Floyd’s Thirst Parlor requests TIF funds for rooftop bar, kitchen expansion

Downtown Springfield may be getting its first rooftop bar as early as next spring. The co-owners of Floyd’s Thirst Parlor, Andrew Denton and Jeremy Bredemeyer, made an appearance before the city of Springfield’s Economic Development Commission on Oct. 19 to request $520,000 in funding from the Central Area TIF toward the total project cost of just over $1.5 million. The EDC unanimously approved the request, which now moves on to the city council for a final review and vote.

Floyd’s Thirst Parlor, 210 S. Fifth St., has been in business for nearly 20 years. Denton and Bredemeyer have owned the business for more than six years.

“This is something we’ve been working hard on for over a year,” said Denton. “Out of the ashes of COVID, we want to build something really unique and give back to a part of the city we love.”

He said the project also includes a significant expansion of the kitchen, which will lead to “readjusting our entire business model.” Denton said the addition of food service means Floyd’s would be able to expand its hours to 11 a.m.-1 a.m., five or six days a week, in addition to hosting events.

According to Denton, Floyd’s currently has about 1,600 square feet of usable space, which will double to nearly 3,000 square feet with the addition of the rooftop space. “It will increase our occupancy to 450 people. I’d like to see it be a heated area that we could use year-round,” he said, noting that they are still exploring various options for utilizing the rooftop space during inclement weather.

Just over a year ago, the EDC recommended $1 million in TIF assistance to help redevelop the property at 322 E. Adams into a rooftop bar and food hall. However, the Public Market project, as it came to be known, has yet to begin construction and was relying on crowdfunding to cover a portion of the renovation costs. In response to a request for an update from commissioner Sheila Stocks-Smith, Mayor Jim Langfelder said today that the Public Market project is in the midst of an ownership change but should be proceeding soon.

Ward 5 alderwoman LaKeisha Purchase said she met with Denton and Bredemeyer last week. “I was excited about it when I saw the drawings and heard about the entities that are involved.” She noted that O’Shea Builders is the general contractor and the project has strong union support, in addition to financing from the owners’ bank. “It made me feel confident that they’re very serious about this project,” she said.

Source: https://springfieldbusinessjournal.com/2021/10/floyds-thirst-parlor-requests-tif-funds-for-rooftop-bar-kitchen-expansion/

City establishes pop-up party task force

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS/WRSP) — The city is creating a task force to combat pop-up parties across the capital city.

Springfield police are teaming up with city leaders to stop these dangerous and unpredictable gatherings.

City officials say you never know where or when these parties are going to pop up, and they need to be ready for that.

This task force is made up of Springfield aldermen Shawn Gregory, Lakeisha Purchase, and Roy Williams, the mayor, the police chief, city lawyers, and neighborhood associations.

They’ll meet once a month to discuss pop-up party prevention.

The group has already met once, and they’re starting to create a plan of action.

“You don’t see too many pop-up parties in the winter time, so that’s the time we can do research from other cities,” said Alderwoman Purchase. “This is not just an issue in Springfield, this is a nationwide thing. Supposedly, a lot of this has taken place since Covid started.”)

Purchase says there have already been four or five parties at the Qik-N-EZ on North Grand Avenue.

The CEO of the company attended the Ward 5 meeting Tuesday.

He told residents that quick and easy is working with police to prevent these parties.

The city wants to partner with businesses to put up cameras monitoring popular party locations.

Source: https://newschannel20.com/news/local/city-establishes-pop-up-party-task-force

Sangamon County Democrats, treasurer seek applications for new Capital Township trustee

Local Democrats are looking to fill a vacancy on the Capital Township Board of Trustees.

The Sangamon County Democratic Party and board treasurer and supervisor Joe Aiello are collecting applications to fill the seat of Lakeisha Purchase, who is departing the elected position she has held since 2017 to represent Ward 5 on Springfield City Council.

“I’m looking for somebody that is gonna dive into it like Ald. Lakeisha Purchase did,” said county Democrat chair Bill Houlihan, who will make a nomination. “She held town meetings, she did all sorts of different things and (held) different responsibilities and things that township government has.”

Abby Powell:City’s TIF administrator leaves to take job at Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance

Aiello, a Republican, said he will consider everyone who applied for the position. He makes a recommendation on who fills the vacant seat on the board and doesn’t have to abide by whoever the party nominates for the vacancy.

Statute requires Purchase’s replacement to be a Democrat. The nominee will be the lone Democrat on the board and will serve out the rest of the term until elections in early 2025.

Houlihan and Purchase said they would prefer if a Black woman looking to run for reelection was chosen to replace her on the board. Purchase was the lone Black Capital Township board trustee and is the only Black woman serving on city council.

Statute requires Purchase’s replacement to be a Democrat. The nominee will be the lone Democrat on the board and will serve out the rest of the term until elections in early 2025.

Houlihan and Purchase said they would prefer if a Black woman looking to run for reelection was chosen to replace her on the board. Purchase was the lone Black Capital Township board trustee and is the only Black woman serving on city council.

Applicants must be a Democrat, resident of the township, and registered to vote.

Capital Township is designed to accelerate access to county government assistance for residents of the township. It also assesses property and provides general assistance for township residents.

Purchase was appointed to city council after she was unanimously approved by the council in September. She was nominated by Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder after former Ward 5 Ald. Andrew Proctor resigned and moved to Chicagoland for a new job and to be closer to family.

Source: https://www.sj-r.com/story/news/2021/10/09/sangamon-county-democrats-looking-fill-capital-township-vacancy/6054319001/

Police, city leaders explore new options to prevent pop-up parties

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS/WRSP) — Neighbors tell us pop-up parties in Springfield have resulted in shootings, fireworks, drag racing, and drunk drivers.

Police, city leaders, and businesses are now coming together to find a solution.

Lincoln Park resident Bill Baskett describes these events as “chaos” and “mayhem.”

“We are concerned,” Baskett said.

Many of the pop-up parties have been near the Lincoln Park Neighborhood at the Qik-N-EZ on Fifth Street and North Grand Avenue.

This past weekend, police were called to the gas station and convenience store after reports of dozens of cars and loud music.

Kevin Smith lives across the street and says he was asleep when everything unfolded.

He was quickly awakened when he heard what he says sounded like a cannon.

“We walk out on the porch, here we’ve got a party surrounding us,” Smith said.

Smith says he fears for his grandchildren and all the children in the neighborhood.

After a separate pop-up party last year, Baskett says his neighbor woke up to two bullets in her porch after attendees allegedly drove around the neighborhood.

But this isn’t a new problem.

Ward 5 Alderwoman Lakeisha Purchase tells us there have been four or five pop-up parties at this location.

Assistant Chief Ken Scarlette with the Springfield Police Department says other places around town have also been popular party spots.

From the beginning of the pandemic to now, “We’ve seen an increase in the number of parties,” Scarlette said.

Scarlette says their safety plan includes bringing in extra officers, even if it means paying overtime or enlisting the help of other departments.

He says if they know about a party in advance, they can assign resources accordingly.

But, much of the time, police find these parties while they patrol, meaning they have to call in backup.

Scarlette says Springfield has no issue calling in resources from the county or nearby towns to help them if the situation gets too large.

He says officer safety is a big priority because the situations often include a dozen officers compared to hundreds of partygoers, sometimes intoxicated and operating vehicles.

Police and city leaders are also working with businesses to slow down these parties.

Scarlette says police have been in communication with the North Grand Qik-N-EZ about how to best disperse parties there.

“We’ve also worked with other businesses specifically in that area to provide security, or they would provide security for their own lots,” Scarlette says.

hat includes things like barricades, more lighting, and cameras.

Scarlette says there is a “multi-jurisdictional operation plan” to deal with the parties, but Springfield Police aren’t releasing some of the specifics.

Purchase says the Qik-N-EZ will alter their hours to deter parties as well.

She confirmed that the convenience will be shutting down in the overnight hours this weekend to protect their employees.

A representative from Chronister Oil Co., Qik-N-EZ’s parent company, will also attend the Ward 5 Town Hall next week.

But neighbors say they won’t feel safe until the parties stop for good.

“We cannot let this lawlessness and mayhem continue,” Baskett said. “These people need to be made aware of who is actually in charge.”

Officials say the organization of these parties happens on platforms like Snapchat, where details are only available temporarily.

The goal now is to be proactive and shut down pop up parties as soon as possible.

Some aldermen have also suggested a pop up party task force to help solve this problem.

Police say the planning and disbursement of the parties are costing the city thousands of dollars.

Source: https://newschannel20.com/news/local/police-city-leaders-explore-new-options-to-prevent-pop-up-parties

Delays in opening Springfield overflow shelter

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS/WRSP) — The overflow shelter at the Salvation Army building will not open on Friday, Oct. 1 despite officials hoping that it would.

So when can we expect the doors to fully open?

The Heartland Continuum of Care and the Salvation Army, which are in charge of opening and operating the shelter, say there is no exact date but that it all depends on when they can hire and train staff.

Captain Jeff Eddy with the Salvation Army says they will need to hire 12 employees but no one has been hired yet.

The applications aren’t even available and Eddy says he doesn’t know when they will be.

Newschannel 20 and Fox Illinois asked Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder what the backup plan is if they can’t find any staff.

“I will leave it up to the experts, the Heartland Continuum of Care, the Salvation Army,” Mayor Langfelder said.

So that’s what we did. We contacted the Heartland Continuum of Care asking the same question. This was the coordinator’s response.

“I can’t staff, I don’t staff, that’s not my role. Certainly, we will do everything possible to get it done as quickly as possible, that’s what we’re looking to do,” Josh Sabo said.

This has led us to ask Captain Eddy with the Salvation Army if they will have enough time to hire and train workers to open the shelter before it gets cold outside.

In a text, Eddy said, “In previous years, the conversation didn’t start until right now and we got it accomplished.”

Newschannel 20 and Fox Illinois spoke with Ward 5 Alderwoman Lakeisha Purchase.

Purchase says she’s confident the city and these other agencies we’ve been speaking with will be able to open the shelter before it gets cold outside.

The overflow shelter is part of the immediate needs section of the city’s plan to end homelessness.

Source: https://newschannel20.com/news/local/delays-in-opening-springfield-overflow-shelter

History made in Springfield, City Council the most diverse it’s ever been

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS/WRSP) — History is being made in the City of Springfield.

For the first time, three African-Americans and three women are serving on the City Council.

“We have the most diverse City Council that we’ve ever had in the City of Springfield,” Frank McNeil, former alderperson said.

This moment is long overdue according to McNeil who served as one of the first African-American aldermen in 1988.

Allan Woodson also served as the other African American alderman during that time.

McNeil played a huge role in the Voting Rights Act lawsuit against the city in 1985 which changed the way government operates.

“Under section two of the Voting Rights Act, we didn’t feel African-Americans were fairly represented in the City of Springfield,” McNeil said. “In 1985 we filed a lawsuit against the City of Springfield to change the form of government.”

It’s a change that has finally paved the way for others.

“The whole point of filing the lawsuit is to give minorities or women an opportunity to serve and represent constituents of their community,” McNeil explained.

The first woman of color to serve on Springfield City Council was alderwoman Gail Simpson from 2007 to 2015 and then again in 2019.

Thereafter was former alderwoman Doris Turner and now it’s Lakeisha Purchase, who currently represents Ward five.

It’s a point in history that is particularly hitting home for those in the Springfield chapter of the NAACP.

“To have people on the city council who look like me, who understand the impact it has on the community from an equity lens is important,” the president of NAACP Teresa Haley said. “When you have 9 to 10 aldermen and two of them are black that’s not enough, but when you look at three blacks and three women, that shows a little improvement in terms of diversity.”

It’s an improvement that McNeil hopes will give minorities and women an opportunity to serve and represent constituents of their community.

“You have to look forward and be hopeful that one day an African-American can lead the city as the mayor of the City of Springfield,” said McNeil.

“Under section two of the Voting Rights Act, we didn’t feel African-Americans were fairly represented in the City of Springfield,” McNeil said. “In 1985 we filed a lawsuit against the City of Springfield to change the form of government.”

It’s a change that has finally paved the way for others.

“The whole point of filing the lawsuit is to give minorities or women an opportunity to serve and represent constituents of their community,” McNeil explained.

The first woman of color to serve on Springfield City Council was alderwoman Gail Simpson from 2007 to 2015 and then again in 2019.

Thereafter was former alderwoman Doris Turner and now it’s Lakeisha Purchase, who currently represents Ward five.

It’s a point in history that is particularly hitting home for those in the Springfield chapter of the NAACP.

“To have people on the city council who look like me, who understand the impact it has on the community from an equity lens is important,” the president of NAACP Teresa Haley said. “When you have 9 to 10 aldermen and two of them are black that’s not enough, but when you look at three blacks and three women, that shows a little improvement in terms of diversity.”

It’s an improvement that McNeil hopes will give minorities and women an opportunity to serve and represent constituents of their community.

“You have to look forward and be hopeful that one day an African-American can lead the city as the mayor of the City of Springfield,” said McNeil.

Source: newschannel20.com

Love for Lakeisha

Lakeisha Purchase was the unanimous choice of Springfield aldermen to succeed Andrew Proctor as the Ward 5 representative on the city council. Proctor moved to the Chicago area.

“I wanted to do public service, and so I got active on the east side of Springfield with Ald. (Roy) Williams and Ald. (Shawn) Gregory and One in a Million and hit the ground running,” she told aldermen Tuesday just before the vote.

“Ward 5 is the economic engine for the city of Springfield,” Purchase continued, describing the area that includes part of downtown and north of there. “Not only is it centralized, but we have the two hospitals, the school of medicine, a lot of the state working bulidings, and a lot of older neighborhoods.”

There was some friction when the council was considering Williams for Ward 3, because, contrary to what some described as a “gentlemen’s agreement,” he would not commit not to run for a full term. Purchase says “we’ve moved past that” in her winning unanimous support despite declaring she will run as an incumbent in 2023.

The appointment brings the number of alderwoman on the council back to three and for the first time puts three Blacks on the council.

Source: wtax.com

Lakeisha Purchase to fill Ward 5 Aldermanic vacancy

Mayor Jim Langfelder has recently announced that Lakeisha Purchase will fill the Ward 5 aldermanic vacancy.

Ward 5 is a place that Purchase calls home. Actually, she’s been involved in helping rebuild the neighborhood, as well as being apart of the Enos Park Neighborhood Association. She is no stranger to the work that it takes to empower and rebuild a community.

In the press release, Langfelder states, “I believe she will be a strong voice for the residents of Ward 5 and will keep the best interest of the community in mind. That is why I’m proud to nominate her to fulfill the Ward 5 aldermanic seat on the Springfield City Council.”

Purchase’s nomination went in front of City Council on Sept. 7th, for emergency passage.

Source & full article: www.wqlz.com

Capital Township Trustee Lakeisha Purchase nominated by Springfield mayor to Ward 5 seat

All signs point to Lakeisha Purchase becoming Ward 5’s new representative on the city council.

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder on Thursday announced he is nominating Purchase, a Capital Township trustee who previously ran to be Ward 5’s representative in 2019, to fill the vacant seat on the council. Purchase, if confirmed at Tuesday’s council meeting, would be the third woman to currently serve on the council and the first Black woman to serve since state Sen. Doris Turner, D-Springfield, relinquished her Ward 3 seat in February.

“I believe she will be a strong voice for the residents of Ward 5 and will keep the best interest of the community in mind,” Langfelder said in a news release Thursday. “That is why I’m proud to nominate her to fulfill the Ward 5 aldermanic seat on the Springfield City Council.”

Source & full article: www.sj-r.com