Cheers to the city of Rock Island and Renaissance Rock Island on the grand opening Friday or the Shoppes on 2nd, Rock Island's new retail incubator. The incubator will nurture start-up businesses and provide each with the ability to build up clientele in hopes of the business growing into a storefront business.|
The city put up $300,000 in tax increment financing funds to help establish the incubator and Renaissance Rock Island provided additional funding for construction, marketing and programming for the building.
The building, located on the corner of 17th Street and 2nd Ave., had been empty more than 10 years. The renovated building now has a very urban look with interior glass, exposed brick walls, industrial lighting and high ceilings. Retail spaces are defined by corrugated steel walls with a stainless finish. The six retail spaces range in size from 280 to 595 square feet. The first year's rent for the smallest space is $228.13 a month, while the largest is $364.20 a month for the first year.
Rent is based on square footage and is subsidized 60 percent the first year, 40 percent the second, 20 percent the third year and will be market rate thereafter. Rent includes utilities, maintenance, janitorial services, joint programming and marketing. Businesses are welcome to stay at market-rate lease rates or move on to a different space.
Jeers to the Davenport Airport Commission, the city, and Ken Hopper, promoter of the Quad City Air Show. Mr. Hopper is upset because the airport commission wants to more than double rental of the airport for the air show from $9,300 a year to $25,000 for the next three years. The commission contends the rate has been well below the going rental rate for some time.
The city, in addition to renting the airport, has been covering other expenses such as damages to the grass and police and fire overtime with funds from the hotel/motel tax. On the other hand, the air show brings thousands of visitors to town, fills hotels and restaurants and generates hotel/motel, sales tax, gas taxes and other revenues. Everyone involved needs sits down and works out a deal that meets the needs of everyone -- to the benefit of the community.
Cheers to several Quad-Citians who went the extra mile to the benefit of others. Kudos to the village of Milan for making the effort to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of three police officers at the board meeting this week. Officers Rick Ward and Mark Rumley were presented Life Saving Awards for their life-saving efforts on April 9. Detective Chris George received the Department Commendation Award for noticing an unoccupied suspicious vehicle in the business area which led to the arrest of an individual who was a suspect in an armed robbery. Sometimes we tend to take for granted the work our public safety workers do while often putting their own lives in danger.
Also falling into this category are Anitz Esparza, a carrier for this newspaper, and East Moline Officer Brad Van Houtte. Ms. Esparza, delivering papers in the early morning hours Monday, noticed a house on fire and called 911 while warning neighbors. Officer VanHoutte, the first to arrive on the scene, kicked in the back door of the house on fire and rescued an 83-year-old woman who had fallen in the house and couldn't walk and was trying to call for help. The woman was taken to Genesis Illini Campus for treatment.
Jeers to a Bloomington photographer, Benjamin Sangraal, charged with seven counts of child pornography for allegedly taking pictures of at least two middle school boys urinating in an Orion school restroom. Mr. Sangraal's attorney questioned whether media cameras would be allowed in the courtroom for the trial. Somehow someone charged with doing what he supposedly did with a camera challenging the legal use of cameras in the courtroom …. well, we just don't know what to say to that.