• The online fund-raiser for the proposed Grassroots Grocery, a project that would provide locally and organically grown produce for the area, targeting lower-income entities, has reached the halfway point to its $50,000 goal.
Plans include opening the grocery in late 2014 or early 2015 on Ridge Street.
• Advanced Outsource Solutions, a new entity associated with Challenge Unlimited, plans to set up its new home in a 40,000-plus tenant space at the Alton Center Business Park.
Spokesperson Tami Anstedt says Advanced Outsource Solutions will be established as part of a business model, offering employment to people with disabilities, including veterans. She says it looks to hire 10 to 12 workers to subsidize training by the end of the year, and the company hopes to have 100 employees on staff by the end of 2015.
“We have nothing but high hopes for this,” Challenge Unlimited President and CEO Tom Moehn said.
The company will produce secondary packaging.
The city of Alton is expected to approve a redevelopment program this week, which will pave the way for the move into the business park.
• The city of Alton will enter into an agreement in which it agrees to pay half of the costs to repair a collapsed storm sewer line located at the Alton Middle School campus on College Avenue, the former site of Alton High School.
The collapse occurred on the north side of the property near Judson Avenue. The storm sewer line is estimated to be 90 years old. Sheppard, Morgan and Schwaab Inc. in Alton will draft and prepare the easement documentation.
Alton Corporation Counselor Jim Schrempf says neither the city nor the school district is admitting responsibility, and the agreement will cover all costs associated with the project.
The project has an estimated completion date of June 30, 2015, according to Public Works Director Bob Barnhart.
• Although the Alton Farmer’s Market will be finished for the season, many vendors will continue to sell produce and flowers at the new Milton Farmer’s Market.
Hosted by Maeva’s Coffee, the market will be open from 9 a.m. until noon Saturdays in the parking lot of the old Milton School at 1320 Milton Road.
The new market kicks off this Saturday, Oct. 25.
• A landlord seminar will be held at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 1. Topics include screening of prospective tenants, credit and police reports, landlord standards, sample applications and leases, and evictions. A $20 entry fee includes lunch. For more information, call (618) 462-6654.
• The city has committed to focus on battling teenage drunk driving.
Oct. 17 through 19, the Alton Police Department and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office conducted special patrols and roadside safety checks, keeping an eye out for underage drinkers.
“Driving drunk is a deadly decision and it is against the law,” Alton Police Chief Jason “Jake” Simmons said. “Designate a sober driver and always buckle up.”
The special patrols are funded by the Drug Free Alton Coalition.
• Russ Smith, owner of the new Elijah P. Burgers and Brews restaurant, says plans are to open by the end of the year.
The restaurant, which will be located downtown at 401 N. Piasa, will celebrate Alton’s history with vintage photographs and a bar from the old riverboat. Smith, who also owns Bossanova Martini Lounge in Alton, says the new endeavor will offer burgers and upscale menu items, with many of the ingredients locally grown and purchased.