Marseilles council gives brief building purchase update

2nd appraisal comes in higher; structure in “pretty good shape”

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 on Wednesday night received a brief update on the proposed purchase of the Illinois Valley Cellular building from Mayor Jim Hollenbeck and City Engineer Michael Etscheid.

Hollenbeck said the second appraisal requested by the public at one of the city’s open meetings had been delivered, with the value set at $2.26 million. An earlier appraisal had positioned the value at $1.6 million. The estimated cost of putting up a similar building new is close to $4 million, the council said.

Etscheid added he had toured the 23-year-old structure with representatives of Phalen Steel, which put up the original building, and found it was in “pretty good shape” with the exception of a few minor repairs. The purchase price of $1.45 million has been discussed, as well as another $1 million to renovate it to accommodate the police department.

At its previous meeting, the Marseilles City Council affirmed it is willing to borrow up to $2.3 million for the purchase and renovation of the building, which is a proposed site of a new City Hall and police station.

The Marseilles council also approved the payment of $39,000 to Brian Szczygeil for tuckpointing the south side of the building at 278 Main St., the former Ziggy’s building just off Commercial Street. That amount will be taken from a tax increment financing account.

Etscheid explained the city purchased and tore down the building next door, leaving the south wall of the building next door now more exposed to public view. There was some discussion of leaving an old advertisement on that face, or possibly looking into having a “Welcome to Marseilles” mural painted there.

The city engineer added he has been in contact with Opperman Construction regarding the lining of the sewers on Union Street, receiving word the work will have a “substantial completion” in November. That should satisfy a Jan. 31 deadline for the Community Development Assistance Program grant’s portion of that work.

The council also received a reminder from Hollenbeck the Marseilles Clean-Up Days will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Oct. 19-20 and from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 21. Residents can bring items for disposal to the Marseilles City Garage on Commercial Street, just west of the building, with a maximum of two utility trailers per household. Trash receptacles will be provided.

All large appliances must have doors removed prior to bringing it to the garage. No brush, tree limb, garbage, paint, tires, electronic items or chemicals will be accepted. Proof of Marseilles residency is required. City employees will be on hand to supervise and organize the disposal.

In other action, the council:

Thanked City Clerk Leslie Hart and the Fall Fest committee for a job well done, noting the fest was “very well attended” in spite of the rain.

Heard from Commissioner Melissa Small the Marseilles Elementary PTA is sponsoring the annual Trunk or Treat festival at IV Cellular parking lot from 10 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, and the city’s trick or treat hours will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on Halloween night, Tuesday, Oct. 31.

Heard from Commissioner Michael Scheib any person, business or organization interested in sponsoring a public bench for the downtown area should contact him at City Hall, 815-795-2113.