BELLEVILLE, IL (KMOX) – The Belleville City Council narrowly approved a measure to give tax increment financing (TIF) to Kroger for building a new grocery store in the city.
The vote was 8 to 7, and Alderwoman Lillian Schneider was one who voted no.
“Kroger is a very large company and if they want to come, I think they should come on their own accords,” she said. “We shouldn’t be paying companies to come to our city, they should want to come to our city and say ‘this is a great city.'”
Schneider especially dislikes the fact that Kroger is only promising twelve full-time equivalencies, meaning they will hire mostly part-time workers. “You take a family where mother and father are working and all they get it part-time work. It’s very hard for them to survive.”
Kroger will be building a “Ruler Foods” which is its discount brand. Kroger promises annual sales of more than $5 million per year.
Those in favor say the site has been sitting vacant for six years, and any development is better than nothing. Belleville will be giving Kroger $200,000 dollars in TIF funds.