RI council delays vote on returning federal money

Posted Online: July 14, 2014, 11:04 pm
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By Eric Timmons, etimmons@qconline.com
ROCK ISLAND - Aldermen on Monday decided against voting on a proposal for the city to return most of a $1.5 million check to the federal government.

City officials recommended the council not move forward with a plan to develop a new business park off Andalusia Road.

In 2011, the U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded the city a $1.5 million grant for the project. If the council chooses to abandon the project, the city would have to return the money.

A proposal on Monday's agenda to discontinue the project was withdrawn after council members asked for more time to consider it.

Jeff Eder, the city's economic development director, said Rock Island has retained a majority of the $1.5 million grant, with only a small portion spent on engineering and other costs. If the remainder of the money is returned to the federal government, the city will not face any penalties or restrictions on applying for future funding, Mr. Eder said.

Developing infrastructure at the proposed Ridgewood Business Park would cost close to $3 million. Even with the grant funding, the city has only $2.3 million budgeted.

Demand to fill the business park is not strong enough to justify spending $700,000 on the project, city officials said, in their recommendation to scrap it.

Mr. Eder said council members had asked that the proposal be withdrawn from Monday's agenda until a later date to allow further consideration. There was no discussion of the project by aldermen at Monday's meeting.

Also on Monday, a request for a special-use permit from attorney Delores Tapia to continue allowing her to use her home at 801 44th St. for her law practice was withdrawn.

City planning staff had found the plan for the business might be "too intense" for the residential area because of a lack of off-street parking for clients. Ms. Tapia withdrew her application but may return with a modified plan at later date.


Local events heading

  Today is Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: A corps of surgeons now occupies the new hospital quarters at the Garrison Hospital on the Rock Island Arsenal. A fence has been installed to enclose the prison hospital.
1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post .
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Quad City Civic Center captured the excitement and interest of a convention of auditorium managers this weekend in Reno, Nev. Bill Adams, civic center authority chairman, said the 10,000-seat arena planned for downtown Moline has caught the eye of construction firms, suppliers, management teams and concession groups.

(More History)