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Where the Rails Cross the River



From the Desk of the Mayor

August 15, 2017

 In my last message, I reported on the fire that devastated the City-owned, historic structure at the corner of Third and Elm Streets, and that we are going to get proposals for salvage rights, and then demolish it. It’s currently deemed an unsafe building.

 Well, at our last Council Meeting, a gentleman in the audience gave a heart-felt plea that we somehow save this historic structure and restore it to its original glamour; perhaps through a fund-raising effort. As a retired architect, I sure wish we could, but how? Before the fire, the City was trying to do exactly that by working with developers to buy and restore it – at a cost of about $200,000. Now, after the fire, the figure would be $800,000 or more. I don’t think the City should spend this kind of tax payer money on it, and what would the building be used for once it restored? And so, the City will continue our course unless someone wants to step up, take possession, quickly make it safe, then restore it within a reasonable time. Know anyone?

 Regarding the gravel pit issue west of town on the south side of Truitt, there was a hearing on July 27 during which the Judge denied the company’s request to dig until the Peoria County Zoning Board of Appeals responded to the Judge’s request for more information; and he gave the ZBA ninety days to do so. The ZBA had its regular meeting on August 14; so, they should be responding soon. Then the Judge will make his final ruling soon after.

 Certain areas of Chillicothe, and some surrounding areas, are now a part of a County-wide Enterprise Zone. We need to promote this so let me give a brief description of what this might mean to you. If you have a property in the Enterprise Zone, you can build new on your property, or improve what exists; and get the benefit of paying no sales tax on your building materials and have a portion of your property tax abated for a number of years. The concept intended to promote growth and improvements, especially housing stock, which will later pay off in property value and tax base. Any questions, call Rachael Parker at City Hall.

 Its “back to school” time! That marks the beginning of the change of seasons – from Summer to Fall. Everyone’s life changes – More school buses on the streets and kids getting on and off and then to school activities, shorter days and a time change, cooler days and nights, a new kind of yard work, and then a stream of holidays. What I try to do is to enjoy Fall for what it is and to ignore the coming Winter for as long as I can.

 Speaking of “back to school”, the last Downtown Thursday event is scheduled for August 31 and the theme is “School Bash”. Come on downtown for a good family time.

 That’s all for this time. See you around town!


  From the Desk of the Mayor


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AUGUST 31, 2017

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