Benton Evening News - Benton, IL
  • Mayor: Rend Lake Plaza developer has sights set on clothes retailer

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  • Turns out that A.G. Helton, developer of Rend Lake Plaza, is far from finished with the building.
    West City Mayor Charles Cockrum said Helton envisions a retail clothing store as he works to enlarge the facility and move a few of the tenants to new locations within the same mall.
    “He is in the process of building an addition and has been in contact with Goody’s,” Cockrum said. “He is having issues with utility easements to the west. The developer and AmerenIllinois will have to agree to move the utility easement to make the building a comparable size.
    “He wants to relocate Michelangelo’s closer to Hibbett Sports, combine the three suites closest to Rural King and then add on,” he said. “If he can’t purchase the small area north of Rural King, he will have to come to some agreement to move Stage in instead. Both are interested in coming here and that would give residents more options for clothing.”
    Goody’s is a family department store; Stage specializes in women’s clothing.
    Cockrum said the shopping center spans 48,570 square feet.
    During the Jan. 21 special meeting, village board members accepted the low bid from Biebel Roofing to replace the village hall roof, voted to send Cary Aaron and Dale Watkins to a conference on wastewater treatment, and accepted a bid from EnviroTech to treat West City’s community center for termites.
    Village board members accepted the low bid from Gardner Fence, Inc., in West Frankfort to install a fence around the generator located outside the community center, he said.
    Cockrum said board members are preparing for the future after they approved a motion to increase the mayor’s and village trustees pay.
    “Board members haven’t increased the pay since 2006,” he said. “Under the Illinois Constitution, you can’t increase pay closer than 180 days before an election. That is to prevent officials from voting themselves in a raise. The board members get $250 and the mayor gets $300 a month.
    “The raises won’t go into effect until the next election for the newly elected board members. There will be two in 2015,” Cockrum said. “The village board is setting up for the future.”
    He said board members would discuss establishing a pay scale for the future in the spring.
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