MOUNT CARMEL — During the final Mount Carmel City Council meeting of 2017, Mayor William C. Hudson kicked things off by announcing a new business coming to the city.

In a prepared statement read at the council meeting began, Mount Carmel mayor William C. Hudson stated, “It is my pleasure to announce that Unique Homes located in Charleston, has purchased property from Haase Farms for the construction of a multi-million dollar facility west of the Super 8.”

The development will be known as the Villas of Holly Brook. The developer intends to build a dual purpose facility which will consist of 50 units which will be utilized for assisted living and 24 units utilized for memory care.

“This facility is in addition to the many existing facilities Unique Homes has around the state,” added Hudson in his prepared statement.

When construction is complete, Unique envisions hiring 45 full-time and 25 part-time employees.

The developer has asked for a TIF assistance from the city. However, Mayor Hudson says that — under the advisement of TIF consultant Moran Development — it was suggested the city consider developing a new TIF to include the proposed development area because the TIF for the anticipated area of development is due to expire in 2019.

“A draft TIF development agreement has been discussed with the developer, once the final version is agreed to, it will be presented to the city council for their consideration,” noted Hudson.

Construction is expected to begin once all agreements with the parties involved are in place and weather is no longer a factor.

“I am very pleased that Unique Homes has chosen Mount Carmel to expand their business,” Hudson stated.

Within the commissioner’s report, Joseph Judge revealed that the Southeastern Illinois Agency on Aging funding is not coming through to help fund the Wabash County Senior Citizens.

Title grants are received in different areas, which equals out to about $132,000 a year according to Judge.

“That funding goes to help fund the meals program,” said Judge. “The meal that we have prepared every day. Also meals-on-wheels.

Judge received a statement from Shana A. Holmes, Chief Executive Officer, State of Illinois APS Supervisor, SHIP Coordinator. The statement read, in part, “We need to be promptly paid for the services we provide. We may run non-profits but like any business, we expect payment for services provided.”

Judge says if no payment is received, the end of January will be the timeline for reduction of hours open at the Wabash County Senior Citizens. Internal adjustments will be made as far as hours for employees that will stretch out how long they’ll be open.

“We must pay our employees, pay utility bills and other costs of doing business,” Holmes’ statement continued. “Transportation service providers must also pay employees, meet the cost of doing business, maintain vehicles, and pay for fuel. The same costs are borne by the senior centers we fund.”

In other business conducted by the council:

Approved by a 4-0 vote, with commissioner Eric Ikemire absent due to an illness, Ordinance 1080, 1081, and 1083. The council also received the first reading of Ordinance 1083 on adopting a policy prohibiting sexual harassment.

“This has been mandated (by) state statute passed by the legislature in November,” City Clerk Rudy Witsman stated to the council. “We have to enact this ordinance with this policy by the 16th of January.

“At the next council meeting, I hope to bring it up for your (the council’s) consideration.”

No new liquor licenses were granted. All 2017 liquor licenses were renewed. Witsman announced that $19,000 were collected by the city to renew the licenses as well as $11,700 collected from, “coin-operated amusement devices.”

The next city council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 15, 2018.

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