Save The Jerseyville Moose Building
We, the taxpaying citizens of Jerseyville IL and the surrounding areas, are against the City spending $189,000 of TIF money for a 'gravel lot' at 120 Pearl Street, which entails the current owner demolishing the historic Moose Lodge building so that it can be turned into a parking lot.
- The City is spending $189,000 of public money on something not worth $189,000. (The City are legally not permitted to spend % over appraised value. Similar empty downtown lots are on the market for $35,000).
- It is of questionable legality whether the City is permitted to use TIF funds for the demolition of registered historic buildings. The City is attempting to circumvent the law by paying the owner to demolish on its behalf.
- The urgent need for replacement downtown parking was abated at the City Council meeting on 1/28/2020.
- It is possible to create approx 35+ parking spaces on the site, without demolishing the historic red brick building (Demolishing the historic brick building will provide only approx. 13 additional parking spaces on that footprint.)
- The building is of historic significance, being located in our nationally recognized Historic District and built in 1890.
- It has huge potential to be an asset to our downtown and is worth saving. It is not in poor condition, despite misconceptions (see photos, bottom). Demolition should only ever be a last resort.
Currently, this building is scheduled to be demolished in only 10 days (from 1/29/2020).
We are proactively seeking support of the City of Jerseyville residents, business owners, and people who spend money here, who would like to work towards a revitalized downtown. If you agree, please take the initiative of signing this online petition!
It is not too late to save the building and save taxpayers dollars!!
Despite common misconception, the building is dry, solid and structurally sound (as inspected on 1/24/2020), and had a minimal amount of asbestos which is in the process of being removed.
Financial backing is available to offset 45% of the costs of rehabilitation, through State/Federal Historic Tax credits, making reuse a viable and achievable proposition. Plus other financial incentives.
AN ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION EXISTS (as proposed at the Jerseyville City Council meeting on 1/28/2020):
The following would require a simple hand amendment to the contract between the City and owner, and would result in a win-win outcome for everyone involved:
- The owner demolishes only the right-hand side (the modern buff colored part).
- The City get parking for 35 spaces (on the site of the demolished building, and in the rear yard).
- The historic red brick building is allowed to stand.
- The City buy the whole property, per the contract.
- The owner gets exactly the same money, less the reduction in demo cost (whatever that is).
- And our group takes on the historic brick building to rehabilitate.
The City and businesses get their parking spaces; the City save some money; the owner gets his money; the building is saved; we bring it back into commercial use for community benefit, with a new business; and the City get the extra tax revenue - all at no cost to the City.
Tearing down historic buildings to turn into surface parking lots is not something successful cities are doing. Look no further than Alton, which is experiencing a renaissance based around the revitalizing catalyst effect of rehabilitating their historic buildings.
We have the power to save this building, and still get everyone what they want - all with just a simple amendment to the City contract. Thank you for your consideration and support.
(Photos taken 1/24/2020)
John Gajewski Contact the author of the petition
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