Durham's Hardware on the Harrisburg square is under new ownership and the new owner intends to expand the business to utilize all three floors.
Tom Folder, owner of TLF Performance Parts that remanufactures fuel injectors for high-performance vehicles, has purchased the business and building. He intends to move his company from Granger Street to the new building and continue the hardware business.
Folder sought and was granted by Harrisburg City Council Thursday a loan of $220,000 from the city's revolving loan fund.
Alene Carr of Southeastern Illinois Regional Planning and Development Commission brought Folder's request before the council. Folder is planning a $490,000 renovation of the building and will employ 18 full-time positions, 12 of which will be new. He intends to keep the present employees if they want to remain on. An expansion of the bridal service and inventory is on his agenda.
Folder said he plans on completely opening each 7,500 square foot floor — including the basement and expanding the hours to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Ron Fearheiley — as mayor pro tem with Mayor Ron Crank vacationing — announced a new clothing store called Factory Connections is coming to Harrisburg offering brand name fashions for juniors, messes, plus, men's and young men's, accessories and shoes. The business will be moving into the former Rent One space in the Shawnee Square shopping center and intends to be open Oct. 18.
Harrisburg Animal Control Officer Mike Sullivan again addressed council concerning his desire to legalize all-terrain vehicle and golf cart use on some city streets. Sullivan has addressed council in the past with little result. Council members have agreed to study the issue, but have not been very receptive due to there being too many busy streets in the city.
This time Sullivan brought a petition supporting the ordinance, a copy of Eldorado's ordinance permitting the vehicles in the city and said he has spoken with Eldorado Police Chief Shannon Deuel who said the city has had no problems.
Sullivan — who also provides security for the Harrisburg Township Park — said he uses his Mule all the time.
"It never shuts off," Sullivan said.
He said last month he paid only $28 for fuel for the machine while he paid $1,100 for fuel for his truck.
Sullivan wants to see the city divided into quadrants the machines permitted on certain streets and forbidden on the busy ones.
Public Properties Superintendent Dale Fowler proposed council initiate a feasibility study involving Harrisburg Police Chief Bob Smith.
City Web site
Charles Will, former city treasurer, told council there is a need to keep the city's Web site updated. Will said the site is getting a lot of traffic with 731,000 "hits," or about 300,000 more than a year ago. But viewers are not seeing updated meeting minutes, city announcements or current council members.
Page 2 of 2 - "This is sending a message about our city we really don't want to send," Will said.
Ron Fearheiley said he had a discussion with the Web site administrator earlier Thursday and the effort to clean up and update the site is underway.
Council approved $500 bids each of Edward Conkle for city lots at 427 W. Church St. and 808 N. Cherry St. They did not approve Conkle's $500 bids for 370 and 371 E. South St., now platted as Cecil Street.
Police and Fire Commissioner Bart Schiff said he believed the property may be more valuable than $500.
City Engineer Jim Brown said he believed that location — behind where the old Buddy Pool car lot was located — may be upon a major water line and it could be a location to install a water tank in the future.
Council approved a $610 bid of McKinley Avenue Baptist Church for a property at 302 W. Sloan St. — across from the McKinley School apartments — that burned several years ago.
Fowler announced placing a moratorium on lease transfers on Harrisburg Lake until the city establishes a more systematic process of evaluating lease procedures.
"We will be looking at the current lease agreement to see if we need a language change," Fowler said.
Fowler announced at the previous meeting some properties at the lake appear to have been abandoned for years in violation of the lease terms. He wants to make sure lessees are abiding by the terms of the leases before renewing their lease agreements.
He also said he has delivered photos and a sample of products Precision Mine Repair would use to repair the crumbling city hall facade to the National Register of Historic Places. The city hall is on the register and renovations must comply with the historic structure to remain on the register.
He said roof repair on the city hall is to begin Sept. 30.