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Board discusses BDD help for local businesses

Loan work for new water meters is moving forward

The Forreston Village Board discussed how local businesses within village limits will use the Business Development District tax money for future projects.

The village gets an extra one percent sales tax from businesses within Forreston that amounts to between $4,000 and $5,000 per month. The money can be used to reimburse businesses for improvements as well as village improvement projects like implementing LED street lights and sidewalk work. 

A BDD application for local business Josh’s Saloon, owned by Josh & Heather Lamping, was reviewed at the meeting. Village President Mark Metzger said there has been confusion in the past by local businesses on the process of getting the BDD money for projects. 

To get the BDD money, businesses must first fill out an application, have it reviewed by the village board, get the work done and then present receipts before receiving a payout. 

“In the last two instances, businesses came in after work was done,” Metzger said. 

The village board plans to go out and speak with local businesses to clear up the process and requirements to receive BDD money from the village. The idea of simplifying the process was also discussed, such as settling on a percentage of a cost to cover or offering to pay a set amount. 

“We have money coming in and want it to be used for improving businesses and getting more people into town,” Metzger said. 

IEPA loan application

As the city looks at updating water meters in town with grants from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, a proposal was approved by the board on Monday to move forward with applications. 

Community Funding and Planning Services, a company from Stockton, has been hired by Forreston to do paperwork and apply for the grants and funding. The total cost of the application work will be $16,000 with $4,000 being reimbursable. 

Sauerkraut Days 

Next year’s Forreston Sauerkraut Days could include a barbeque contest with pro circuit barbeque masters. The event would take place on the outskirts of the vendor setup. 

Saluting With Smoke offers a unique and patriotic barbeque experience as a Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned competitor’s series contest.

Metzger said the event is not 100 percent to happen, but plans are being discussed by organizers.