NEWS

Mercer Market TIF loan request moves to full Aledo City Council

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The Tax Increment Financing Committee of the Aledo City Council voted Aug. 24 to recommend the full council approve a forgivable loan of $210,078 for Mercer Market.

The City Council will consider the request at its Sept. 8 meeting.

The application was submitted by DWT Properties of Milan, the owner of the building at 1600 SE Fifth St., and LLC/Retail Development Properties Ltd., the operator of the business.

Estimates for the proposed project include $4,424-$6,300 for repair and replacement of non-compliant cement ramps, $27,936-$29,833 for exterior masonry, $100,818-$102,574 for HVAC (heating, ventilation, air-conditioning) improvements and $76,900-$77,810 for refrigeration system upgrades.

"Most of these upgrades are pretty much being forced upon them because of changing EPA guidelines and an aging business," committee chairman Jay Doherty said. "The current freon they are using is no longer made."

A minimum of 20 percent equity is required by the City of Aledo's TIF policy for TIF assistance requests. The owner and operator plan to finance about $90,000 of other improvements on their own.

A report by the public finance firm of Ehlers of Chicago, which reviewed the application, says while no new jobs will be created, about 30 full-time-equivalent jobs will be retained.

Doherty stressed the importance of the work. He called having a full-service grocery store in Aledo "just vital to the pulse of our community. … This is a rare opportunity for us. We can take a healthy business, by them not having to do this all on their own, we can help keep them healthy."