Macomb Courthouse Square

Rich Egger

The long process of adding Macomb’s downtown district to the National Historic Register is about to come to an end.

The Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council will meet February 22 in Springfield to consider the city’s application. Its recommendation will be sent to the National Park Service, which almost always follows the council’s suggestion.

It could be May before the park service makes the official announcement.

Historic Consultant Victoria Granacki, who’s been helping Macomb with its application, likes the city’s chances.

Rich Egger

Engineering firms have until January 17 to make their case for getting involved with Macomb’s downtown revitalization project.

The city is soliciting “Request for Qualifications” from consultants. Community Development Director Ed Basch told aldermen the city prefers to hire a firm with experience in downstate Illinois.

Curtis Bisbee

Macomb is getting ready to work on its courthouse square. Repairs will be made to the streets and possibly the infrastructure underneath. The project gives the city, businesses, and residents a rare opportunity to re-examine the square and ensure it remains vibrant for decades to come.

Rich Egger

Those who own property in Macomb’s downtown historic district will be receiving a phone call from the city.

Community Development Coordinator Ed Basch told aldermen the district has been in place for more than two years so he believes it’s time for some feedback from those most directly impacted.

Basch thinks a phone survey will result in more responses than a mailed or web-based questionnaire. He said it’s a short survey of five questions.

Rich Egger

Macomb is in the process of lining up the financing for its multi-year street repair program.

The goal is to have all the financial paperwork and the bond sale completed by October 1. Construction won't start until next spring but Mayor Mike Inman said the money is needed sooner because there is plenty to do between now and then.

“We're going to incur some engineering costs. These are not projects that are sitting on a shelf ready to roll. We're going to have some significant costs,” said Inman.

Rich Egger

Aldermen are reviewing whether to alter the Facade Forgivable Loan Program based on recommendations from the City Council's Community Development Committee.

One proposal is to increase the city's share of the costs for facade improvements from 50% to 66%.

“That would mean if somebody had a $30,000 project, they could get $20,000 of that from us and $10,00 of their own money. If that's not incentive enough to put on their best face, I don't know what else we can do,” said Seventh Ward Alderman Clay Hinderliter.

Other recommendations include:

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