Geneseo Council approves two Facades Grants

Beth Welbers
Geneseo Republic
127 N. State Street, under current renovations
127 N State Street Geneseo in an earlier day

The Geneseo Council met in Special Session on March 23, in the Council Chambers. All Council members were in attendance.

During Council Comments, Martin Rothschild (Ward 3) issued a challenge to the citizens of Geneseo. “Many of the residents keep telling us not to raise taxes. How many of these people buy right here in town? Shop Geneseo and the tax dollars stay here. I challenge them to change their spending habits and shop Geneseo where we have some of the finest dining, car dealers, and shops around.”

The Council voted to award Facade Grants to two applicants. The funds are from the TIF district which encompasses the downtown area.

The first applicant was Scott McAvoy, the owner of 127 N. State, a corner building which has been vacant for a long time. Mr. McAvoy will be using the funds for repairs to the exterior of the building, including tuck pointing and repair of an exterior wall that is damaged. After removing siding off the second story, structural elements were found that matched windows and cornices of other properties on the block.

The second applicant is the owner of 207 N. State Street, which houses JW's Shooting Parlor, a gun shop. The owner plans to use the Facade Grant to redo the tuck pointing on the front of the building, as well as repainting to complement other properties on the block. Other improvements to the building include the replacement of several doors on the back of the building, and the addition of a new second story deck to the rear of the building.

The Council also approved the final vacating of the Spring Street crossing. The City will receive $170,000 from IDOT and the railroad to remove the crossing barricades, fully close the street, and do appropriate signage. The balance will be held until the depot is begun. The tentative timetable on that project is at least three years.

A 2016 Ford Explorer belonging to the police department was declared surplus property and authorized to sell. A new vehicle has been ordered to replace this one.

Any actions regarding the cell tower has been tabled and will be revisited later.