EM economic development plan gets initial approval


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Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2014, 11:01 pm
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By Anthony Watt, awatt@qconline.com
EAST MOLINE -- Aldermen at a Tuesday night committee-of-the-whole meeting gave initial approval to a strategic economic development plan.

The plan lays out some starting goals for the city, such as developing a funding stream to pay for an East Moline economic development director, creating a city marketing plan and developing a "brand identity" for East Moline, according to a report on the measure.

The vote to approve was unanimous with Ald. Helen Heiland, 1st Ward, not present.

East Moline Mayor John Thodos said the city has been without an economic director for some time because of budget constraints. The position still exists, but has not been funded.

East Moline's economic development concerns have been divided, according to Mayor Thodos and city administrator Cole O'Donnell. They handle some, while Revitalize and Develop East Moline, which help develop the plan, handles others.

"One person needs to be focused on (economic development)," Mayor Thodos said.

Mr. O'Donnell said economic development director candidates with less experience probably would start between $45,000 and $50,000. As experience increases, the pay they would expect to receive also would go up.

The economic development plan also suggests other goals for the city and some of its economic strengths. Potential goals include an assessment of housing needs and conditions and identifying cultural events and business opportunities that can be drawn from the city's diversity.

Among East Moline's assets listed in the plan are available land and property, connections to major highways and frontage along the Mississippi River.

The Bi-State Regional Commission, the special service area for the city's downtown and East Moline Main Street also helped develop the plan. The committee that created the plan now will work on developing ways to carry out its goals.

Mr. O'Donnell said aldermen will have final approval of any measures suggested in the plan. The plan still must have a final vote during a city council meeting.

The strategic economic development plan cost about $6,000 from general fund, he said.

An agreement that could have allowed development of the former Case-IH property to move forward was not presented at Tuesday's city council meeting as expected.

The River Eagle group, which includes state Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, and Dan Murphy, bought the site in 2010 for $1.5 million with plans to turn it into a $150 million multi-use development called Fountainhead of the Quad Cities.

The proposed development agreement will govern how revenue generated by the project's tax increment financing district, Port of Call, will be handled. The agreement has been under negotiation for several months.

Mr. O'Donnell said some final details are still being ironed out, and both sides needed more time.



















 




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  Today is Tuesday, Sept. 16, the 259th day of 2014. There are 106 days left in the year.

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1889 — 125 years ago: J.B. Lidders, past captain of Beardsley Camp, Sons of Veterans, returned from Paterson, N.Y., where he attended the National Sons of Veterans encampments.
1914 — 100 years ago: President Wilson announced that he had received from the imperial chancellor of Germany a noncommittal reply to his inquiry into a report that the emperor was willing to discuss terms of peace.
1939 — 75 years ago: Delegates at the Illinois Conference of the Methodist Church in Springfield voted to raise the minimum pay of ministers so that every pastor would get at least $1,000 annually.
1964 — 50 years ago: An audience of more than 2,600 persons jammed into the Davenport RKO Orpheum theater with a shoe horn feasted on a Miller-Diller evening that was a killer night. Phyllis Diller sent the audience with her offbeat humor. And send them she did! It was Miss Diller's third appearance in the Quad-Cities area.
1989 — 25 years ago: A few years ago, a vacant lot on 7th Avenue and 14th Street in Rock Island was a community nuisance. Weeds grew as high 18 inches. Today, the lot has a new face, thanks to Michael and Sheila Rind and other neighbors who helped them turn it into a park three weeks ago.





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