Rising cost of renovations
Carbondale, Illinois is undergoing a face lift with its downtown revitalization project, but the city’s budget could bring construction to a crawl.
City leaders are projecting about a $4 million deficit by 2019 and the city’s general fund to drop from $7.7 million all the way down to $377,000.
When you drive through Carbondale, you see progress all around.
“There’s a lot of construction, there’s development. I think things are picking up in the economy locally,” said Mayor Donald Monty.
But the city’s bottom line isn’t as pretty. In order to increase revenues the city may be forced to increase taxes, but Meghan Cole believes downtown investors could bring in the cash the community needs.
“Behind the scenes we’ve had a lot of interest, and we have a new development coming right now. A lot of them want to see a plan before they invest. The city isn’t a developer, they’re not going to redevelop a downtown, but they can make it easy for people to do that,” said Meghan Cole, Executive Director of Carbondale Main Street.
However, city leaders say that they don’t just want business, they want the right business for the area.
“We want to make sure what we put into downtown is driven by the client, and driven by the consumer that will be in the area and is well suited for them,” said City Manager Kevin Beatty.
Carbondale is looking into state and federal grants to fund a new transportation center downtown. They plan to unveil their master plan for downtown and the rest of the city early next year.