MONTICELLO – The city is moving forward with plans to expand the business district, which will lead to an increase in a funding source for public and private projects.

At last week’s city council meeting, the council held a required public hearing on the proposed expansion, which would add a 1% sales tax on eligible items. In 2019, the city created a business district which included 191 parcels of property and rights-of-way in the city.

Generally, the district included parcels of property from North Railroad Street east to Buchanan Street along Bridge Street/West Center Street, and parcels along Illinois 105 from East High Street south to West Marion Street, including blocks of parcels between Park and Buchanan streets.

In three years, the city has reimbursed nearly $100,000 for building improvements within the boundaries of the business district, said City Administrator Terry Summers.

Last Monday, Jared Kanallakan, an associate planner at Moran Economic Development, based in Edwardsville, updated the city council on the proposed amendment which would add 291 parcels to the north, south and west sides of the existing area.

A 1.0% sales tax will be imposed upon all in the business of selling tangible personal property, other than an item of tangible personal property titled or registered with an agency of the state (such as vehicles).

It shall not be applicable to food consumed off the premises where it is sold, other than alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and food that has been prepared for immediate consumption.

It also excludes prescription and non-prescription medicines, drugs, medical appliances, modifications to a motor vehicle for the purpose of rendering it usable by a disabled person, and insulin, urine testing materials, syringes and needles used by diabetics for human use.

Simply, the tax would not be on medicine, groceries or vehicle sales.

Trending Food Videos

“Any money spent in the business district will have to be used in the business district,” Kanallakan said.

Beginning on the north side of the original area, the amended area extends north to Illinois 105, Iron Horse Place, and Interstate 72 taking in adjacent properties to Medical Center Drive. Additionally, along North Charter Street the amended area extends north to take in adjacent property to Oglesby Street. On the west side of the original area the amended area extends west along Bridge Street taking in property adjacent to Green Apple Lane in the westernmost portion of the amended area, and parcels near Opal Drive in the northwestern portion of the boundary. The southern portion of the amended area takes in parcels south of Marion Street and continues along Illinois 105 taking in properties on the west side of the roadway to the southern corporate boundary of the city.

“We wanted to include South Charter and North State Street for public improvement, because that is something the council has talked about for many, many years,” said Director of Community Development Callie McFarland. “The addition of historical lighting, that concept to add to the aesthetics of the district, in addition to sidewalk improvements and other items.”

Shelly Crawford-Stock, the director of the Monticello Chamber of Commerce and Monticello Main Street said neither agency has an issue with the proposal.

“In fact, we are in favor of more businesses in our community being able to take advantage of the building improvement grants and other programming tha will be available through this,” she said.

The council did not vote on the proposed change, but is expected to in the coming weeks.

Dancing Acres plat approved

The council approved the final plat of Dancing Acres Phase 1A subdivision, which is property owned by Keith Lampert of Monticello. The subdivision is within the city limits of Monticello just off Old Route 47, north of the Monticello Township building and Opal Drive. This property has been previously annexed into the City of Monticello.