CARBONDALE — A tax increment financing redevelopment agreement of up to $257,000 for a downtown building was approved Tuesday by the Carbondale City Council.
The property at 114 S. Illinois Ave. has been vacant since Mary Lou’s Grill moved one door south at the beginning of the year. The redevelopment would be to the first-floor commercial space and the second floor, which could be used as residences.
The resolution was approved by unanimous vote.
“This is a tool to revitalize downtown,” Mayor Joel Fritzler said of using TIF money for a private project.
Fritzler’s comment came after discussion with audience members on the merits of using TIF districts for economic development.
“The purpose of government is to govern, not to help out developers,” Carbondale resident Hugh Williams said.
City Manager Kevin Baity said the money would be paid out over the life of the TIF, which is set to expire in 23 years.
“We do not give (the developer) a check up front,” Baity said.
The council also approved entering into an intergovernmental agreement with other taxing bodies to contest property valuation appeals of more than $100,000.
A portion of East Jackson Street east of Wall Street was renamed in honor of former City Councilwoman Corene McDaniel. Hospital Drive was renamed in honor of former Councilman Chris Wissmann.
The honorary names will not change mailing addresses for properties on the streets.
Councilman Lance Jack voted to rename both streets but questioned the placement of his signature on the resolutions because he said it went against previous standards for seniority.
Jack said the placement of his signature was part of “a series of slights that continue to be steered my way” by Fritzler, who disputed the claim.
Jack requested an item be placed on the May 21 council agenda to discuss signature placement and find answers to past practice.
Councilwoman Jane Adams voted “present” on the resolution honoring Wissmann.
The council also approved a request from SIU’s Phi Rho Eta fraternity to hold a charity fundraising carnival at University Mall.
Councilwomen Carolin Harvey and Jessica Bradshaw were sworn in Tuesday, as was Lee Fronabarger, who won reelection.
On Twitter: @DW_Norris_SI