Chester's application to the Illinois Enterprise Zone Program has satisfied the minimal requirements and will now go under more stringent review, Chester Mayor Tom Page told the city council this week.
Page said the city has received word that the application will either be denied or approved by Sept. 30, and if approved, will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020.
The Illinois Enterprise Zone Program is designed to stimulate economic growth and neighborhood revitalization in economically depressed areas of the state through state and local tax incentives, regulatory relief and improved governmental services.
A wide range of financial incentives are available to businesses that are located in an Enterprise Zone.
Josh Louveau, an employee in the Chester gas department, will be hired as a part-time Chester police officer, the council approved Monday. Police Chief Bobby Helmers introduced Louveau to the council, adding his department is down to three part-time Officers from nine previously.
Helmers assured the council that Louveau's police work would not interfere with his gas department obligations. He begins at $16.25 an hour.
The council also approved hiring Kaley Ludwig and Brandi Holdman as part-time radio dispatchers. Holdman formerly was a dispatcher for the Illinois State Police.
• Mayor Page gave an update on the Route 3 north turn lane, saying construction has begun and currently utilities are being moved and culverts being put into place.
• Page met with representatives from AT&T concerning an additional cell tower. AT&T would like to place one in the area close to or in Cole Park. Page recommended that the city find a suitable location.
• Fire Chief Marty Bert reported the Chester Fire Department had only two calls in June and for the first six months of the year has had 45 calls. The committee looking at new pumper trucks has narrowed its search to three companies and is expected to make a recommendation to the council soon.
• The council approved the purchase of a new truck and a 22-foot trailer for the city's gas department. The cost for the truck is $33,495 and the trailer is $8,903. The old truck and trailer will be given to the Street Department to use.
• The council approved a resolution citing the residence at 110 Morrison St. as dangerous and unsafe. Alderman Mike Blechle said he met with Loren Mott, the city's code enforcement officer, and observed that the building is in bad shape with a section of the foundation collapsing.
• The council will next meet at 6 p.m. on July 15.