City, Depot Commission look to invest funds in foundation


AMBOY — Looking at a cost of more than $500,000 for restoration of the Amboy Depot Museum, the Amboy Depot Commission proposed to the city council about moving its endowment funds for the museum to a non-profit foundation.

The Amboy City Council met for its monthly meeting on Monday, April 19 in the Amboy Community Building. Alderman Brett Dewey and Bill Bontz were absent.

On the agenda under new business was an action item for the Depot Commission to invest its funds into the Starved Rock Community Foundation.

During the committee meeting the city council held on April 5, they were introduced to the Starved Rock Community Foundation, which is an organization for non-profit donations with a tax deductible status. 

According to the Starved Rock Community Foundation’s website, the foundation was founded on Oct. 1, 2015 and its mission is to match people who care with causes that matter. 

The foundation helps donors choose the best gifting strategy and simplify giving choices for the donors. 

The foundation also invests donor’s money to grow in perpetuity to protect the future of the entire Starved Rock country region. 

The council was told on April 5, that through the foundation, there are many ways for donors to donate including using the website and apps, and that each donation will get a thank you and also tax deductible paperwork. The council was also told that the endowment funds would be completely covered and insured. 

 Amboy Depot Commissioner Linda Disney told the council on April 5, that they have revied the engineers report regarding the costs to restore the museum and the highest bid was $600,000. Cost for a temporary fix would be around $50,000.

In regards to transferring the funds to Starved Rock Community Foundation, during the April 19 meeting, Amboy City Attorney Matt Keegan said first, the city had to make sure it had the authority to transfer money from the trust to the foundation. Then, he said, it becomes political. 

“Does the city want to give up control of the funds,” Keegan said, adding it’s the city’s decision to make. He added if the city agrees to give up control of the funds, then is Starved Rock Community Foundation the right candidate for the funds.

Disney said that with the Starved Rock Community Foundation people would be able to donate to a 501c and that donors would know that the money donated would be going to the museum and not something else in the city.

Keegan said playing devil’s advocate, that the city is responsible for the museum and what if there is a conflict over what the Starved Rock Community Foundation would do with the funds as opposed to what the city would do with the funds. He added that this would be another organization involved that the city doesn’t have control over.

The board tabled the action item of transferring the funds to the Starved Rock Community Foundation. 

Nuisance List/Violations

Amboy Police Officer Lisa Hart presented a list to the city council of 60 addresses that have been served for nuisance violations. These violations include inoperable vehicles and some form of property clean-up needed.

She told the council that she has had some compliance but the people who haven’t complied, haven’t for many years.

Amboy Mayor John Schamberger asked Hart how many of those listed should the city take legal action against. Hart recommended eight property owners. 

Keegan told the council that there is no fast tracking when it comes to taking residents to court for the violations. 

“It won’t get better unless we spend some money,” Alderman Frank Stenzel said.

Schamberger said to move forward with legal action against these eight property owners and asked Hart to do a follow-up at every meeting. 

The next Amboy City Council meeting will be held at 7 p.m., on Monday, May 17, in the Amboy Community Building.

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