Galesburg Council accepts downtown property donation, costly repairs baked in

Galesburg council on Monday night accepted a donation of a downtown property at 120 E. Main St. While the city is planning on putting $290,000 into stabilizing a leaning wall and the roof.

“At which time we believe the building will be structurally sound and available for redevelopment or other use,” City Manager Todd Thompson told aldermen.

Thompson says the city sees the rehabilitation as more advantageous than allowing the property to deteriorate.

If the city had to pursue demolition that would cost $100,000 more and leave the city with a vacant lot.

The council also approved a $131,000 change order for the demolition project at the West Theater.

Thompson explains that the condition of the two remaining brick walls was unknown when the project was bid out. “We had hoped to just be able to waterproof and paint the walls but found that the conditions of the walls [were] not satisfactory to do that.”

As a result, the change order was submitted and the council ultimately approved it unanimously, 6-0.

Aldermen also approved a transfer of TIF funds from TIF II to IV to fund the change order.

Also approved on Monday was a professional services agreement with a contractor to completed bid documents to reconstruct the city’s street division building.

Alderman Bradley Hix says he toured the building and called it “cramped”. He thinks this upgrade will help the department be more efficient.

Council also approved changing their meeting time on the 1st and 3rd Mondays from 6:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Alderman Peter Schwartzman after hearing from constituents was concerned the change would make it more difficult for working people to attend.

The rest of the council did not seem to share that concern. Aldermen Hix and Wayne Allen specifically said they spoke with constituents who weren’t concerned.

“Nobody has an objection that I talked to. They think it’s a great idea,” said Alderman Allen.

The time change passed with five in favor and only Schwartzman opposed.

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