Metro-East News

Fairview Heights Council approves creation of business alliance commission

Council members elected to form a business alliance to streamline the city’s efforts to attract, develop and retain business.

Six of the nine voting council members approved the measure, which ends the Economic Development Commission and creates the Fairview Heights Business Alliance Commission. The new commission will merge the city’s hotel/motel screening committee and the Lincoln Trail TIF Subcommittee into one entity.

The commission will be overseen by nine members, including seven city residents. The commission will also have a chairman and a vice chairman, with the advice and consent of the City Council.

City administrator Jim Snider said the ordinance restructures and combines all of the city’s economic development efforts into one entity.

It’s streamlining the process administratively and also brings elected officials together and creates more cohesion.

Jim Snider, Fairview Heights City Administrator

“It’s streamlining the process administratively and also brings elected officials together and creates more cohesion,” Snider said.

City economic development director Mike Malloy said this successor entity will bring all of the city’s economic development functions under one unit.

“It’s just being combined,” Malloy said. “The common thread is that all three of those previous committees all dealt with incentives.”

Before the vote, Ward 1 Alderman Dennis Baricevic proposed an amendment to keep the hotel-motel committee as a separate entity.

“Hotel-motel has always been under finance committee and it’s worked very well for 15, 20 years,” Baricevic said. “The TIF subcommittee and the EDC, which are being merged, which is a good idea, they deal with TIF dollars. They deal with developing a business from the ground up. Whereas the hotel-motel committee deals with the art fair and homecoming. You can’t marry them together, in my mind.”

The amendment failed by a 4-5 vote. Among the dissenters were Ward 3 Alderwoman Pat Baeske, who said she preferred the new commission.

“We’re trying to consolidate everything,” Basekse said, before the vote. “I like the way it has been proposed.”