Galesburg Council approves stabilizing wall of downtown property

Galesburg Council accepted a bid Tuesday night to stabilize the wall of a building adjacent to Park Plaza.

120 E. Main St. has been a thorn in the side of the City’s Public Works Department, and now the cost of making repairs will be more than expected.

Council accepted the donation of the property to the city in July after the owner was unable to secure financing to make repairs himself.

The work was originally estimated to be about $200,000 but Council approved a bid for $361,000.

“They gage that we’re kind of using on whether or not to bring this forward to you really relates to the cost of demolishing the building, which we did get some more specific quotes on,” City Manager Todd Thompson told aldermen. “We believe that would be more $430,000-$530,000 range.”

Instead of repairing 20 joists, only five will be done, no joists will be completely replaced and only six feet of ceiling will be removed adjacent to the east and west walls.

These changes amount to a $137,000 reduction in cost.

The full amount of the repair costs is being covered by Tax Increment Financing funds, although the Council had to transfer money from TIF II to TIF IV.

Council documents indicate this kind of transfer is likely to happen again when bids come in to repair the building’s roof which is expected to be $75,000 to $100,000.

Thompson says there is plenty of good reason to repair the building.

“Part of what we would fear, if we tore it down, is that we would find additional things that would drive up the cost of that project as well. But, you’re not going to be able to replace these buildings. We’ve had the vacant O.T. Johnson lot for years. Nobody’s built anything on it.”

Additionally, Thompson says the city knows of some interest in the property if it’s salvaged.

For well over a year, even before the Park Plaza renovation began, the sidewalk next to the building has been barricaded off from the public.  The administration says it’s a public safety issue.

The city accepted the donation of the property after the owner was unable to obtain financing to do the repairs himself.

Tags: , ,