EFFINGHAM, IL-(Effingham Radio)- The Effingham City Council met on Tuesday evening.
During the meeting, the Council discussed and took action in regards to the Village Square Mall and the Wabash Tire building.
Before discussing and voting on an Ordinance that would declare the property and improvements thereon at 1910 South Banker (The Village Square Mall) as being dangerous or unsafe, the Council heard from Village Square Mall General Manager, Elizabeth Haney.
Haney spoke in regards to the progress being made at the mall.
According to Haney, the owner of the mall has made more progress this year than he has in 10 years.
She stated that the owner has made payments on the roof, has brought in some ceiling tiles, and has brought in a dumpster.
Haney also stated that while she understands that owner needs pressured to make progress, having the mall be declared unsafe and dangerous would be detrimental to the tenants of the mall.
According to Assistant Fire Chief Kulesza, concerns with the mall include the lack of ceiling tiles in areas where the roof was leaking that can compromise the alarm and sprinkler systems and buckets sitting around in the store creating a trip hazard.
Kulesza clarified that this Ordinance is not for shutting down the mall or have people think bad about the mall, but to ensure the safety of mall employees and customers.
According to Effingham City Attorney Willenborg, there was a repeated lack of communication for efforts of remediation towards the mall.
She said that this ordinance would allow the City to act if the efforts to address issues are not addressed.
She added that significant efforts have been made since this ordinance was made public on Friday.
The City Council also discussed the Wabash Tire Building at 89 Village Square Mall for an Ordinance that would declare it as being dangerous or unsafe.
According to Building Official Wilkins, the north wall of the building is separating from the rest of the building.
She said that she had asked the mall officials and the tenants to send her a plan to address this issue and that she has not received that plan.
She added that in light of the lack of action at the mall and that this building is owned by the same people, that this be included at the same time to ensure that both issues be addressed.
The Council voted unanimously to both pass both Ordinances.
Additional items covered at the City Council meeting include:
- An Ordinance denying the petition to rezone a property owned by Billy G Genaust and Florence E Genaust from a Non-Urban to a R-1 Single Family Residence was passed. This petition was discussed at a Plan Commission meeting where it was recommended for denial due to the rezoning going against the comprehensive plan of the area.
- Mayor Bloemker proclaimed the week of August 25th to September 1st as United Way Week.
- Tourism Director Thoele gave the 1st Quarter Tourism Report.