The future of Moline's historic depot remains uncertain.|
At the Moline City Council's committee-of-the-whole meeting Tuesday night, several aldermen said they don't want to spend money to help move the historic Davenport, Rock Island & Northwestern depot to the Western Illinois University Riverfront campus.
The council discussed but took no action on an agreement that calls for moving the depot at 2021 River Drive, which is in the path of the planned new Interstate 74 bridge project, to WIU in Moline.
The agreement among the city, Federal Highway Administration, Illinois Department of Transportation, WIU and the Illinois State Historic Preservation Office calls for demolishing the Knights of Pythias building, also in the project's path, and moving the depot to WIU.
Moline economic development manager Patrick Burke said the city's cost under the agreement would be about $290,000, or $20,000 more than earlier estimated, of the $1.3 million project. He noted Moline should receive $140,000 from IDOT for the property.
Although the agreement states the move should be completed by Sept. 30, 2014, Mr. Burke said the date could be negotiated.
Ald. John Knaack, 1st Ward, said he had reservations about spending money on the project when the city is asking employees to take cuts. He said he believes the city should use the $140,000 for its budget.
Alds. Sean Liddell, 7th Ward, and Stephanie Acri, at-large, also didn't want to spend money on the project. "I just think it would not be the best use of city funds at this time," Ald. Liddell said after the meeting.
Barb Sandberg of Moline's Historic Preservation Commission told the council that, when it comes to a historic property, "once it's gone, it's gone." She called the depot a gem that another gem -- WIU -- wants.
"Sometimes money isn't the only thing you want to think about," she said. "Think about tomorrow, not just today."
Under the agreement, IDOT would spend up to $1 million to buy the depot property from the city, do any needed environmental cleanup and fund the move of the building and design and construction of a structural foundation to support it at the WIU site.
Moline would pay for plumbing and electrical mechanical systems, disconnect and reconnect utilities and coordinate the move. WIU would provide a permanent site for the depot and rehabilitate and maintain the building, with the cooperation of the state historic officer. WIU's cost is listed at $358,800.
After the meeting, Mr. Burke said he now will contact IDOT and WIU to see if they want to spend more money to make moving the depot possible. He added the depot still could be demolished instead of moved.
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