Robinson City Council Tuesday approved a zoning change that will allow Bertram Pharmacy to build a new home across the street at the corner of West Highland Avenue and North Allen Street.
The zoning was changed from 0-2 office to C-2 commercial. This change was needed so the project can move ahead. The company still has to submit and gain approval for a building permit before the start of construction.
Owner David Falk said the project began last year when they considered remodeling the current building. They realized that any change would only add a few parking spaces and not really help their customers. Expansion at the current location is limited as the building is flanked by the D. Miller Innovative Care nursing home to the west, and apartments to the north.
The new building would be about 5,000 square feet, Falk said, up from the 3,000 square feet of the current building. Most of the additional space will go towards gifts and health and beauty goods. Thue business will go from 10 parking spaces to 45, and add a drive-through window.
There have been four people interested in renting or buying the old property, he added.
Alderman Russell Snider said he was worried about the construction, but the plan to include a privacy fence along the edge of the property and plant trees throughout the site convinced him to support the project.
The measure passed 8-1, with Alderman Bob Sornberger voting "no."
The council dealt with construction elsewhere, modifying an agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation for the South Eaton Street project. The previous version did not include contingency funds or the cost of architectural work. This raises the cost from a projected $1.3 million to $1.7 million.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is providing $972,000 from two grants and the remaining $728,000 comes from the city's motor fuel tax, $452,000 of which is federal grant money.
Alderman Barbara Alexander asked about the cost to the city motor-fuel tax fund. The fund, paid by taxes on gasoline, generates $16,000 a month on average, said City Treasurer Denise Jobe. She said today the fund will have about $825,000 in it by this time next year.
The earliest projected time for the construction to begin is next spring, Hillard said.
The council approved a new fence to replace the brick bannister on the Howard Street bridge that was destroyed by a falling tree on Jan. 30. Quick said relaying the brick columns and cement cap was not feasible and recommended a four-foot high chain link fence that will cost $1,594. The goal is to keep pedestrians on the bridge, Snider said. The bannister had no ability to stop cars, Hillard said, adding that to create a barrier on the century-old bridge capable of stopping a vehicle would require a full barricade.
The council also:
Heard that costs for corporations to use the Depot fitness center have dropped. A company that signs up 20 percent of its staff or 20 people will receive a break on the membership fees. The company still needs to pay the $10 for the key fob.
Heard that the Robinson Enterprise Zone is now expanded to include the Murphy fuel station and convenience store at Gordon Junction. Zoning Administrator Mike Shimer said the process to change the zone normally takes eight to 10 months.
Approved paying $1,070 to send employees to a conference in Springfield about water pollution control.
Heard that the Easter Egg Hunt at Washington Park will be at 11 a.m. on March 30. The city has already received two cartloads of candy from Hershey and is looking for additional support. Anyone who wants to donate to or sponsor the program should call 544-7616.