Galesburg Council Monday looks at tax levy, sprinkler systems, and Hope Cemetery

Galesburg City Council on Monday could approve items like establishing a grant program to help downtown business owners pay for sprinkler systems.

The intention of this program is to spur more residential development in the downtown.

If approved the city would reimburse up to 50% of the total project cost of a sprinkler system, up to a maximum of $20,000, subject to availability of funds.

Council will also discuss budgeting $10,000 annually for the upkeep of Hope Cemetery.

Members of the foundation that oversees the historic and private cemetery made the request at the last Council meeting.

Aldermen can also sign off on a letter that would aid a developer in turning Churchill Junior High into an independent senior living center.
Council will be asked to sign a non-binding site control letter that the developer, Bywater Development Group, can submit to the Illinois Housing Development Authority.
If all goes according to plan then Bywater would close the sale of Churchill in March 2025.
Aldermen can also approve a 6-month option agreement for Benedict Holdings LLC to buy a property on Mulberry St known as the old Ferris Building.
Rob Benedict sees the space being developed into a mix-use of retail, residential and or dining.
Benedict will expend significant time and resources completing due diligence and planning associated with the project.

Council on Monday can also approve the 2023 property tax levy.

While the levy amount requested is almost 5 percent more than 2022, property tax owners should actually see a tax rate decrease. That’s because of a rising value of assessed properties in the city.

The increases in the levy request are 6 percent increases for the police and fire pensions and a 10 percent increase for the public library.