought the building and adjacent parking lot for $235,000.

Eckert said the city is trying to make the move without disrupting service to the public.

This means the departments will be open at their current location, 213 S. Illinois St., through Friday. And, work at 407 E. Lincoln St. will finish this weekend at the same time the city moves in to be ready to open for business on Monday.

The city is required by an agreement with the Bank of Belleville to move out of 213 S. Illinois St. by the first week of August.

The bank purchased the property at 213 and 219 S. Illinois St., paying $225,000 for the city's part. The bank plans to demolish the existing buildings in August and build a new headquarters by summer 2015.

The Police Department will move to 720 W. Main St., where the Bank of Belleville currently resides. The city purchased the building housing the bank and other tenants earlier this year for $3.1 million.

Contact reporter Jacqueline Lee at or 618-239-2655. Follow her on Twitter at

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