Belleville aldermen approve new Dunkin’ Donuts site

Belleville aldermen on Monday night unanimously approved site plans for two new buildings: a Dunkin’ Donuts at 660 Carlyle Ave. on the east side and a Community Financial Services at 4529 W. Main St.

Dunkin’ Donuts plans to open the next year after it demolishes a former Rally’s restaurant and builds a doughnut shop valued at $650,000. The City Council also authorized a special-use permit to allow for outdoor seating at the restaurant.

Community Financial Services also plans to demolish an existing building and construct a new one at the corner of West Main Street and North Belt West.

TIF dispute

Aldermen voted 8-7 to approve a development agreement with Bellecourt Banquet Center for the remodeling of its site at 120 N. Jackson St. Bellecourt is expected to spend $189,075 on renovations to help meet requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the city agreed to provide $27,000 in TIF funding and certify the site in the city’s enterprise zone, which will allow for an exemption of an estimated $8,000 in state sales tax on building materials.

Ward 3 Alderman Kent Randle gave several reasons why he would vote against the TIF request from Bellecourt.

Randle told the aldermen he opposes granting this request while streets in his ward need repairs.

“I don’t know how you look at constituents in the eye and tell them this is more important than their streets being resurfaced, their curbs replaced, their sidewalks made safe to walk,” he said. “Aldermen have a choice to make, a choice in consequences we all must live with for a long time.”

Ward 2 Alderwoman Janet Schmidt voted for the Bellecourt tax incentive. She acknowledged that this is a for-profit business but added, “I think they perform a valuable service” for the community.

Along with Randle, the other aldermen who vote against the plan were Ward 2 Alderman Mike Buettner, Ward 3 Alderman Scott Tyler, Ward 4 Alderman Raffi Ovian, Ward 7 Alderman Trent Galetti, Ward 7 Alderman Phil Elmore and Ward 8 Alderman Roger Wigginton.

Along with Schmidt, the others who voted for the plan were Ward 1 Alderman Joe Hazel, Ward 1 Alderman Ken Kinsella, Ward 4 Alderman Johnnie Anthony, Ward 5 Alderman Phillip Silsby, Ward 5 Alderman Ed Dintelman, Ward 6 Alderman Paul Seibert and Ward 8 Alderman James Musgrove.

Ward 6 Alderman Bob White was absent.

Lindenwood housing

For the fourth straight City Council meeting, residents near Lindenwood University-Belleville brought forth complaints about the number of students who live in their neighborhood.

And Buettner, who earlier this month asked for City Attorney Garrett Hoerner to investigate Mayor Mark Eckert’s administration’s handling of the Lindenwood student housing issue, said he wants a special City Council meeting to be scheduled for next Monday to discuss a motion for St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly to investigate the matter.

As the City Council meeting adjourned, Hazel said he thought Buettner was blowing this issue “out of proportion.”

Belleville’s Zoning Board of Appeals will meet Oct. 28 to hear Lindenwood’s student housing case

Hoerner said he expected to give Buettner a response to Buettner’s initial request by Thursday.

Meanwhile, the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled on Oct. 28 to hear Lindenwood’s request for special-use permits to allow students to live in more than 50 homes and apartment buildings. Students already live in dozens of these sites.

Several residents have told the aldermen that they want to limit three students per home while the city has said it would cap the maximum at 10. Eckert has said most of the homes in question have six students.

In other business

Aldermen also took the following action:

▪  Approved a bid for demolition of up to six sites. The following five addresses are on the demolition list: 216 N. Third St., 314 N. Church St., 316 E. B St., 818 W. Washington St. and 504 S. First St. Hayes Contracting was the low bidder and will receive $61,486 for demolishing these buildings.

If the owner of the building at 1102 LaSalle St. does not meet city code within two months, this site will be added to the demolition contract for $11,282, bringing the possible total value of the contract up to $72,768.

▪  Accepted the audit of city finances for the fiscal year that ended April 30 by C.J. Schlosser & Co. of Alton. In a review of the city’s tax increment financing districts, the accounting firm said it did not see any violations of the Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act.

▪  Included Stookey Township in the city’s contract with the CodeRED emergency notification service. Stookey Township will be responsible for the additional cost. Belleville began using CodeRED earlier this year to tell residents about emergencies.

Also, the Shriners Parade 5K Committee presented a check for $3,800 to the Parks and Recreation Department.