The sale of the Iowa Welcome Center in LeClaire is moving forward after two public hearings approved the purchase agreement this week.
Markman Peat, a Davenport-based sand and soil company, wants to use the building as its new corporate headquarters. Closing is tentatively scheduled by Nov. 21
The Mississippi Valley Welcome Board had sought $625,000 for the building and its eight-acre lot. Markman Peat Corp has submitted an offer of $550,000, with a request for tax abatements of 80 percent the first five years, reducing to 20 percent by the ninth year.
LeClaire Mayor Bob Scannell said the city council on Monday night approved the sale under those terms by a 3-1 vote, with the lone dissenter, Terri Applegate, not citing a reason for the no vote.
"I think it's a win-win situation for the city," said Mayor Scannell. "We'll get an established company that will bring in more than jobs, and they'll have salesmen using local hotels and restaurants. They're paying a good price too."
On Thursday, the Scott County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the sale of the center to Markman Peat. There were no comments from the public or board members.
Increased use of the Internet and GPS systems led to fewer visitors for the Welcome Center, prompting its closure in December 2011. The escalating operation and maintenance costs prompted the decision to sell the facility.
"Since the convention and visitor's bureau terminated the program, we've been left with an empty building," said Tim Huey, Director of Planning and Zoning for Scott County, who also is on the Mississippi Valley Welcome Board."There have been no state funds dedicated to it."
The center was jointly owned by Scott County and LeClaire, Bettendorf and Davenport. To facilitate its sale, Bettendorf and Davenport officials transferred their ownership of the building to Scott County in November 2011.
Today is Saturday, May 25, the 145th day of 2013. There are 220 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: The annual review of the fire department of this city took placeyesterday and made a fine showing with machines and hose carts in tip-top order. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Last night's prayer meeting at Central Presbyterian Church wascalled off due to water in the basement, residue of last week's flood. 1913 -- 100 years ago: The junior class of Rock Island High School will hold a riverexcursion on the steamer St. Paul next Tuesday. 1938 -- 75 years ago: The 75th Anniversary of the Rock Island Arsenal today finds thenation's largest ordinance manufacturing plant filling many important orders for the army. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Miss Patrice Daly, Rock Island, a senior at Rock Island HighSchool, won second place in the recent state public speaking contest held in Peoria underthe auspices of the Knights of Pythias. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Hampton's sesquicentennial committee and the Hampton HistoricalSociety have scheduled a full slate of activities, which will be held throughout the year, to celebrate the village's 150th birthday. The first celebration will be the Memorial Dayprogram at 10 a.m. May 30, at the Brettun and Black Store Museum on River Road. Therewill be a sesquicentennial display.