Posted Online: Oct. 09, 2012, 11:27 pm

Moline delays depot vote to December

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By Eric Timmons, etimmons@qconline.com

More photos from this shoot
Photo: Todd Mizener
Diann Moore, president of the Moline Preservation Society and Barb Sandberg, chairwoman of the Moline Historic Preservation Commission are key figures behind the campaign to save the old Moline train depot. The 112-year-old Davenport, Rock Island & Northwestern depot is in the way of the planned new Interstate 74 bridge.
The Moline City Council on Tuesday unanimously decided to delay a vote on the proposed sale of the old railroad depot at 2012 River Drive to the Illinois Department of Transportation until Dec. 18.

Mayor Don Welvaert said delaying the vote would provide more time for those trying to raise money to move the 112-year-old building to the Western Illinois University Riverfront Campus.

IDOT wants to move or demolish the depot as part of the proposed new Interstate 74 bridge project. It offered to spend $1 million to buy the land and move the depot to the WIU campus, if Moline covered $155,000 of the cost.

But last month Moline aldermen decided not to contribute to the project, and IDOT instead offered to buy the property for $141,000 and tear down the depot.

WIU wants to use the depot as a welcome center on its new campus and is prepared to spend $300,000 to restore it. The Moline Preservation Society has collected $30,000 in pledges toward moving the depot.

Before Tuesday's meeting, nine property owners opposed plans to create an Olde Towne Special Service Area that would include 7th Street from 12th to 19th avenues and 18th Avenue from 7th to 10th streets.

Property owners within the SSA would pay 75 cents more per $100 of assessed value next year, and a board of property owners would be created to decide how the money would be used on neighborhood improvements.

At a public hearing Tuesday, opponents said they didn't want higher property taxes, with some saying they had not received enough information from the city on the plan. They also objected to renters having a say in whether the SSA is created.

Two property owners spoke in favor of the SSA, including James Mayfield, who asked that the SSA be formed. He said the neighborhood could be improved, with property owners' suggestions, for a relatively small sum through an SSA.

According to state law, if 51 percent of property owners who are registered voters and 51 percent of registered voters living within the district, which can include renters, petition in opposition to the SSA it cannot be enacted. Mayor Welvaert said the city has received 29 objections from the 84 property owners, or 35 percent, so far.

Mayor Welvaert said there will be a 60-day review period after Tuesday's hearing before the council can vote on creating the SSA. He urged residents to contact aldermen with their questions.

Also on Tuesday, David Parker Jr. was sworn in 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.