Bresee Tower

Bresee Tower

DANVILLE — As the city continues to go through court to demolish Bresee Tower, owner Chris Collins pleaded with the Danville City Council Tuesday night to help save the historic building.

Collins said city officials have asked a judge to sign over to the building to the city, with a hearing next on May 26.

He said he still has an interested investor, and the building is excellent inside.

Collins said Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. has run off multiple investors and has called him a liar.

“I’ve never lied to him,” Collins said.

He said Williams told him if he puts up netting due to the falling terra cotta, the city will still come after the building.

“We’re willing to fix the building, but he’s been blocking us,” Collins said, saying that the city will lose this historic building.

Collins asked for the aldermen to look at the items he gave them, such as costs to fix it, and forget what Williams tells them.

The city council also heard from Williams that Gregg Alpers and the event executive committee are trying to make Danville the permanent home for the annual state American Legion golf tournament. They’ve taken the request to the state board, Williams said.

The council also heard from Public Works Director Carl Carpenter about the city mowing tall grass in empty lots and parks. They rented another mower to try to catch up with all the rain. “We know it doesn’t look good. We go through this every year,” Carpenter said, adding that they are doing all they can.

Ward 2 Alderman Rick Strebing also asked Carpener about the pocket parks along East Main Street and how the city has let them get far gone. Carpenter said they are assessing the park areas for a better long-term solution.

Carpenter also reported that Toters and lids should be in by the end of June.

Resident Tim Carter again addressed the council about how a blanket ordinance regarding campers at residences isn’t fair to the community.

In other business, the council approved:

  • The appointment of Rachel Haun, who has worked at Vermilion Advantage for about a decade, as deputy city clerk. She replaces Megan Mudd who is now accounts payable administrator in the city’s finance division.
  • Purchasing properties for Garfield Park improvements at 1108 E. Fairchild St. for $45,000 from Stonehearth LLC, of SE Mercer Island, Wash.; 1120 E. Fairchild St. for $20,000 from Greg Filicsky of Sidell; 1122 E. Fairchild St. for $45,000 from Nightmare LLC of Hoopeston; and 1126 E. Fairchild St. for $40,000 from Kendall S. Carter of that address.
  • Purchasing 7 and 11 E. Second St. for $45,000 from Richard L. Speich of Potomac. The site, a former auto body shop that burned down, would be for potential future economic development.
  • Road maintenance contracts: $241,321 for crack sealing with Denler Inc.; $632,116 for seal coat with Daniel L. Ribbe Trucking; $1.9 million for cape seal with A.C. Pavement Striping; $454,663 for concrete patching with Feutz Contractors; $324,981 for Columbia Street reconstruction (Vermilion to Walnut streets) with A & A Concrete; $432,400 for Beard Street reconstruction (Main to Grove streets) with Stark Excavating Inc.; and $150,433 for miscellaneous concrete improvement with Big O Services. The city is using motor fuel tax funds for the work. A map will be posted on the city’s website of the work.
  • Purchasing a fare vending machine for $86,739 from SPX Genfare for Danville Mass Transit’s downtown transfer center.
  • Authorizing repair of a storm sewer under Old Ottawa Road for $32,175 with Cross Construction.
  • Amending the fiscal year 2022-2023 Illinois Housing Development Authority’s (IDHA) Abandoned Property Program fund budget and Stronger Communities Program budget by $18,068.
  • Amending the IDHA blight reduction program and community reinvestment budgets. Due to missed reimbursement submittals by the city to IHDA for 15 demolitions costing $186,437 (the city only later received partial payment of $99,415 for four demolitions), the city’s Blight Reduction Program fund had a negative cash balance of $98,785. The city will transfer funds from the Community Reinvestment Fund to cover those costs.
  • Amending zoning ordinance for digital signage at Saint Synagogue Church of God in Christ and American Legion Post 210.

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