The Moline City Council tonight will hear a first reading of an ordinance to sell the 112-year-old railroad depot to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
The state agency offered to pay the city $141,000 for the Davenport, Rock Island and Northwestern depot at 2012 River Drive. The land is needed for the new Interstate 74 bridge and the depot is in the way.
IDOT was willing to demolish the building or spend up to $1 million to buy the land and move the depot to the Western Illinois University Quad City Riverfront campus. IDOT expected Moline to cover some costs. However, a majority of aldermen last month did not support moving it and did not discuss providing the required financial assistance. If the sale passes, IDOT can demolish the building.
The Moline Preservation Society is trying to raise the $155,000 Moline needs to contribute to the relocation. The depot is a city landmark and one of three original depots left in the Quad-Cities. WIU was going to spend more than $300,000 to rehab the building and use it as a welcome center.
According to council documents, money from the sale to IDOT would go into the city's tourism fund, which provides grants to agencies and organizations that hold events. Moline bought the building in 1994 with tourism funds.
Because the proposed sale is on the agenda as a first reading, aldermen will not discuss it or vote on it. Unless the item is pulled or amended, it likely will be voted on at the Oct. 9 council meeting.
The public can address the council at the conclusion of the city council meeting.
The Moline Committee of the Whole meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. on the second floor of city hall, 619 16th St. The city council meeting immediately follows.
Agendas are available at city hall or moline.il.us.