Development pacts, parking fine increases up for vote in Champaign

Development pacts, parking fine increases up for vote in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — City council members are poised to formally approve several pieces of legislation they OK'd earlier this summer — deals with Yahoo and Volition, an honorary street designation and changes to parking tickets all among them.

Get a recap of Tuesday's meeting Wednesday at 4:20 on WDWS with Mayor Don Gerard.

Council members will meet at 7 p.m. today in the Champaign City Building. It's their first meeting since the first half of August as the council chambers has been closed for several weeks to upgrade its video equipment.

On the agenda:

— Honorary street designation for Keegan Bannon, the Central High School senior who died suddenly in 2010. City council members in a June straw poll supported the special name, "Keegan Bannon Way," for Plymouth Drive between Galen and Harrington drives.

The street is near the Bannons' home and where he used to practice tennis for the high school team.

— Incentives for the new Yahoo facility at the University of Illinois Research Park. In November, city council members said they supported paying up to $290,000 in incentives to encourage Yahoo to expand their operations in the Research Park.

Yahoo has broken ground on its facility, and that contract will go to the council tonight. It provides for up to $120,000 in payments to Yahoo for the 40,000-square-foot space it's building and $1,000 per new employee before the end of 2015 (which city officials think could result in up to $180,000 more for Yahoo).

— Incentives to keep Deep Silver Volition at One Main Plaza in downtown Champaign. City council members in April agreed to help DS Volition upgrade its two floors of office space at One Main — in return, DS Volition would sign a new 10-year lease to keep its office and 197 employees in the core of the city.

Under the contract council members could finalize tonight, the city would cover 30 percent of the eligible project costs, including upgrading the video game developer's server room and server. The city would also pay $1,000 per new employee. The total incentive payment is capped at $200,000 and will be paid out of tax increment financing district funds.

— Increased fines for parking tickets. In June, council members tentatively supported changes to the city's parking fine structure, and if they finalize their approval tonight, the revisions would take effect on Jan. 1. First-time offenders would get off free, but the fines go up as parking offenders rack up more tickets.

A second ticket in a 365-day period would cost you $15, a third or fourth would run you $25 each, and five or more tickets during that time will cost drivers $35 each. Late payment fees will go up, too, and city officials likely will raise general parking violations — like parking illegally in a permit-only spot, reserved parking or not within the lines — to a $30 fine, up from the current $10 or $20.

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missinJerry wrote on September 02, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Where are the landlords in these commercial lease incentive deals?  Yes, I support business development, but remodelling office space to incent a tenant to sign a ten year lease seems like the landlord is the big winner.  

While giving hundreds of thousands in rent subsidy to our local one percenters, council adds to the misery index by raising the fee for parking in a "reserved" space to $30.  Who has reserved spaces?  The  one percenters and the city employees.  The rich get richer