QUINCY — The city of Quincy is seeking an Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant of more than $1 million to help fund the Sixth Street Corridor, a streetscape project from Maine to Vermont streets.
The project, which has been identified in the Quincy Next Strategic Plan and the Quincy Regional Transportation Plan, seeks to improve pedestrian and bicycle transportation downtown and to create an activity hub for the city and surrounding region.
ITEP grants, which are awarded through the Illinois Department of Transportation, are reimbursable, meaning the city must contribute a local match of between 20% and 50% of the cost of the project.
Should the city receive the full amount, it would invest roughly $344,000 in tax increment financing funds towards the project, according to a memo to the city council from Chuck Bevelheimer, director of planning and development. The remaining $776,500 would be funded by the Utilities Department for street, water main and sewer improvements that aren’t eligible for ITEP grant funding.
Applications to IDOT for ITEP grants are due Nov. 2.
Several downtown businesses wrote letters supporting the project to IDOT.
Sara Platt, owner of the Sweet Apricot, 129 N. Sixth, wrote that she believes this is a self-funded project because the improved street will increase retail activity and retail sales receipts resulting from increased foot traffic.
“The increase in sales receipts will pay for this streetscape over a few years and ultimately fund future projects,” Platt said.
Vicki A. Dempsey of Dempsey and Dempsey P.C., wrote that she and her husband have owned the properties at 232 to 236 N. Sixth for the last 20 years. Their law offices are on the first floor of 236 N. Sixth and they have added a residential apartment on the second floor of 232 N. Sixth, according to the letter.
“We have invested over $300,000 in the past and plan to add four more apartments,” Dempsey wrote in her letter. “We have the seen the Sixth Street Corridor improve with new commercial space and apartments. Our continued desire to invest is largely because Quincy has shown interest in improving the streetscape.”