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Fire Department Requests City Financial Help in Demolishing Young's Chevrolet Building

Monday, January 06, 2020 - Posted 7:59:27 PM
The Minonk City Council had an abbreviated session Monday night with no action taken or items discussed. City Administrator Bill Moline gave the following updates:
  • WTP plant is running more efficiently with the new plumbing and membranes. Able to produce water faster so plant isn't running as long. Should see reduced energy bills.  The total cost for the WTP upgrades was $1,496,068.91 which was almost $500,000 below the original estimate.
  • Mid Illinois Mechanical working on well 3 fixes - check value being replaced in pit and replacing broken valve outside pit.
  • La Rose Disposal was purchased by River City Waste Services - they have offices in LaSalle and Sandwich. No changes to the current service or crew.
  • All Call letters should go out tomorrow, so we will be putting together our City "All Call" list so we can communication better with the residents.
At the end of the session in public comments, Minonk Fire Department Secretary Paul Vallow gave a written statement to the council in which he stated the fire department is requesting $100,000 from the city to help demolish the former Young's Chevrolet building at the corner of 6th and Chestnut streets. Mr. Vallow explained in his letter that the fire department purchased the building for $28,000 and will eventually want to use the property for fire department purposes. It is too expensive to contract out the demolition and the fire department wants to do the demolish themselves and needs the city's financial help. Mr. Vallow's letter is shown below:

Mayor and Counsel Members
City of Minonk

The Minonk Fire Protection District recently purchased the old automobile dealership property south of the fire station for expansion of the fire department and ambulance squad sometime in the future. Currently the property is an eyesore to the community, a large fire trap and home to several residents of the four legged variety that no one wants around.

The City of Minonk spent several thousand dollars of tax payers money and several years in court trying to get something done to no avail. Two trustees of the Minonk Fire Protection District met with the owner over a cup of coffee and were able to work out a verbal purchase contract with the owner for the purchase price of $28,000.00 in thirty minutes.

Now the real work of planed removal begins. The fire district has received site evaluation and verbal estimates in the range of $150,000.00 to $175,000.00 for removal. This is far more money than the fire district can afford. Therefore the fire district has decided to handle the removal themselves. In conversation with several people, the fire district has been offered several pieces of equipment needed for very low prices. We have qualified operators and persons to help. We plan to grind the brick and cement on site and use it for back fill of the large basement and parking lot. This will need to be contracted out with an estimated cost of around $25,000.00. If the materials were taken off site, the transportation cost would be many thousands of dollars.

The fire district has $74,000.00 budgeted for this project, therefore we are asking the City of Minonk for $100,000.00 from TIF or city funds to eliminate this fire trap, eyesore and rodent infested property. The spending of tax payer money is the only cure for this problem. This is an opportunity for fire district, city and township taxing bodies to come together and improve our community while being conservative with tax payers funds.

Minonk Fire Protection District
Board of Trustees

Paul Vallow
Secretary / Treasurer


Will Stanley: I just moved back to minonk about a year ago because I grew up in this town and loved this town and I wanted to raise my kids in this town. It saddens me to see how in such a short time what has happened to this town. Minonk use to be a thriving town between bevs dairy barn and visions video and the arcade called clown connection and the cookouts in front of minonk iga where I use to go with my step dad to get fried chicken for lunch during the summer there were so many great things about this town and now it seems like its slowly becoming a ghost town.
Mary Cunningham: I remember as a kid. The silver Christmas tree with the rotating color wheel. That was a very cool building at one time.
Chris Hamilton:
Wish this town would spend the money and do a arcade for the kids to hang out in that would be the perfect spot. Brian Cummings: Chris Hamilton years ago a group of people approached the city about building a arcade/ soda shop/ coffee house for the younger people and the city turned it down.
Edmund Johnson: I must have misread the letter it looked to me like your fire district bought the building not your city. I did not know cities were in the business of running businesses either.
Krista Cunliffe: arcade would be a lot better then them parking in the chocolate factory parking lot drinking and getting high
Christine Cunningham: It isn't the cities responsibility to put businesses in town. They don't own any of the businesses in town. Anyone can come forward and start a new business. I am not sure why you think kids would hang out at an arcade, this isn't the 80's. Kids have easy to access to video games from all of their mobile devises.
Penny Land: Krista Cunliffe you just generalized everyone that sits in the parking lot
Sheila Crosby: That building would cost alot more than what it is worth to make it usable for anything it's been left in poor condition
Christine Cunningham: The fire department should be able to apply for TIFF money to help with some of the cost
Nathan Oakley: I never knew it was for sale or on the market!
Christine Cunningham: I believe they went to the owner directly.
Chris Hamilton: It was never for sale the city took it.
Christine Cunningham: You might want to fact check that
Chris Hamilton: Your rite I misread it they did buy it
Joan Ruestmann: I remember when my Dad laid the brick for the bldg
Thomas Goff: Damn. What hasn't been closed up already has burnt down or is being tore down. Losing more businesses than gaining.
Jill Davidson Ludwig: Another old building being torn down.
Josh Jones: I think some of you haven't went past that building in the last 5 years. It's a complete eyesore! The cost of renovating that building would be huge. I don't think it's a good idea for the city to pay the fire dept to tear it down. That would probably open up the city to get sued if somebody gets hurt doing it.