The Moline City Council tonight will hear a first reading of an ordinance to sell the 112-year-old railroad depot to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
The state agency offered to pay the city $141,000 for the Davenport, Rock Island and Northwestern depot at 2012 River Drive. The land is needed for the new Interstate 74 bridge and the depot is in the way.
IDOT was willing to demolish the building or spend up to $1 million to buy the land and move the depot to the Western Illinois University Quad City Riverfront campus. IDOT expected Moline to cover some costs. However, a majority of aldermen last month did not support moving it and did not discuss providing the required financial assistance. If the sale passes, IDOT can demolish the building.
The Moline Preservation Society is trying to raise the $155,000 Moline needs to contribute to the relocation. The depot is a city landmark and one of three original depots left in the Quad-Cities. WIU was going to spend more than $300,000 to rehab the building and use it as a welcome center.
According to council documents, money from the sale to IDOT would go into the city's tourism fund, which provides grants to agencies and organizations that hold events. Moline bought the building in 1994 with tourism funds.
Because the proposed sale is on the agenda as a first reading, aldermen will not discuss it or vote on it. Unless the item is pulled or amended, it likely will be voted on at the Oct. 9 council meeting.
The public can address the council at the conclusion of the city council meeting.
The Moline Committee of the Whole meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. on the second floor of city hall, 619 16th St. The city council meeting immediately follows.
Agendas are available at city hall or moline.il.us.
Today is Wednesday, Aug. 20, the 232nd day of 2014. There are 133 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Quite a number of Negroes have lately been brought here by abolition offers returning from the army in violation of the laws of the state. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Miss Tillie Denkmann, of Rock Island, was making plans to accompany a Davenport family on a tour of Europe. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The German advance into Belgium was going apparently without serious check. The American ambassador at Berlin published a denial of the charge that Americans had been ill-treated in Germany. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Seventy-two members of Rock Island High School's 1939 graduating class are preparing to enter college — 34 of them at Augustana. 1964 -- 50 years ago: One of the oldest buildings in Milan, which for a number of years has housed the Milan Hotel, will be razed to make way for a modern, two-story office structure. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Some are blaming it on the sudden influx of insects and the extreme humidity. Still others say the invasion was inspired by a recent movie. But whatever the reason, the Quad-Cities is swarming with bats.