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WJBD - Local News - Salem City Council To Consider Help For Two Businesses

Salem City Council To Consider Help For Two Businesses

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

The Salem City Council Monday night will be asked to help Americana and the new Reaching for the Stars Day Care.  

City Manager Bill Gruen is asking the council to enter into a development agreement with Americana for Construction of a new 60 by 90 foot blast room to improve their powder coating operation.  "We love Americana in Salem and it is great they are working on an expansion and a blast room.  That makes them more efficient and has direct benefits to other companies in Salem for which they do work," said Gruen.

The agreement would give the company a small sliver of land they need in the west side industrial park and a $20,000 forgiveable loan for eligible expenses that will be paid out of the new Tax Increment Financing increment the project will create.  Americana is also seeking to have the same natural gas rate as Radiac Abrasives.  While he is supportive, Gruen wants to wait until projections are completed on a new structure for Salem natural gas rates before making a final decision.

The council will consider final approval to a low interest revolving loan for up to $75,000 to assist the Reaching for the Stars Day Care to open at 622 North Marion Street.  Owner Diane Schriefer has cleared up a title issue on property she owns that had resulted in the loan for the project to be tabled earlier.  The new business is expected to create 14 full-time equivalent jobs.

The council will be asked to seek engineering services for the Bryan Park walking trail.  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is providing a $90,000 grant, with the city having to provide a 20% match in cash or in kind services.  

The Salem Community Center is requesting the city to pay $50,000 towards a new boiler system.  Gruen says the new boiler would more than pay for itself overtime because it is 20% more efficient in its usage of natural gas.  The city provides the center will free natural gas service in return for usage of the building.   

Discussion is planned on the downtown Tax Increment Financing District and identified projects.  Gruen wants the council to realize funding for additional projects could become limited because of the work already planned.

The Salem Historical Society will come before the council seeking a building for a city museum.  The original library building on South Broadway had been offered, but the owner has now sold the property.  

The council will be asked to given final approval to declaring 1.19 acres in the west side industrial park as surplus so it can be sold to the highest bidder.  PJ Repair, which is located on adjacent property, is interested.   

Salem Police Chief Ron Campo will discuss concerns over synthetic marijuana, or K2, that the city is having trouble controlling in Bryan Memorial Park.  The police department will also seek permission to hire a replacement for Sergeant Jeff Mount who is planning to retire.

The yearly audit will be presented for the last fiscal year.  The council will also be asked to estimate its property tax levy for property tax bills mailed in 2014.  Mayor John Raymer wants to discuss the need for more directional signs to key Salem landmarks.   

The Salem City Council meeting will begin at six Monday evening at Salem City Hall.    

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