Chris Hinkle of Grand Piasa Body Art.

ALTON – The Alton City Hall Chambers was at full capacity with citizens awaiting the outcome of several high profile circumstances. The future existence of Alton Main Street and the final decision on the approval of Grand Piasa Body Art moving to the C-4 district of E. Broadway were up for discussion

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Sara McGibany of Alton Main Street.Alton Main Street, a non-profit organization that supports local entrepreneurs, improves morale and hosts many public events, was recently cut from the city’s budget. This budget cut would completely eliminate the program. With much effort and consideration from the city’s decision makers, it was voted at the City Council meeting that the city can provide $7,000 for the organization to stay afloat.

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This small quantity may not sound like much, but it does show support and appreciation of their mission from the city, which allows for the program to apply for grants and conduct successful fundraising efforts for the remaining funds needed for the many events hosted by AMS. The Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau has agreed to house the office space for Alton Main Street and offered free services for any equipment needed to manage, which cuts the funds for rental space and the necessary utensils needed to operate.

Chris Hinkle, owner of Grand Piasa Body Art, has finally been approved by city officials for a special use permit, which allows him to purchase the building located on East Broadway. His request was originally denied and after much rebuttal and consideration between the city officials, the Alton City Plan Commission, local business owners and River Bend residents, Chris’s business has finally been approved for operation.

The city budget cuts have required officials to reconsider many funding options for several businesses, organizations and salaries for public services. It is rumored that two police officers, a firefighter and the entire Animal Patrol program are in jeopardy for a complete loss of funding. As of right now, everything is in operation as normal but changes may be present as of Aug. 1.

 More details coming this morning on RiverBender.com...

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