City gets amended TIF application

After hearing that they would no longer be making recommendations before voting on Tax Increment Financing grants, Vandalia’s aldermen received information on TIF grant application for a project that was initially approved a year ago.
Justin Durbin, who was awarded a $48,600, 100-percent grant in April of last year for work on exterior walls of his building at 101 S. Fifth St., has submitted an amended grant.
Durbin was required to complete the work by July 17 of last year, but he was unable to do the work due to the fact that Dennis Grubaugh, who at the time owned the lot south of his building, would not allow him access to the south wall of his building.
Durbin now has access to that wall, because the city has recently purchased the lot from Grubaugh. But, the bids he received last year are no longer good, meaning that he had to rebid the project.
This time, the bids are considerably higher.
The low bid this time, $67,585, was submitted by Rollin Martin Contracting of St. Peter. Illini Restoration, which had the low bid last year, submitted a bid of $71,800 this time.
The quote from the low bidder calls for the work to done by the beginning of June, pending approval of the bid by April 30.
During the discussion on the amended application, aldermen confirmed that they gave Durbin a 100-percent grant last year because they wanted to get the project completed to improve the appearance of the downtown before the city’s bicentennial celebration this year.
The need to work on the south exterior wall of Durbin’s building is due, at least in part, to the fact that it was damaged when the adjacent building was demolished.
Aldermen discussed implementing more stringent rules on demolitions in the future to help prevent situations such as this one.
Because the council is not scheduled to meet again until May 6, a special meeting to consider Durbin’s amended bid will likely be scheduled by the end of the month.
Prior to the work session for Durbin’s amended application, City Administrator LaTisha Paslay told aldermen that from this point on, work sessions held for TIF grant applications would be treated just like hearings on liquor license applications.
That means that aldermen will no longer make recommendations on TIF applications at work sessions. It will now simply receive information, ask questions and discuss applications.

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