Marseilles council approves beautification, safety measures

CDAP loans, amended lease benefit 3 city businesses

The Marseilles City Council on Wednesday approved three resolutions, two involving beautification of the downtown area and one regarding public safety.

One resolution approved a Community Development Assistance Program infrastructure loan for Bobaluk’s restaurant, permitting the owners to redo the windows on the face of the building up to and including the third story.

The second is for work on a portion of the former Gleason’s Hardware building, where Nate Schaefer hopes to reopen the hardware store soon. Gleason’s Hardware closed in August.

CDAP grants are government-funded and awarded to municipalities to assist businesses with public infrastructures or low-interest loans to companies that directly support economic development projects benefiting low- to moderate-income residents.

The third resolution authorized an amendment to a lease with NUCOR, at 1201 Broadway St., allowing the company to expand its boundary to accommodate a new security fence.

“It’s a little more security for them,” Marseilles Mayor Jim Hollenbeck said. “They’ve had some minor incidences of people wandering into the building, so they’ve needed to tighten the rope for some time now. They’re a very good friend to the city and we’d like to keep them happy. … Hopefully this will help Nate get his hardware store up and running.

“These are loans from the community to help beautify our Main Street.”

Librarian Jan Ambrose honored

Marseilles Library director Jan Ambrose (right) on Wednesday accepts a gift from Mayor Jim Hollenbeck as a token of esteem for her years of service to the city. Ambrose will be retiring later this month after 23 years in that post.

Additionally, Hollenbeck made a presentation to thank Marseilles Library Director Jan Ambrose, who will be step down later this month after 23 years as the head librarian and director. She was also honored with a pizza party after the meeting.

The council also heard a report from Ambrose on the repairs to the roof of the library, which she said will be helped by a $125,000 grant from the Illinois Secretary of State’s office. She said Renaissance Roofing of Rockford will set up scaffolding this week so tuckpointing work can begin, with work on the roof and gutters slated for November.

No action on Illinois Valley Cellular building

The Illinois Valley Cellular building is being eyed by the city of Marseilles to become the next City Hall and police department.

Just after the meeting was called to order, Hollenbeck said the purchase of the Illinois Valley Cellular would not be discussed by the council. He said the negotiations are continuing, and the city has agreed to seek a second appraisal of the property, per public request at the Sept. 6 meeting.

In other action, the council:

• Heard a report from Commissioner Melissa Small that trick-or-treating hours will be 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31.

• Heard from Schaefer, who serves as the city’s Emergency Services and Disaster Agency team director, there will be a meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 209 Lincoln St., for any person age 16 or older interested in joining or learning more about the team.

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