Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2013, 5:38 pm

Panel recomments letting Moline annex site of future airport hotel

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By Eric Timmons, etimmons@qconline.com

AMetropolitan Airport Authority committee has recommended moving ahead with an agreement to allow the city of Moline to annex a site near the airport where a new hotel is planned.

The annexation will allow city infrastructure to be connected to the proposed Holiday Inn Express near the entrance to the airport.The airport's planning committee approved the agreement at a meeting Friday, but the proposal still requires approval by the full airport board and Moline's City Council.

The site where the hotel is expected to be built is under Rock Island County's jurisdiction and the county board last month approved its part of the annexation agreement.

As part of the agreement, Moline would continue giving the county hotel-motel tax to help support Niabi Zoo.

The annexation agreement also would see the existing Hampton Inn annexed by the city.

Moline's city council is expected to discuss the annexation agreement at Tuesday's council meeting.

The airport's planning committee also approved a proposal Friday to develop a plan to automate the airport's parking booths, which would save the airport about $276,000 a year, according to
Bryan Johnson, airport assistant director of aviation.

The airport has a contract with a private firm to staff parking booths, Mr. Johnson said, adding that about70 percent of parking payments are made with credit cards already.

The planning committee recommended to the full airport board, which meets next week, that Wilson Parking Consultants of Chicago be hired to study how to implement an automated parking system.

It would take the consultants three to five months to complete the study and make recommendations for an estimated fee of $41,000, Mr. Johnson said.

The planning committee also recommended that the full board approve a $165,000 agreement to buy the Oldefest property on the west side of the airport off 69th Avenue.

The one-acre site contains a single-family home that would be torn down if the purchase is approved, said the airport's director of aviation Bruce Carter.