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ROCK ISLAND — Five new economic development agreements passed by the Rock Island City Council Monday night are expected to spur $13 million in investment to the city.

If the maximum incentive is reached for all five investors, the city will have invested $1.98 million over the next 10 years. The agreements all passed on a 7-0 vote. Alderman Dylan Parker participated via teleconference.

A common theme the council members heard from the business owners is how they wanted to continue to grow in the city.

Kevin Nolan, president and CEO of Ecogistics, said he brought his business and his family back from Memphis, Tenn., 8 1/2 years ago to Rock Island.

The business has grown from just himself to running out of room in his current building to house all his employees.

“My personal family has lived in Rock Island for 120 years,” Nolan said. “I’m from Rock Island, and I’m going to stay in Rock Island. You can either help others or help your own, and I choose to help my own.”

Mayor Mike Thoms said it took a group effort from city staff to make the development agreements happen.

Thoms thanked community economic and development director Chandler Poole, city manager Randy Tweet, director of finance Stephanie Mason. He said he didn’t want to toot his own horn but that the four of them worked well together.

“It wasn’t one individual, it wasn’t one department, it was a group,” “That’s what it takes is good teamwork, and now to finalize that teamwork is the city council with positive votes.”

Alderman Stephen Tollenaer said the mayor was being “a little humble tonight” by not giving himself enough credit for landing the deals. He said Thoms was there “everyday, all day.”

“I think the mayor deserves a lot of the success we just witnessed here tonight,” Tollenaer said.

In other business:

  • Before the economic developments, the city voted to approve the fiscal year 2019 budget and tax levy increase of 2.9 percent. The final vote was 5-2, with aldermen Virgil Mayberry and Tollenaer voting against both.
  • An increase to the city’s fuel tax was approved unanimously. The new rate will go from 3 cents to 5 cents per gallon.
  • Mayberry announced that he was running for re-election. He said there were things in the second ward, which he represents, that he would like to see fulfilled.


Gerold is a reporter for

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