Aledo looks at reopening City Hall

Cala Smoldt Correspondent

ALEDO — The City Council met May 18 via video conference. Aldermen discussed COVID-19 public health concerns and reopening City Hall.

Aledo City Administrator and Chief of Police Chris Sullivan said as they consider how to reopen City Hall to the public, they will have to work out logistics, especially since there’s only one door for entry.

Mayor Chris Hagloch said, “We’re going back and forth on what would work and what we’ll accept. I would sure like to have it open next week.”

Officials are restarting the city's E-Cycle service June 4 at the City Garage, 309-311 E. Main Street. It's the first and third Thursdays of each month, from 9 a.m. - noon and 12:30 - 3 p.m. Alderman Jim Holmes will be on site to collect residents electronics and paint waste. A list of acceptable items can be found under “Community, ”and “E-Cycle” on the city's website, Social Distancing will be required. The service was suspended mid-March due to COVID-19.

The city’s economic development company, 353 Court, will begin scheduling appointments in the coming weeks to talk with struggling downtown business owners. Mayor Chris Hagloch said they can offer assistance, “Hopefully guide them, try to see what they’re doing right or wrong, make some adjustments to help them out the next couple months.”

Sullivan said, “We’re hoping to get more and more things open more quickly. We’re in a zone that doesn’t have a record like Chicago… . In our county we’ve been multiple days — the 14th case was already six weeks or older when we got it.” He said no one in the county has needed a ventilator at the time of this writing.

The total cases confirmed for Mercer County (as of May 21) is 14 — reported May 15 by the Mercer County Department of Health.

They expect to open E-Cycling again in June with safety measures.

The old Mercer Carnegie Library building is getting an update following city aldermen approving a redevelopment TIF agreement with owner WJ Albertson and Perryton LLC, a limited liability company. The terms mean the owner will be reimbursed up to half the cost of work done — not to exceed $50,000 per the Downtown Revitalization Program Loan Agreement. 353 Court reviewed and recommended the action.

The building has been vacant since the library moved to its new location — now called Edwards River Library - April of 2019.

Work on the building at 200 College Ave. will include replacement of the HVAC system, windows and roofing. Plans are to restore and revitalize the building - while maintaining the historic look and structure.

It’s uncertain what the building will house, “I’m not privy to every bit of it, I know that his plans are to do something on the tech side,” said Mayor Hagloch. He said the building is apart of the downtown historic district and will remain so.

Aldermen approved engineering services for alley reconstruction and utility relocation with IMEG in the 100 block of East Main Street for $7,950.00 - funded through TIF.

According to the proposal, in December 2019 city staff were contacted by a local developer in regards to utility information on the alley in the 100 block of East Main Street. The developer was in the initial stages of coordinating new electrical services for the building — located at 110 East Main Street. To start planning of the service upgrade, all utilities needed to be located. At that point It was discovered that the utility conflicts within the alley were significant and violated code compliance in a majority of buildings.

Public Works Director Justin Blaser said they plan to apply for construction grants to do the work, “There are currently three different grant opportunities available, two of which could be eligible for the construction of this project. In order to apply, a design would need to be completed before the project would be considered.” Grants are available through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Office.

Aldermen also:

- Heard that 8th graders would be honored during the Corona Cruise. The Cruise is put on each Wednesday evening 5-7 p.m. Residents drive around, honk, wave, smile and patronize curbside service at downtown restaurants.

- Formally approved reopening parks in Aledo city limits.

- Resolution for improvements as part of the NW and SW quadrant street resurfacing project under Illinois Highway Code.