O’FALLON – The O’Fallon City Council authorized the mayor to enter into an agreement to sell Old City Hall to Developer Brad McMillin at Monday night’s meeting.
McMillin, who has agreed to pay $10,000 for the historical building located at 255 North Lincoln, plans to renovate the building and make it available for tenants. City Administrator Walter Denton described McMillin’s plan as similar to his work on the building that now houses Peel Wood Fired Pizza and Brewery.
“His general plan is similar to what he did with the Peel building. To redo it, remodel it, and make it ready for a tenant. I’m not aware if he has a tenant ready to go, but he’s going to get it restored,” Denton said. “Just like he did with the Peel building, he’s in it for the long term and he will fill it with the right tenant.
The Old City Hall was built in 1890 and housed the police and fire departments, along with city government. However, the building has sat vacant for a long period of time and is in need of major renovations. In March, the City Council agreed to begin contract negotiations with an unknown buyer. The action taken Monday night is only the first step of the process, according to Denton.
“There will be several things that have to come back to the City Council. He’ll have to get approval for his plan, variations to zoning. So all of that will have to come back to the council later. This is just the first step that indicates that we are going to be partners in this project,” Denton said.
Additionally, he building is located within the Central City Tax Increment Financing District, allowing McMillin to use some funds generated by the TIF to help pay for remodeling inside the structure.
Following the meeting, aldermen and city employees all seemed thrilled to have finally formalized a plan for the historic building.
“It’s incredible. For as long as I’ve been here, we’ve been trying to figure out what to do with the building, and I know they’ve been talking about it since before then. We’ve been waiting to do something productive with it for nearly 20 years. So we’re very excited about it,” said Denton.
Denton indicated that, following tonight’s meeting, McMillin can begin lining up contractors to begin work on the property.
In other business…
- The council approved a resolution allowing for the creation of a Police Dispatcher Loan Program through an intergovernmental agreement with Fairview Heights. Due to state requirement, the Fairview Heights and O’Fallon police departments are in the process of consolidating dispatch services. The agreement allows O’Fallon to hire part-time telecommunicators to provide dispatch duties to Fairview Heights. O’Fallon will submit a bill to Fairview Heights to reimburse for the cost of the employee.
- The Police Dispatcher Loan Program will initially consist of one part-time dispatch employee, with 911 certification and training completion, selected by the O’Fallon Police Department. That dispatcher will work no more than 28-hours in any seven day period.
- The Police Dispatcher Loan Program agreement will be in effect for approximately four to five months until the dispatch consolidation agreement is approved.
- The council approved a change to their liquor license ordinances, allowing for the creation of a Class “I” liquor license. This license enable establishments to allow the public to bring and consume their own alcohol at the business. The city has found a bring your own bottle or BYOB business model becoming increasingly popular and wanted to establish the Class “I” license to create consistent standards.
Additionally, the ordinance change also creates a Class “J” liquor license which allows applicants to offer samples of alcoholic liquor. Tastings are becoming more and more common at retailers such as grocery stores and liquor stores. Currently the city has no way to approve such tasting events.
- During the Clerk’s report, the council approved a request from St. Clare Catholic School to conduct a raffle for prize tickets starting August 15, 2016 and running through September 10, 2016.
- Alderman Bob Kueker announced he and Alderman Jerry Albrecht will be hosting a Ward 2 Townhall meeting at the Public Safety Building at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18.