Mt Carroll to Consider Business Development District
By JOHN HUGGINS | For The Prairie Advocate News
MOUNT CARROLL – The Mount Carroll city council met for its finance committee meeting at 6:45 pm and its regular meeting at 7:30 pm on July 9, 2013 with the mayor and all aldermen present.
Business Development District
During the finance committee meeting Alderman Doug Bergren brought up the possibility of establishing a Business Development District (BDD) to overlap Mount Carroll’s Tax Increment Financing District (TIF District). Bergren stressed that it is himself, personally, that is proposing the BDD.
The BDD would impose a one half of one percent sales tax on goods sold within the boundaries of the district. Exempt from the tax would be prescription drugs, licensed vehicles, and food purchased at a grocery or convenience store, but not food purchased at restaurants.
Bergren explained that, by his calculations, the least amount the tax would bring in would be $50,000 per year. He went on to describe ways they could put that money to use. One possibility is to help Kunes Country Auto, since GM has mandated to upgrade their facilities. Another use would be to put toward the city’s match of the bridge repair grant.
Bergren commented, “There are going to be some naysayers out there that say ‘my business will be ruined, my customers won’t tolerate this.’ One half of one percent is 50 cents on 100 dollars. I doubt seriously you are going to lose a lot of customers because of that.”
We’re going to have to learn to protect ourselves,” Bergren continued. “People say ‘let’s apply for a grant.’ There’s not much money out there for grants, both federally and statewide. So, that is another reason I am pushing this.”
He also noted that BDD funds, as opposed to TIF funds, could be used to market the downtown or give the chamber some money for marketing.
The discussion will continue at a future meeting.
Fundraisers for the pool
Alderman Joe Grimm reported on fundraising efforts underway to raise money for a new pool cover. They started off with $600 in donations. During the Blockfest event on June 29 they raised $1,025.75. The swimathon that will be held later in the summer already has $155 in its fund. A golf outing will be held August 9 at Oakville Country Club.
Blighted properties update
Attorney Ron Copland stated he had heard nothing regarding 113 N. Mill Street. Alderman Bob Sisler inquired if the property was in the flood plain. If so, was the city going to allow them to rebuild on the property? Mayor Carl Bates said the plan was to take down the existing building and not rebuild.
The building on the corner of Market and Carroll Streets was discussed. The owner was given an order to vacate the building last month. Since then, people have been seen entering the building. The discussion lead to the city putting a lock on the doors. The council decided to give Mrs. Haas the opportunity to put her own locks on the doors. If she does not do so before the next council meeting the city will do it.
The council decided to pay to have a dumpster placed at the residence in the 200 block of Market Street (Bushy Flats) so the owner could have the property cleaned up.
When asked if he was going to have his employees do the cleanup, Alderman Tom Charles replied, “[The owner] said he would do it. If he doesn’t, I will.” He added, “And if he doesn’t do it, we’re going to be very mad if we have to!”
In other business
- Voted to have Ivey Monument straighten 23 small gravestones near the entrance of the cemetery at a cost not to exceed $3,000.
- Finished a final draft of the employee handbook and will give it to the city attorney for his review before the city adopts.
- Approved to start Greg Kloepping’s pay for his new position at $14.19 per hour starting July 10.
- Authorized the mayor to sign all documents regarding the Walgreens stock. Also approved the sale of the stock. The proceeds will be deposited in the city’s park fund.