East Dundee getting more time to decide on Anvil Club request
By Erin Sauder For Sun-Times Media August 20, 2013 11:18AM
Representatives of the Anvil Club say it has been a key business in East Dundee for almost 60 years but needs village help to continue operation. | Erin Sauder~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 22, 2013 6:23AM
EAST DUNDEE — Village board members have a little more time to decide whether they will give the Anvil Club $300,000 in the form of tax increment finance funds to renovate the Meier Street building.
Initially, time was of the essence for the supper club project, as Craig Zachrich of Anvil Club said the village’s upcoming construction work on Meier would have a “devastating” effect on the popular restaurant. He wanted to see the remodeling occur during the construction period.
But at Monday night’s board meeting, Village Administrator Bob Skurla said the actual tearing up of the street — initially thought to be this fall — will likely not occur until next April.
“That gives us much more time to sit back and give (Anvil Club officials) the opportunity to start engaging professionals to get more information,” he said.
In the meantime, the board passed an inducement resolution stating that any costs the Anvil Club may incur while working with professionals such as architects and designers would be reimbursed if village officials opted to go forth with allowing TIF funding for the project.
Trustee Rob Gorman expressed hesitancy about supporting that resolution.
“I’m going to vote no. The proposal on the table is for us to pay 100 percent right now,” he said. “I don’t want to set any expectations.”
Village President Lael Miller said the resolution only sets the expectation that the village would consider helping Anvil Club.
“It’s the first piece of paperwork that needs to get done before discussing costs,” he said.
The Anvil Club also would like to participate in the village’s facade program, designed to encourage property owners and business tenants to improve the overall exterior appearance of commercial buildings along major thoroughfares in the village. The program provides grants of up to $75,000 each for buildings with more than 150 linear feet of street frontage.
Zachrich anticipates that remodeling the building’s exterior will cost $300,000, and he is asking village officials for half of that since the supper club sits on three streets in the village.
He said modernizing the building is key and to that end what’s needed are new bathrooms, electrical work to correct life and safety issues, fire sprinklers, HVAC and other remodeling. He also said the Anvil Club cannot afford to make those renovations without the village’s help.
Zachrich said the sales tax from the Anvil Club has generated nearly $500,000 over the last five years and that $30,000 in property taxes were paid in 2012 alone. He said without the remodeling, he expects the assessed value of the building and land to be reduced by 55 percent.
Trustee Dan Selep supports using TIF funds for the renovations.
“I don’t want to put you in jeopardy of losing your business,” he said to Zachrich. “I think it’s a great asset to the village, so I’m for this.”
With a TIF, the amount of tax dollars received by the various local taxing bodies from district property owners is frozen for a set number of years. Money collected in property taxes above that amount is used to revitalize the TIF area with infrastructure and other improvements.