Downtown Developers Eye Utility Wires - And County Loan

Yorkville city leaders backtrack after state says burying downtown utility wires not eligible for county revolving loan fund.

Yorkville can't borrow money from the county to bury the utility wires strung along the municipal parking lot near Cobblestone Bakery and Bistro, City Administrator Bart Olson said in a memo.

"The various service lines and transformers appear to be several decades
old, and in various states of disrepair," Olson wrote in a memo last month to City Council members. "Besides the potential for service issues, the equipment does not match the aesthetics of the surrounding downtown area."

City leaders had been exploring borrowing $250,000 from the county's $1.9 million revolving loan fund, which provides loans to local businesses and government to create or retain local jobs. The project, requested by Imperial Investments, could be covered by the city's tax increment financing district money, but the downtown TIF fund presently doesn't have enough money for it, Olson wrote last week in a memo.

So, city leaders figured they could borrow the money from the county, and repay the loan as property taxes associated with downtown improvements trickled into the city's downtown TIF fund, Olson said. Only, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity indicated the utility project wasn't eligible for that type of loan, Olson said.

"We will be discussing other revolving loan fund projects with interested developers and businesses and the County, and will report back to the Economic Development Committee or City Council when we have an acceptable project," Olson told City Council members.

The city's application for a revolving loan fund was just in the earliest stages. Representatives had been expected to discuss it at the county board's Economic Development Committee meeting on Sept. 28, committee chairman Dan Koukol said.

"We want them to explain to us the whole project," said Koukol, a county board member. "That's what my committee wants."


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Tim September 18, 2012 at 02:28 PM
More infrastructure that the city has ignored. First the bridges collapse, now the power lines need to be replaced. And they wanted a LOAN to do this? What is going to finally wake up the residents, a sinkhole forming in a main road? Yet there are still residents pushing for a bike path, as if that is the most important priority.
Jillian Duchnowski September 18, 2012 at 08:50 PM
To provide a bit of an update: City Administrator Bart Olson said it was the utility project itself that raised objections from state officials. So, city leaders and Imperial Investments can apply for county revolving loans for other construction projects that help provide jobs in Yorkville.


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