LOCAL FOOTBALL SCORING UPDATES PRESENTED BY THE HUNGRY HOBO:

Fareway files papers for Audubon rezoning


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Posted Online: May 15, 2013, 6:45 pm
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By Eric Timmons, etimmons@qconline.com
Fareway officials submitted an application Wednesday to have the Audubon School site rezoned so it can build a grocery store on the property.

Fareway has yet to buy the former elementary school from the Rock Island/Milan School District for the agreed price of $475,000 but recently extended its option to purchase the property until August.

The application from the Iowa-based retailer to rezone the site for commercial use will go to Rock Island's planning commission on June 4, according to Jeff Eder, the city's economic development director.

The commission will vote on the application to rezone and make a recommendation to the city council, which makes the final decision.

Former mayoral candidate David Levin sits on the planning commission and also is the real estate agent representing Fareway on the property.He will not vote on June 4 but said he will speak before the vote in favor of the zoning change.

At Monday's city council meeting, aldermen voted 6-1 to overturn a decision by the Rock Island Preservation Commission to assign landmark status to the old school.

Mr. Levin said Fareway was pleased by the council's decision."The community has spoken very loudly and clearly that they want a grocery store," he said.

However, there was little evidence of that support from the public at the council meeting, where more than a dozen people spoke against the plan to demolish Audubon.

Residents who want to save the old school have launched a website to protest plans to demolish the building, and the page has 214 supporters. Some also have posted messages of protest on Fareway's social media page.

Ald. Kate Hotle, 5th Ward, provided the sole vote against repealing landmark status for Audubon at Monday's meeting. She said an overwhelming majority of calls from residents of the 5th Ward, where the building is located, want the building preserved.

Ald. David Conroy, 2nd Ward, pointed out at the meeting that the last time the city intervened to save an old school it did not end well.

The city bought the former Lincoln School in 2007 for $53,000, and, when no plan to redevelop it came forth, paid more than $444,000 to demolish the building last year.

Rock Island school officials are hoping the sale to Fareway goes through.

School district superintendent Mike Oberhaus said keeping Audubon empty and maintaining the grounds costs the district $30,000 a year.

The building closed as a school in 2010, and Mr. Oberhaus said no offers were received for the building in the two years it was on the market before Fareway expressed interest.

Calls to Fareway's corporate communications in Boone, Iowa, were not returned on Wednesday.























 



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  Today is Monday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2014. There are 100 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The board of education has granted Thursday as a holiday for the children, with the expectation that parents who desire to have their children attend the Scott County Fair will do so on that day and save irregularity the rest of the week.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The guard fence around the new cement walk at the Harper House has been removed. The blocks are diamond shape, alternating in black and white.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Rev. R.B. Williams, former pastor of the First Methodist Church, Rock Island, was named superintendent of the Rock Island District.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Abnormally high temperatures and lack of rainfall in Illinois during the past week have speeded maturing of corn and soybean crops.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Installation of a new television system in St. Anthony's Hospital, which includes a closed circuit channel as well as the three regular Quad-Cities channels, has been completed and now is in operation.
1989 -- 25 years ago: When the new Moline High School was built in 1958, along with it were plans to construct a football field in the bowl near 34th Street on the campus. Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 years later, the Moline Board of Education Athletic Board sent the ball rolling toward the possible construction of that field by asking superintendent Richard Hennigan to take to the board of education a proposal to hire a consultant.






(More History)