Belleville

Belleville City Council OKs incentives for new downtown restaurant

Belleville honors airman for saving residents

Mayor Mark Eckert and Fire Chief Tom Pour praise Air Force Master Sgt. Timothy Yablonsky, who alerted a family their home was on fire.
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Mayor Mark Eckert and Fire Chief Tom Pour praise Air Force Master Sgt. Timothy Yablonsky, who alerted a family their home was on fire.

The Belleville City Council on Tuesday approved a development agreement for a new downtown restaurant.

Mark and Renae Eichholz of MRB Development LLC plan to open the Double Barrel Lodge at 200 E. Main St.

Last week, the city’s Finance Committee approved a development agreement that includes the site in the city’s enterprise zone. That allows the developers to purchase construction materials without paying sales taxes if they buy them in Illinois.

The Eichholzes plan to spend $400,000 to renovate the site and estimate the restaurant will produce $500,000 in sales subject to sales tax.

They are eligible for up $12,150 in state sales tax savings on construction materials for the project.

Quiznos previously was located in this site and Junction Coffee & Frozen Yogurt is now located there and will have to leave the space.

In other business

Aldermen approved the following:

▪  A development agreement for Dr. Bill Ritzel, who wants to expand Belleville Optometrists Ltd. on North Jackson Street. The agreement calls for the site to be included in the city’s enterprise zone like the Double Barrel site. Ritzel expects to invest $694,000 and he is eligible for up to $13,365 in state sales tax savings for construction materials purchased in Illinois.

▪  A site plan for Adam Jokisch, president and CEO of Adam’s Auction & Real Estate Services Inc. in Belleville, who will build an auction and event center off Illinois 15 on the east side of town. Earlier this month, the city’s Planning Commission approved Jokisch’s proposal.

The 19,400-square-foot building would be used for auctions and groups could rent it for events such as car and tractor shows. The business would use 12 acres of a 32.4-acre site at 1530 E. State Route 15, which is adjacent to Tractor Supply Co.

▪  The purchase of three vehicles: A Dodge Durango for the Fire Department for $29,859 from Brent Bergheger Dodge; a 3/4-ton regular cab pickup truck for the Parks Departments for $21,939 from Morrow Brothers; and a 1/2-ton regular cab pickup truck for the Housing Department for $18,444 from Miles Chevrolet.

▪  The closure of a portion of High Street after the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 12. Some downtown businesses have complained about their businesses being hurt by street festivals while others say they enjoy the festivals. The vote was 11-4 to close the street between East Main Street and East Washington Street. Voting for the closure were Ward 1 Aldermen Ken Kinsella and Joe Hazel, Ward 2 Alderwoman Jane Pusa, Ward 3 Alderman Scott Tyler, Ward 4 Alderman Johnnie Anthony, Ward 5 Alderman Phillip Silsby, Ward 6 Alderman Paul Seibert, Ward 7 Aldermen Trent Galetti and Phil Elmore and Ward 8 Aldermen James Musgrove and Roger Wigginton. Ward 2 Alderman Mike Buettner, Ward 3 Alderman Kent Randle, Ward 4 Alderman Raffi Ovian and Ward 6 Alderman Bob White opposed the plan. Ward 5 Alderman Ed Dintelman was absent.

Time to applause

The council meeting featured two standing ovations.

The first one was for Air Force Master Sgt. Timothy Yablonsky of Scott Air Force. Yablonsky was driving on East Main Street about 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 29 when he spotted smoke coming from a house at 934 E. Main St. He stopped and began pounding on the door and was able to help get the residents safely out of the home.

The people weren’t aware the back of their house was on fire.

Fire Chief Tom Pour

“The people weren’t aware the back of their house was on fire,” Fire Chief Tom Pour told the aldermen as he praised Yablonsky’s efforts. “So when we got there, we only had to worry about putting the fire out,” Pour said before Mayor Mark Eckert gave Yablonsky a plaque.

The second ovation was for Belleville Police Department Detective Aaron Hackleman and Detective Jeff Jensen, who were honored for being named Officers of the Year for 2015.

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