Marseilles may borrow up to $2.3M to move City Hall, police station to Illinois Valley Cellular building

Money only available if city decides to buy the building

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

The Marseilles City Council affirmed it is willing to borrow up to $2.3 million for the purchase and renovation of the Illinois Valley Cellular building, which is a proposed site of a new City Hall and police station.

The ordinance passed Wednesday by a 3-2 vote.

At the City Council meeting, Marseilles Mayor Jim Hollenbeck told the audience that if the city decides to purchase the building at 200 Riverfront Drive – it is in negotiations with MTCO Communications – it can borrow up to that amount in debt certificates.

This just provides the vehicle for us to get the money if we choose to do so. We’re still negotiating with them.

—  Marseilles Mayor Jim Hollenbeck

The proposed purchase price for the property is $1.6 million, but the $2.3 million would include renovations required to house the police department.

“This just provides the vehicle for us to get the money if we choose to do so,” Hollenbeck said. “We’re still negotiating with them. Once we get a total together from Phalen Steel (the proposed renovator), we’ll work on getting a price on sealing the rest of the blacktop down there, fixing the cracks. We’re using all these issues as a negotiating tool to see if we can get the price down some more.”

Voting in favor of the proposal were Hollenbeck and commissioners Bobby Kaminski and Melissa Small, and voting nay were commissioners Mike Scheib and Jim Buckingham. The council voted the same way at a Sept. 6 public hearing on whether to continue the negotiations for the 6-acre property.

The mayor said the city still is waiting on a second appraisal of the property as recommended following the last public meeting.

City Engineer Michael Etscheid said he had reached out to Phalen Construction, the company that built it, and toured it with its superintendent and found nothing structurally wrong with the building, other than ordinary maintenance items.

Following a brief public hearing, the council also approved the issuance of general obligation bonds not to exceed $200,000.

Marseilles welcomes new officer

Marseilles Commissioner Melissa Small (left) swears in the city's newest police officer, Jacob Bakalik, at Wednesday's city council meeting.

Before getting into the meeting agenda, Small swore in the city’s newest police officer, Jacob Bakalik. Introduced by Chief Brian Faber, Bakalik – a native of Gardner and graduate of Gardner-South Wilmington High School – has been working with the Marseilles Police Department and the city of Dwight part-time for the past two months. In that time, he has been also serving with the U.S. Army National Guard.

In other action, the council:

Heard from Hollenbeck about a meeting with Hitchcock Design regarding equipment for the Broadway Park renovation

Learned from Small that Trunk-or-Treat sponsored by the Marseilles Elementary PTA will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, at the IV Cellular building’s parking lot and that the city’s trick-or-treat hours are 5 to 7 p.m. Halloween night, Oct. 31

Adopted an ordinance amending the city’s zoning status regarding bed-and-breakfast businesses located in residential areas

Adopted an ordinance for conditional use for construction of a pole-style metal residence at 1056 Pomeroy St.

Granted by a 3-2 vote a zoning variance to Steven Hlack for his property at 707 Ryall St. Hlack reportedly made improvements to his property that did not conform to city guidelines and were done without city approval. Rather than require the improvements be removed, the variance was granted but a $5,000 fine was levied

Approved a home business license for Christina Marasso-Scobey to operate a daycare center, Club Crayons

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