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Council approves TIF grant, lake club lease

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

The Vandalia City Council approved on Monday a grant to help fund the renovation of a long-time business and a new lease with the Vandalia Shrine Club.
The council approved a Tax Increment Financing grant of up to $15,000 to Dennis Young for improvements to Arthur Young Inc., a longtime Chevrolet dealer in Vandalia.
Young told the city’s TIF Advisory Committee at its March 8 meeting that originally, General Motors wanted him to make renovations totaling about $600,000.
He said that he developed a plan that would cut the cost of renovations to about $135,000 and still be similar to the original in appearance to the GM specifications.
Young told the committee that he initially did not plan to ask for TIF assistance, because the committee’s earlier cap of $7,500 would not be of much benefit, due to the fact that in receiving the grant, he would be required to pay prevailing wages.
He said that he decided to apply for a TIF grant after seeing that several applicants had received $15,000 grants.
The improvements to the dealership will include new drywall in the showroom and offices, new efficiency lighting and new flooring inside, and new windows and new Dryvit on the exterior.
The council also approved a new, five-year lease with the Vandalia Lake Club (Vandalia Shrine Club) through which the club will continue to pay $300 annually.
A new 10-year lease was up for council action on March 7, but Alderman Mike Hobler, chairman of the lake committee, asked that the matter be tabled until the lease could be discussed by the committee.
At the committee meeting on March 11, Hobler wanted committee members to discuss whether the annual fee was fair, based on fees charged to other lessees at the lake.
Hobler posed the possibility of either increasing the fee for each of the 10 years or shortening the term of the lease.
Club members told Hobler that the money they receive for the building is used to pay for building and property maintenance, and property taxes.
The Shriners’ other income, from such things as appearances, goes to Shriners’ Hospitals for Children.
The committee ultimately agreed to recommend a five-year lease, with the annual fee to stay at $300.