Posted Online: Oct. 08, 2012, 6:58 pm
Raes hopes to bump depot vote from Moline council's agenda
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By Dawn Neuses, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Moline City Council is scheduled on Tuesday night to vote on the sale of the 112-year-old railroad depot to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
But Ald. Scott Raes, 3rd Ward, said he hopes to get the item pulled from the budget or the vote tabled.
If the sale were approved, IDOT would pay Moline $141,000 for the The Davenport, Rock Island and Northwestern depot at 2012 River Drive, which has to be moved to make way for the new I-74 bridge.
Because the depot is a local landmark, IDOT offered to spend up to $1 million to buy the land and move the depot to the Western Illinois University Quad City Riverfront campus, if the city covered some of the costs.
Last month, the city council decided not to spend the $155,000 to move the depot. If the sale is approved, IDOT can demolish the building. WIU is willing to spend more than $300,000 to restore the depot and make it a welcome center on the campus.
Ald. Raes said he doubts aldermen will change their mind. He and Ald. Lori Turner, 5th Ward, support relocation of the depot. However, Ald. Turner will be absent from Tuesday's meeting.
Ald. Raes said he will ask Mayor Don Welvaert to pull the item from the city council agenda. If the mayor declines, Ald. Raes will try to get it tabled until next week so he and Ald. Turner both have the chance to offer their thoughts.
Ald. Raes said he wants to give the Moline Preservation Society time to raise the $155,000. The proposed contract with IDOT gives the city until Sept. 14, 2014, to get the depot moved.
The city bought the depot in 1994 with money from the tourism fund. Because of that, the $141,000 from IDOT has to be used to promote or support tourism.
Diann Moore, president of the Moline Preservation Society, said it has collected about $30,000 in pledges, and people from across the Quad-Cities are expressing concern about potential demolition of the depot.
"I hope the council grants us an extension to give us time to raise the money," she said, adding that once restored, the depot would be a tourism attraction.
Ms. Moore planned to send aldermen an email before tonight's meeting to let them know how fundraising is going and to ask for an extension to raise the remaining money.
In other business, Mayor Don Welvaert is expected to appoint David Parker Jr., as 2nd Ward alderman to fill the unexpired term of Richard Meredith, who moved out of the ward. Mr. Parker's term will expire April 30, 2013.
A public hearing is planned at 6:30 p.m. on the proposed Olde Towne Special Service Area. The hearing will be followed by the committee-of-the-whole meeting, then the city council meeting.
The hearing and meetings will be in council chambers on the second floor of city hall, 619 16th St.
Agendas are available at city hall or moline.il.us.