City Council accepts IHDA APP grant award

Logan Raschke, Editor-in-Chief

The Charleston City Council voted Tuesday to accept the Illinois Housing Development Authority APP grant award in the amount of $55,000.

Mayor Brandon Combs said the city applied for grant funding from the IHDA’s Abandoned Property program in December of last year. Since then, the IHDA agreed to issue a grant not to exceed $55,000, so the next step for the council is to accept that grant award.

“Our original grant request was (reimbursing) the city for demolitions that occurred in 2017, (paying) for demolitions to existing abandoned structures and also to pay for the cleanup of existing abandoned structures,” Combs said.

The resolution says the entire grant award must go toward the program.

The council also voted to approve an agreement for professional services and assistance with Economic Development Resources, L.L.C.

Combs said EDR will assist the city by providing consultation services regarding the central area tax increment finance district.

The resolution says the review of the TIF district applies to possibly extending the redevelopment project’s completion dates.

EDR’s tasks under the agreement include reviewing the city and completing activities necessary for the TIF extension.

These services will be provided by EDR on an hourly basis. The president’s hourly wage is $275, the senior project manager’s is $150, the GIS project manager’s is $125 and the project manager’s is $100.

The agreement says the total billings to the city shall not exceed $15,000.

The council also voted to approve memorializing the pavilion at North Park as “Faye Cobble Pavilion.”

Combs said the Charleston Recreation and Advisory Board made the recommendation to the council on Feb. 26, 2016 during its monthly board meeting. The motion passed 5-0.

Combs said Cobble served on the Charleston Playground and Recreation Board for 21 years and was a “loyal supporter” of the department.

He said Cobble also lived nearby the North Park Pavilion; she would frequently pick up litter off the grounds and monitor the park.

The council also voted to approve both raffle licenses; one license was for the Coles County Farm Bureau and the other was for the Coles County Art Council.

The Farm Bureau’s application says funds collected from the raffle are dedicated to a scholarship fund for students who will pursue agricultural fields of study.

The raffle will take place from Aug. 1 until Aug. 23 at Morton Park and throughout the city.

The Art Council’s application says funds collected from the raffle are dedicated to art camp scholarships for high school students every spring.

This raffle will take place July 26 and 27 at the amphitheater at Kiwanis Park.

The council also voted to approve a proclamation recognizing Aug. 4-10 as National Farmers Market Week.

Logan Raschke can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].