Aldermen approve six properties on fix-or-flatten list

Posted: Aug. 18, 2014 10:52 pm Updated: Sep. 1, 2014 11:15 pm

By MATT HOPFHerald-Whig Staff Writer

Six properties will be targeted this year as part of the city of Quincy's fix-or-flatten program.

Aldermen approved the list Monday night. The properties this year are 912 Lind, 1029 N. Sixth, 624 N. Eighth, 834 Spruce, 717 N. Fifth and 720 Ohio. The program targets some of the most derelict properties in the city through the court system. The city often takes possession of the properties.

Chuck Bevelheimer, director of planning and development for the city, told aldermen that all properties would need to be demolished except 834 Spruce.

"We think the building is rehabable, but until you see the inside, it could be totally rotten," he said of the residence on Spruce.

Alderman Jennifer Lepper, R-5, asked whether the city would have to pay to rehab the home like it has with other houses.

"I know that a lot of extra funds went into them," she said.

Bevelheimer said the city rehabs fix-or-flatten properties through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which is funded with federal grant dollars. The city's Department of Planning and Development has $32,000 budgeted for demolition costs, but the cost to raze the six homes is estimated at $48,000.

Bevelheimer said some properties are dealt with by the property owner or another party.

Also at Monday's council meeting, Alderman Steve Duesterhaus, D-2, asked the council's Finance Committee to review a proposal from the city's IT Department to charge the Quincy Public Library a flat fee of $30,000 a year for services. Library Director Nancy Dolan said the city currently charges the library an hourly rate that costs about $12,000 a year, and city officials are considering charging the library a flat fee that would cover some infrastructure as well.

Dolan said the library also is considering private companies to handle IT services.

Duesterhaus said he asked the committee to review the fee because he believed that the council would have to approve a change in the current fee structure with the city.

Director of Administrative Services Glenda Hackemack said the city's IT department submitted the proposal to the library at the library's request.

The council also voted to name the new Fifth Street bridge over Cedar Creek after Alderman Virgil Goehl, D-1. Goehl pushed to replace the old bridge over the creek, which was more than 90 years old. The new bridge was installed in 2011 for $2 million. He abstained from voting on the resolution.

"It was a dangerous bridge," he said. "Only one car could get across it. It was really bad, rough and old."


Other action

Also Monday, the City Council:

º Agreed to amend the city's electric account with Ameren Illinois by adding one metered service for three city-owned streetlights at the intersection of Gardner Expressway and R.J. Peters Drive.

º Approved the purchase of four tires for a loader from Summy Tire for $5,017.

º Agreed to have parking spaces removed on the west side of South Eighth Street, starting 108 feet north of Ohio Street and extending 25 feet, to allow for the use of a driveway.