Knoxville City Council voted tonight to set aside $16,500 to better the city’s chances at landing a grant through the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program.
The grant would cover 80 percent of up to $2 million in city beatification projects.
Mayor Pro Tem Dennis Maurer tells WGIL the $16,500 would go into engineering prep work that was not done several years ago when Knoxville previously applied for the grant.
“They need to do some soil samples, things of that nature, study the curbs, the sidewalks,” Maurer says. “Things like that to see what needs to be changed to make them more handicap accessible.”
The money would come from city TIF funds.
Grant writer Ange Lee told Council the project would cover the two blocks from the town square to Line Street.
In response to concerns from Ward 4 Alderman Lester Naslund, Lee said the ITEP is a federal grant and would not actually come from Illinois.
“Federal dollars pass through the state and then the state and then the state is like the gatekeeper of those funds, but they’re not actually state funds, they’re federal,” she says.
In other news, aldermen turned down a request from Knoxville Bar and Grill owner Lou Sahyouni to operate a drive-thru window at a property next to the Public Library. Sahyouni was looking to sell packaged liquor and groceries at the location.
Also, Maurer says a veterinary clinic planned for 222 E. Main St. is now expected to open on North Public Square.
Updated at 2:44 p.m. 05/03/16 to clarify information about the request from Lou Sahyouni to operate a drive-thru window, which was denied without vote. The story originally said Sahyouni’s request to open a store was turned down.