Permits approved for brewpub proposal

Monticello aldermen on Monday approved a pair of special use permits needed for a brewpub/restaurant to locate in the United Methodist Church building at 212 S. Independence St. Church members will soon move to a new building.

Already endorsed by the city’s planning and zoning board, the permits were needed to allow three main uses in the building, along with manufacturing on a lot zoned for business.

“I’m excited about your endeavor, Matt,” alderman Tim Hayes told Monarch Brewing Company owner Matt Miller. “I look forward to tasting your gastronomical delights on opening night.”

That night will probably be in early 2017, Miller said last week.

He also told the council he hopes to use as much locally sourced ingredients as possible.

Speaking in opposition to the permits was audience member Rev. John Baker, who pastors the Monticello Church of the Nazarene.

“I’m just not sure we need another place of alcohol in our city. I think we have plenty of places for that. I’d actually like to see a restaurant where they don’t serve that.”

Both permits were approved by a 6-0 vote, with Seth Melton abstaining.

The council also adopted rules for its council meetings, which includes procedures for aldermen to request items for agendas. It also clarifies a motion that is tabled must be brought back for consideration at the current or next meeting or the issue dies.

Another section asks that council members step outside the meeting chambers if it is necessary to receive a phone call. Texting about public business with other aldermen during a meeting is also a violation of state law, and the local procedure also discourages non-business texting as it can “create the appearance of a violation of this provision.”

The approved rules also require proposed ordinances be brought up at two separate meetings before a vote is considered. That clause can be suspended by a majority vote of the council.

A project to replace landscaping bricks on the north side of the Professional Building on E. Livingston St. will begin on May 2, prompting the closing of a municipal lot at Livingston and Independence Streets for 4 to 6 weeks.

The project will also eliminate one parking spot on the street so that the slopes on the parking lot entrances can be reduced.

The construction, which will also include storm sewer and sidewalk work, will result in daytime closures of Livingston and Independence Streets around the parking lot.

“Bear with us for the inconvenience for four, five, six weeks,” said city Engineering Technician Terry Summers.

Public parking is also available behind the former First Mid-Illinois Bank building, behind the Community Building/VFW, and behind Walgreen’s Pharmacy.

In other discussion, aldermen gave the go-ahead for city staff to apply for state enhancement grants for possible paving of portions of the East Prairie and Sangamon River walk/bike trails.




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