In a busy meeting Tuesday, Effingham City Council discussed a variety of proposals, from financial assistance to liquor licenses.
Jim Dial of Dial and Dial Properties asked the council for $150,000 in continued demolition and development of the former Fedders building. Dial the money would be used to tear down parts of the north end of the building.
Effingham Economic Developer Todd Hull said funds would be available from the Industrial TIF. A stipulation of the assistance requires 200,000 square feet of space be rented for two years.
Currently, Grain System Incorporated houses its produce in 106,000 square feet of the building. According to Dial, a large amount of improvements to the electrical and other services has already been completed. He added that other developers have expressed interest in moving into the building. The board seemed favorable about the assistance. The request will be voted on at the next meeting.
In other news, the council:
- Heard from Jeff Weis of Weis Insurance workers compensation costs will increase this year. The increase is due to a few large workers compensation claims against the city, along with a large amount of claims to the umbrella of municipalities the coverage serves. The increase is $62,201.
- Discussed an ordinance amending the amount of liquor licenses within the city for a potential new owner of Scrubby's Pub, Colby Patterson, to sell alcoholic liquor for consumption and to sell packaged liquor. Patterson told the council he intends to close the establishment for a week for cleaning and slight renovation work, and reopen by Christmas or the first of the year. Because a liquor license doesn’t transfer to new ownership, a new one must be issued. The council will vote on the matter at the next city council meeting.
- Effingham Fire Chief Joe Holomy informed the council he is asking residents to clear snow that is packed in front of area fire hydrants in the event of a large snow. The gesture would help greatly if there is a fire in which the hydrant is needed..
- Approved the tax levy for the city. The levy is a 3.6 percent increase over what was actually extended in 2012, but the levy request is actually a .03 percent decrease under last year's request. The levy amount is based on the Equalized Assessed Value of property in the city of Effingham, which is $241 million. Commissioner Brian Milleville voted against the levy, saying after the meeting that he has never voted for a levy.