Henderson building demolition moves forward

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter

Aledo City Council members voted to approve a lowest responsible bid from Lohman Excavating and Demolition out of Hillsdale for the demolition project of the Henderson building, 206 SE 2nd Ave., located just east of Aledo Central Park at Monday's Aug. 16 regular city council meeting. The bid was $24.674.

The city is looking to raze the building and sell the property to the Aledo Fire Protection district for a new fire station. The city council continued to table a resolution to approve sale of the real estate to the fire district, an ordinance to amend the city code relating to peddlers and a resolution approving a Tax Increment Financing grant agreement between the city and World-Wide Gun Report.

Prior to the vote, Alderman Robert Rillie asked, "How do you explain the incredible variation on bids?" The 12 bids ranged from $14,850 to $313,460.

Steve Moller, public works director, had no explanation for the discrepancy.

He told the council that a survey on the building's asbestos has been done, which must be removed prior to the demolition.

David Lohman, co-owner of the Hillsdale business with Cassie Steffen, operator, told the council he plans to crush the bricks from the building to help fill in the hole created by the demolition.

There was some discussion on whether some of the painted bricks on the north side of the building might contain lead paint. Moller said he would have a scratch test done on the outside paint to test for lead paint. If found, the bricks would have to be hauled to an environmentally approved waste site, along with any asbestos tile and roofing materials.

Once work begins on the building demolition the firm has 45 days to complete the project.

In another TIF matter, the council approved, on a 5-0 vote, a TIF grant agreement with Stuts Drug Store, Inc., located at 101 and 105 S. College Ave., for a 50-50 grant for façade work on the building for an estimated cost to the city of $3,050. Stuts will have tuck-pointing and waterproofing done on the front and north sides of the building. Voting in favor of the measure were aldermen Tab Balmer, Barry Cooper, Robert Rillie, Richard Maynard, Jr. and Richard Hunter. Absent from the meeting were aldermen Randy Mattson, Terry Bewley and Michael Baugher.

Aldermen also tabled a resolution to transfer $160,000 from the TIF fund to the water fund to finish the south water tower project. The city's $2 million bond secured for the various water projects, including building the new water tower, removing an old tower and refurbishing the south water tower went a bit over budget when it also included finishing off some water projects in the northeast part of the city. That project used $279,000.

The vote to table the resolution passed by a 3-2 vote, with aldermen Hunter and Cooper opposing it.

There was some discrepancy in the resolution on whether the $160,000 would be paid back to TIF, or whether it was a qualified TIF expense.

The council also passed a resolution resolving a motor fuel tax audit issue from 2002 - 2003. "Illinois state auditors have been behind in completing MFT audits around the state," according to a memo from Janice Green, city administrator. Audits have recently been completed for 2002 through 2008, with two transactions not handled properly.

A 2002 transaction of $9,828.22 was incorrectly recorded and a 2003 entry of $5,419.92 was incorrectly recorded.

The council also passed 4-1 authorization to put an invoice for $184,712.37 on next month's bills list, so the special tax allocation funds can be disbursed to other taxing bodies in the TIF district, due to the non use of those funds that were set aside for a project that had never been completed. Voting no was Cooper.