By Doug Wilson Herald-Whig Senior Writer Quincy aldermen have approved $221,000 in improvements along Fifth Street between Maine and Hampshire. The money will come from Tax Increment Finance District revenues. It will cover sidewalks, curbs, pedestrian crossing ramps and ornamental lighting. City Planner Chuck Bevelheimer said the pro-ject is designed to beautify the east side of Washington Park and the area across Fifth Street. "We'll do brick pavers on the east side of the street. We'll also take out the 'jut out' on that side so we can add three parking spaces," Bevelheimer said. "On the square side ... we'll only be putting in lights." Mayor Chuck Scholz said the beautification project will be important since 2008 will be the sesqui-centennial for the Lincoln-Douglas debates. The sixth of those seven famous debates was held in Washington Park, and a famous sculpture on the east side of Washington Park commemorates the event. Several years ago, C-SPAN broadcast a debate re-enactment staged at Washington Park. "C-SPAN has talked about coming back to town, and we'll get a lot of attention," Scholz said. The issue was approved by an 11-2 vote with Alderman Eugene "Smoky" Mueller absent. Aldermen Paul Havermale, R-3, and Roger Schoenekase, D-3, opposed the plan. "I wasn't quite sure if that was the wisest use of our money. I would like to see other projects in that area before we do ornamental lighting," Havermale said. The TIF District captures any increase in tax revenue to pour that money back into infrastructure improvements. One TIF district will expire later this year, but the city has others in place. In other action: * Alderman Mike Rein asked that the council vote on a 90-day moratorium on approval of billboard signs next week. Rein hopes to give the city a chance to review existing sign ordinances. * The council agreed to buy 275 gallons of Mosquito Mist spray from Clark Mosquito Control of Roselle -- the same company that has provided the spray for several years -- at a cost of $11,500. * Aldermen agreed to sell several old city buses. Two would go to Gem City Construction for $1,999.99, and four would go to Hardy Auto Sales for $4,028. Contact Senior Writer Doug Wilson at dwilson@whig.com or (217) 221-3372

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