The first project for discussion was Fifth Street Road. This
project has been in the works for several years. It is slated to be
a road improvement project for the city and the county, with the work
to be done by the city from the intersection of Lincoln Parkway to the Interstate 55
viaduct. From the viaduct to the Middletown/New Holland
blacktop, the work is to be done by the county.
Snyder said Bill Thomas, the interim executive director of the
Lincoln & Logan County Development Partnership, has asked for a
meeting with Snyder and Darren Forgy of Prairie Engineers to receive
an update on the project.
Snyder said the city has purchased the French property, which will
be needed for drainage from Fifth Street. He said there are other
properties that need to be purchased as well.
The city has cash on hand from the Illinois capital improvements
plan, and Forgy is working to get authorization from the state to
use those funds for these purchases.
Forgy is currently working to get funding for the project through
the Illinois ERB program, which Snyder defined as a mini capital
projects plan for additional land purchases for rights of way and
utility relocations. In addition, other money will be sought through
the Illinois Jobs Now program.
Snyder said that Brian Bergin, former director of the development
started the ball rolling on a federal grant application through
Logan County's membership with the Peoria CEDS program.
Snyder reminded the council that Fifth Street Road is in the long-term capital improvements plan for the city of Lincoln that was
created by Forgy last year. In that plan, the city is short
approximately $2 million.
Snyder said the plan right now is to gather the funding needed
through the various sources and have the project ready to let out
for bid by 2016.
Snyder also mentioned an Economic Development Program grant through the state that could be
made available for the project, based on the probable expansion of
existing businesses along Fifth Street. That money would be based
upon businesses growing and adding employees. Snyder said he wasn't
at liberty to say who, but there are a couple of businesses that
would like to expand.
In a related matter, city administrator Sue McLaughlin said she had
passed out maps and lists of street work to be done this coming
season. The city will do projects that include heat scarification
and resurfacing, pulverization and resurfacing, and brick street
repair. McLaughlin didn't name any specific streets in her
discussion with the aldermen. She did say that the Pulaski Street
project will resume as soon as possible and will be finished this
year. She also noted that on the brick street repairs, work will be
done according to the harvest of brick from Pulaski Street.
Later in the meeting, Snyder also talked to the council about the
possibility of new money coming in for the APEX @ City Center.
The APEX was designed by a focus group, with the plans officially
completed in 2012. It is on Eighth Street, on the property
that was formerly the site of Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital. The land
was given to the city by the hospital after it moved to its new
The APEX, which has been dubbed as on outdoor fitness area instead of
a park, includes some very intricate design details, with walking
spaces, outdoor exercise areas, a mound for climbing, a water splash
area for youngsters and an amphitheater for outdoor entertainment.
The cost of the total project is expected to exceed $2 million. At its inception the city said they would not finance the
building of the APEX from their general funds simply because there
was no room in the budget for that type of expense. If the APEX is
to be built, it will have to come from grants and other sources.
[to top of second column]
Tuesday night Snyder said that Forgy is preparing a grant
application called a PARC grant through the Illinois Department
of Natural Resources. He said the grant is a 25 percent local
match. He said Forgy is proposing the city do an application for
$515,000. Of that, the grant would provide $386,500 and the city
would provide the balance.
Currently, the city has $40,000 for
the APEX that is money generated from the sale of the parking lot
area across the street from the APEX. Snyder said there is a
private group that wants to raise the balance needed for the match:
However, for Forgy and Prairie Engineers to go forward with the
grant application, they need a resolution from the city guaranteeing
it will cover the match.
If the city would receive the award, construction would go forward
on a portion of the APEX that includes a fitness area and the
northwest corner play area. Snyder said the application is due in to
the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on March 10, so the city will need to vote on the resolution at
the Monday night meeting if Prairie Engineers is to go forward.
During discussion, Michelle Bauer asked how they had decided on what
to do, and she wondered if there were other parts of the park that could
have been done instead. She said she felt like $88,000 was an awful
lot of money to be asking the city to guarantee.
Melody Anderson commented that she wanted to see work done at the
APEX, but if this group wants to raise the matching funds, they
better be sure they raise it all. She noted it was never part of the
deal for the city to throw money into the project.
Snyder expressed a certain amount of confidence in the group but
added he couldn't say for sure they would be successful.
Marty Neitzel commented that the city has made the downtown area
their top priority. She would hate to see it forced to put
money into a project that was not downtown.
Anderson wondered, if the city wins the grant but the group doesn't
get their part together, whether the city could back out on a portion of the
grant and spend only what they were able to provide in the match.
City administrator Sue McLaughlin said that might be possible. She
told the council that it sometimes becomes a problem if the grant
money isn't used and has to all be given back. Such actions can
hinder the city from receiving future grants. But, perhaps giving
back only a portion would be OK.
Snyder said he could discuss all this with Forgy and get back to the
council with answers. In the meantime, he asked and received consent
for the resolution
for the matching funds be placed on the Monday agenda.
[By NILA SMITH]