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City OKs TIF for South Central FS

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Studies water, sewer line extension

By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

The Vandalia City Council approved on Monday a Tax Increment Financing agreement with South Central FS for the cooperative’s new facility near the city western Interstate 70 interchange.
It also began working on the extension of water and sewer lines to that area that would both serve the new FS facility and aid in the future development of that area.
Acting on a recommendation from the city’s TIF Advisory Committee, the council approved an agreement that provides South Central FS with 70 percent of the net TIF revenues generated as a result of the project for 15 years, with the maximum reimbursement to be $1 million.
South Central FS is building a new plant food distribution terminal in the northeast quadrant of the western I-70 interchange, just north of Pine Ridge Homes and Laack Flooring Innovations.
The $5-million project includes the relocation of South Central’s anhydrous ammonia storage from its current location on Hillsboro Road (Ill. Route 185), just south of the Interstate 70 overpass.
Byron Sikma, chief operating officer of South Central FS, told the TIF Advisory Committee at its meeting last Thursday that the cooperative plans to phase out five of its smaller fertilizer facilities, and that the new facility will serve customers in a 90-mile radius.
The project was mentioned as the council’s water and sewer committee met earlier on Monday, discussing the extension of water and sewer lines to that area.
Mayor Rick Gottman said that South Central needs only a 3-inch water line, but the city would like to install a 10-inch line. The larger line, Gottman said, would help the city in its efforts to lure other business and industry to that area.
He also said that the city would like to have a fire hydrant in that area, and Scott Hunt of Hurst-Roche said that a hydrant cannot be installed on a smaller line.
“We have to figure out how to pay for it,” said Alderman Terry Beesley, chairman of the water and sewer committee.
Gottman said that the engineer’s estimate for extending the line by going under only Randolph Street is slightly less than $200,000, and by going under both Randolph and U.S. Route 40 is $212,000. He recommends boring under both roadways because that would provide water to more areas of the interchange area.
He said that the city can use TIF monies to help fund the extension of water and sewer lines, and that it can also dip into the city’s revolving loan fund.
Gottman said that he is also working with state legislators on obtaining funding assistance from the state. In fact, he said, he would be talking with local legislators on a conference call on Tuesday.
“We’re looking at all of the options,” Gottman said, noting that this project is important to the city’s work on future growth.
Also at Monday’s meeting:
• The council approved the low bids from Hosick Motors for a new squad car and SUV for the city’s police department.
The council agreed to accept Hosick’s bid of $27,500 for a 2013 Dodge Durango and $23,216 for a 2013 Dodge Charger.
Other bidders included Arthur Young Chevrolet of Vandalia and Engel Brothers Ford in Farina.
• The council authorized the Vandalia Volunteer Fire Department to draft specifications and seek bids for a new ladder truck. That truck would replace the department’s 1996 aerial apparatus.
• The council gave the VVFD permission to purchase new hydraulic cutter from AEC of Springfield for $4,998.
Fire Chief Ed Taylor said that the department is using $2,998 from its Hazel Kelly Fund, $1,000 from this year’s budget and $1,000 of its membership funds to make the purchase.
• The council approved a $3,051.96 to Aramark for a buyout on a uniform contract for Cemetery Sexton David Wodtka.
• The council approved the transfer of $20,000 from the city’s general fund to its cemetery fund. The budgeted funds will be used for cemetery operations and maintenance.
• The council approved two zoning ordinance amendments.
One amendment allows for the inclusion of motor vehicle dealers, automotive repair shops and automotive services in the city’s downtown commercial district.
The second amendment adds accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services to the list of allowed uses in both the medical district and downtown commercial district.
• Public Works Director John Moyer reported that weather permitting, city employees will begin oiling streets next week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
• The council approved a $176,676 payment to Kinney Contractors of Raymond for Fourth Street streetscape work, and a $35,254.29 change order for the streetscape project.
• The council approved an engineering agreement with Hurst-Roche Engineers for the annual inspection of the Vandalia Lake dam.