A local company got easy approval from Belleville aldermen Monday night to begin work next month on a multi-million dollar construction project downtown.
The council approved by a 16-0 vote the low bid from Hank’s Excavating & Landscape, Inc. in the amount of $3,271,554.97 for the North Illinois Streetscape project. Hanks has previously done demolition work in town in preparation for the project.
Federal funds make up the majority of Streetscape project funding, while $273,800 in state funds and $600,000 in city funds also will be used.
According to Mayor Mark Eckert, Hanks’ bid for the work came in $200,000 over budget and that the city would need to find that extra money in next year’s budget.
Belleville aldermen also acted on the following items:
▪ Unanimously granted a rezoning of Sammy’s Market at 528 N. Douglas Ave. for commercial use. Aldermen then granted by a 15-1 vote the issuance of a liquor license at that site. Ward 7 Alderman Phil Elmore recorded the lone ‘no’ vote on the liquor license measure.
▪ Unanimously approved a request from Oktoberfest organizers to expand the festival’s boundaries an extra block. The festival would cover ground from High Street to Jackson Street and include a second music stage and space for additional vendors. According to Ward 3 Alderman Scott Tyler, the majority of businesses that would be affected by the festival’s expansion supported it. Organizers said they have vendors and musical acts lined up to fill the additional space.
▪ Approved an amended development agreement with East Alton-based TJBC, Inc., which operates 4204 Main Street Brewing Co., for remodeling and expansion of its brewpub at 4204 W. Main St. The agreement states the city will offer income tax incentives and sales tax breaks on supplies for improvements in exchange for TJBC’s commitment to retain 38 full time jobs and create 16 more in two years at the brew pub. The agreement also states TJBC has to earn at least $2.2 million in taxable sales. TJBC has to pay back any incentives it receives if it fails to meet the criteria set in the agreement.
You said it
“It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme; I’m actually trying to build something for myself. The fact of the matter is, the vast majority of the people who walk in my store, they want a drink. It’s just the way it is. I hate to tell people I don’t have it, I can’t sell it. I’m trying to build. I want to do what’s good for my neighborhood.” - Ehssan Hamdan, owner of Sammy’s Market, 528 N. Douglas Ave. Hamdan’s business was rezoned and he was granted a liquor license at Monday evening’s meeting.
They said it
“Oktoberfest actually is probably our oldest festival. And they’re actually coming back and requesting more space like they did in the early years because now they’re actually cranking it up a notch and it’s getting more vibrant again. After last year’s very successful 200th (city birthday celebration), it’s got a chance to keep the momentum.” - Mayor Mark Eckert. Organizers for Oktoberfest requested the city allow it to expand its boundaries for its festival set for Sept. 18-19.
▪ When: 7 p.m. Monday, July 20
▪ Where: Belleville City Hall, 101 S. Illinois St.