MORTON — Two requirements for a Morton business district building improvement grant have been tweaked.
Village Board trustees Monday approved the changes, which were recommended for approval by the Morton Business Development and Redevelopment Commission.
A building that is more residential than commercial — based on square footage — located in an area zoned for commercial now will be eligible for a grant if the business there employs three or more full-time equivalent employees.
Full-time means a minimum of 30 hours a week.
Previously, a residential-commercial building had to be more commercial — based on square footage — to receive a grant.
"This grant isn't for someone who is, say, running an Amway business out of their home," said Morton Village Administrator Julie Smick.
The other change makes demolition costs eligible for a grant if the demolition paves the way for construction. Construction costs are not eligible for a grant.
"One of the main purposes of the grant program is to eliminate blight. Demolition does that," Smick said.
A $10,000 grant, the maximum amount, was approved Monday for Air-Land Transport, 1020 W. Birchwood St., which plans to use the money to help fund a $56,620 replacement of its building entrance.
Also Monday, trustees approved 14 tourism grants totaling $102,200 recommended for approval by the Morton Tourism Grant Committee.
The Morton Youth Baseball Association received a $20,000 grant for three tournaments, and the Morton Girls Softball Association received $13,500 for three tournaments.
Grants of $10,000 each went to the Morton Chamber of Commerce for the Morton Pumpkin Festival, and Ledgestone Insurance for the Professional Disc Golf Association Pro World Championships and Ledgestone Disc Golf Open.
The Morton Band Boosters were given a $9,000 grant for Morton High School's marching band invitational.
Among the smaller grants were $3,000 to the Morton Fine Arts Association for Arts in the Park and $2,700 to the Morton to Peoria St. Jude Run for Kids' Muddy Madness.
Two types of tourism grants are available.
A community grant, capped at $3,000, is for an event that brings visitors to Morton, gains recognition for the community, increases restaurant traffic, provides educational opportunities and improves the quality of life for residents, but does not generate many hotel stays.
An overnight grant, capped at $10,000, requires at least 50 overnight hotel stays.
* Trustees approved a $6,500 contribution — the same as last year — for the Morton VFW's annual Fourth of July fireworks show. The Morton Park District board is expected to approve a $6,500 donation for the show, which would cover the $13,000 total cost. This year's show will be July 3.
* Morton police Chief Craig Hillard presented President's Volunteer Service awards to auxiliary police Officers Dennis Batzek, Nick Gilmore, Todd Glascock, Alex Pawlak, Joe Stidman and Bob Willis for at least 100 hours of volunteer service in 2018. The auxiliary total for 2018 was 1,334 volunteer hours.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.