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 Sunday, March 9, the 68th day of 2014. There are 297 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Much damage is being done to sidewalks, shade trees, fences and gardens by hogs that are running at large about town. 1889 -- 125 years ago: H.C. Cleveland was elected air knight captain of Rock Island Division Uniform Rank Knights of Pythias. 1914 -- 100 years ago: B.W. Wilson, authority on birds and their habits, spoke at the weekly luncheon at the Rock Island Club. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The famous Dionne quintuplets have been invited to visit King George and Queen Elizabeth in Toronto on May 22, but Papa Dionne thinks their majesties should include the Callander nursery in their tour. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Ever been smothered by funny stuff? Well more than 2,600 people were last night when two boys named Tom and Dick Smothers took a "rocky, twisting road to folk music" in Davenport Masonic Temple. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Moline residents soon may be asked to recycle part of their garbage and might even get paid for it.