Moline Centre Main Street to move under chamber umbrella


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Posted Online: July 09, 2013, 11:05 pm
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By Dawn Neuses, dneuses@qconline.com
MOLINE -- The Moline City Council voted Tuesday to have the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce take over a program that assists downtown businesses and promotes growth.

As part of the one-year contract, the city will pay the chamber $142,660 to administer, oversee and coordinate the Moline Centre Main Street Program.

The program focuses on downtown revitalization and rehabilitation and assists business and property owners with things such as marketing, events, facade improvement, landscaping and streetscaping.

Moline Centre Main Street was created in 2009 and became a division under the city in 2010. The program -- including staff, activities and marketing -- is funded in large part from two downtown Special Service Areas, according to the city's Fiscal 2013 budget.

Property owners within the two SSAs pay additional property taxes that can be spent only within to benefit their district.

Ray Forsythe, director of planning and development, said Monday that money from the general fund and the downtown tax-increment-finance district also supports the Main Street program, and the city will save money.

The city had two employees dedicated to the Main Street program and the SSAs, but one recently resigned. According to the contract, the chamber will offer employment to the remaining city employee.

The city council voted on the contract without discussion, and it never was discussed publicly at a committee-of-the-whole meeting. Mr. Forsythe said the employment aspect was discussed in closed session, as allowed by state statute.

The rest of the details in the nine-page contract were not discussed byaldermen in closed session, Mr. Forsythe said. The council only learned of those details when they received the agenda, Mr. Forsythe and city attorney Maureen Riggs said.

In other business:

-- The city council agreed to be the lead agency in the relocation of the historic DRI & NW Depot to the Western Illinois University Riverfront Campus.

The city-owned depot at 2012 River Drive is a local landmark. It needs to be moved to make room for the planned Interstate 74 bridge and ramps. The Illinois Department of Transportation asked Moline to lead the project and agreed to pay $1.35 million toward the move and reimburse the city the cost of hiring an engineering firm.

-- Aldermen, sitting as the committee of the whole, unanimously voted to support expansion of the Enterprise Zone for a planned Holiday Inn Express at 2300 69th Ave.

Once the expansion is approved by the other municipalities participating in the zone -- Silvis, Milan, East Moline and Rock Island County -- the developer becomes eligible for state and local incentives.

Those incentives include waived building-permit fees and an exemption from paying sales tax on building materials purchased in Illinois.

-- Aldermen approved a $994,749 bid from Valley Construction for road work on 12th Avenue from 19th to 34th streets. The work is expected to begin this fall.





















 



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