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Daily Journal
     October 7, 2020      #14-281 KDJ

Bourbonnais moves forward with second business

Jeff Bonty

BOURBONNAIS — Trustees are moving forward with the creation of a second business district in the village.

The proposed North Convent Business District would be along North Convent Street (U.S. 45/52), running from William Latham Sr. Drive north to Hilltop Drive. The district would encompass 93 parcels on 143 acres. In that area are 75 buildings, including residential and commercial properties.

Prior to the board’s regular Monday meeting, a public hearing was held on the proposed district.

Trustees will vote whether to adopt the ordinance at their next regular meeting scheduled for Oct. 19.

The district would be funded by a 1 percent sales tax, making it 7.25 percent for the businesses located inside the district.

If passed, the ordinance would take effect April 2021.

The sales tax of 1 percent excludes grocery items such as food as well as vehicle titles or registrations in the state, Gene Norber said during Monday’s meeting. Norber works with Economic Development Resources (EDR) out of St. Louis. The company was hired to work with the village on creation of the district.

State law allows for municipalities to create such zones.

According to state guidelines, a study must find the current area is blighted by such things as inadequate or antiquated infrastructure, inadequate street layout, unsanitary or unsafe conditions, impedes the provision of housing accommodations or constitutes an economic or social liability, an economic under-utilization of the area, or a menace to the public health, safety, morals or welfare.

The village currently has one business district. The Bourbonnais Business District encompasses an area north of Larry Power Road to the Bourbonnais Parkway and around the 318 exit of Interstate 57. The ordinance creating the district was adopted in July 2018.

The Convent District’s projected costs are anticipated to be $18 million, according to a report prepared by Economic Development Resources (EDR) of St. Louis. They were hired to work with the village on the Bourbonnais Business District. Of that total, $400,000 is to cover the cost of studies, surveys, development of plans and specifications, plan administration and other professional services. The remainder will be used for the projects that will make improvements to infrastructure and businesses.

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