CHAMPAIGN - One of the city's largest employers is in line for city and state grants, plus its landlord's assistance, to help it resolve electrical service interruptions by Illinois Power.
Amdocs Ltd. requires a $180,000 upgrade to its electrical service or faces the loss of its biggest customer, Nextel, according to Deputy City Manager Craig Rost.
Rost said the city council will be asked Tuesday to approve an agreement providing up to $50,000 in city funds that will supplement an application for an Illinois FIRST grant of $75,000.
IP has agreed to pay $14,000 of the cost and Fox Development, owner of the Amdocs offices, will pay the balance with or without the Illinois FIRST grant, Rost said.
Amdocs is an electronic billing service center employing approximately 500 people in three buildings on Fox Drive.
In a report to the council, Rost said the grant request stems from numerous power failures over the last two years at Amdocs offices. A recent outage prompted Nextel to demand assurances that Amdocs could deliver uninterrupted computer support services or risk the loss of its contract.
?Amdocs responded that moving to a community with more reliable service was more likely than risking the loss of their primary customer,? Rost said.
Rost and Mayor Jerry Schweighart met twice with Amdocs, Illinois Power and state representatives to try to resolve the situation.
?Amdocs stated at the conclusion of those meetings that a second power feed to the building was the only acceptable means of improving power reliability and reducing the likelihood of a long-term power outage,? Rost said. ?Although Illinois Power disagreed with this conclusion, they state that such an improvement could be planned at Amdocs' or the building owner's expense.?
Providing a city grant for such a project is consistent with the city's economic development policy of investing in infrastructure improvements to retain or expand facilities for a significant employer.
A significant employer is typically defined as one that employs 100 or more.
The council meets on the issue at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Champaign City Building, 102 N. Neil St.
Final plats for two new phases of the Trails at Brittany subdivision. Hallbeck Homes is planning 59 buildable lots on 38 acres in the luxury subdivision west of Staley Road.
Contract on agenda. The council will consider a $1.45 million contract with Fuetz Contractors of Paris, Ill., for the next phase of the Campustown Infrastructure and Streetscape Project. It will involve rebuilding all the sidewalk, pavement, curb and gutter, streetlights and traffic signals on Sixth Street from just north of Healey Street to just south of John Street. Public parking will be reconfigured on Sixth between Springfield and Armory Street. Streetscaping on Sixth between Green and Healey will be delayed pending possible development on the city Lot J parking lot.
Phil Bloomer can be reached at 351-5371 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .