Rochelle News-Leader | City approves interim purchase of Johnson Tractor building for $ 1.3 million
ROCHELLE – The City of Rochelle municipal council unanimously approved the interim purchase of the Johnson Tractor building at 1030 S. 7th St. for $ 1.3 million at its meeting on Monday.
The building project is to bring together the equipment and supplies of Rochelle Municipal Utilities. The offices will also be used by city and RMU staff and consolidate these operations into a reduced number of buildings for city and RMU operations. The estimated price of the building was $ 1.255 million. City manager Jeff Fiegenschuh advised council to increase the amount to no more than $ 1.3 million to cover potential closing costs.
The purchase will be financed by a loan from Holcomb Bank and will be repaid over a period not exceeding five years. The repayment of the loan will be shared between the various utilities using this property.
The interest rate for the purchase will be 2.1%, the lowest of quotes received by the city, going up to 2.96% for 4-5 year repayment offers. Fiegenschuh suggested a term of 4 years to pay approximately $ 316,000 per year with total interest over the term of the loan of $ 64,583.
Each department will pay one of the four years of payment including water, sewerage, electricity and the general city fund.
“The idea is to consolidate operations in one place,” Fiegenschuh said. “We will have electricity, water and water recovery. I would love to see part of the city side and potentially the engineering there. There are opportunities to consolidate more operations in one place.
Fiegenschuh said the plan is to sell the buildings that will be vacated by the move. The second phase of the purchase has yet to be approved at a later stage and if there are “significant results” before that date, the city will not go ahead with the purchase, Fiegenschuh said.
“We will make sure that it looks good because it is in the southern corridor of our city and it is one of the corridors that we are starting to devote more time and attention to,” Fiegenschuh said. “It’s a great location and I think it will suit all of our operations.
The town has $ 87,000 in its building improvement fund from the sale of the property across from town hall at Kennay Farms Distilling. If any improvements were to be made to the Johnson Tractor building, that money would be used.
Mayor John Bearrows said he was in favor of the purchase because of the departments’ ease of helping each other and sharing equipment. He would like to see the street service set up at some point on the road as well.
“We may have to consider building on another building to bring them in,” Bearrows said. “By the time you move the rest of the gear over there, you’ll need to have something else to put it in. It makes sense to have it in one place. If we have a breakdown, the trucks on the RMU line are stuck between the tracks if you have a time when the trains are on both. This is not conducive to a good response time. I think it’s a big move.
Purchase of railway extension
The city unanimously approved the purchase of 18.85 acres of land for $ 35,000 per acre at a total cost of $ 659,750 to expand its industrial development capabilities and increase the revenues the city derives from the system. railway.
The city bought the land from GREDCO on a 4-year zero percent interest payment plan. The annual payment would be $ 164,937.50 and will be due one year from the date of the purchase contract.
Sections of this strip of rail property have been purchased by the city over the past 18 years as the need for rail services has increased with the development of rail-served industries in the Southeast Industrial Corridor, said the director of the City Economic Development, Jason Anderson.
“One of the things that is part of the plan is that we will be able to park up to three miles of train at a time. What makes our area very attractive is that we’re going to have up to three miles of track without a level crossing. It will be very beneficial for us to market that.
“We found that to be true, the more lead there was, the more revenue there was,” Anderson said. “The more tracks we have to accommodate trains and the more trains serve industries, the more income we have. I’m excited about it.
Deputy City Manager / City Clerk Sue Messer gave a presentation on the city’s new Citizens’ Academy program at Monday’s meeting.
The 10-week program offers the opportunity to discover the city and its different departments. Participants will go behind the scenes to learn how the city works through hands-on activities, facility tours and more.
Sessions will take place every Thursday from August 26 to October 28 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at various facilities across the city. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and agree to attend at least eight of the 10 sessions.
The program is free and the sessions will include a free meal. Applications are available at City Hall, on the city’s website at www.cityofrochelle.net and on its Facebook page. The deadline for submitting an application is July 22, 2021. Class size is limited to 20 participants.
“Maybe there is interest in it,” Messer said. “And that would be worth something. I know some of our newer board members haven’t had some of these opportunities. It would be great for someone to put their toes in the water and see if it’s something they might like. This could increase our pool of volunteers for future community events.
City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh honored Director of Marketing, Public Relations and Tourism Jenny Thompson for her Masters of Public Administration with a Good News Award.
The board unanimously approved Bearrows’ appointments to committees which included Mike Myers (planning and zoning term expiring in 2026), Mitch Montgomery (police and fire board expiring in 2024), Jim May (advising on stormwater expiring in 2024), Dennis Stewart and Bob Johns (both golf course advisory boards expire in 2024) and Joel Thompson (trucking advisory boards expire in 2024).
“We still have a few openings if anyone wants to apply for some of the other committees,” Bearrows said. “Planning and zoning, stormwater advisories, airport and utility advisories all have openings. “