Monmouth creates business district for Love’s Travel Stop

The Monmouth City Council approved a number of ordinances Monday night to create, annex, and tax a parcel of land that will be the home of a Love’s Travel Stop.

Aldermen approved the creation of a special business district on the site Love’s will sit on and annexed it into the city.

City Manager Lew Steinbrecher tells WGIL that aldermen also approved imposing a one percent sales tax on Love’s to aid in the reimbursement of infrastructure upgrades that the chain will do to get the property ready for business to operate.

“They need to do three major infrastructure improvements. They have to completely reconstruct West 11th Avenue to support the heavy truck traffic,” Steinbrecher said. “And then there’s no water or sewer to this site and so they will incur costs to extend the city’s water and sewer utilities to this property.”

Since Love’s is fronting the cost of all the infrastructure work the lower sales tax will pay back the company for the work that the city would normally be responsible for.

No action was taken Monday night by the Monmouth City Council on bids for street improvements.

Two companies responded to a request for bids to resurface two-point-two miles of road in mostly residential areas of town.

Brandt Construction of Milan and Gunther Construction of Galesburg submitted bids that were far higher than what the engineering cost estimates came in at with the low bid from Brandt being 35-percent higher than the estimated amount.

Brandt’s bid was $955,187.50 while Gunther’s was $1,237,275.75.

Steinbrecher says that the plan is to go forward with Brandt Construction and find ways to bring the total cost down closer to the estimated amount.

“Because the price came in — what we’re doing is we’re going back to the low bidder and negotiating with them to remove some of the blocks that we’ve identified to bring that number down closer to the $750,000.”

The council also approved preliminary engineering work to be done on the city’s downtown sewer infrastructure. City staff told aldermen that the sewer infrastructure was around 120 years old and had numerous issues.

It was recommended that the city pursue the upgrade because of a low-interest USDA loan that would cover the costs, and the indication was 40-75 percent of the loan would be forgiven.

The council approved the engineering work from the city’s primary public works engineer, Woodard and Curran, at a cost of $40,000 dollars.

Aldermen also approved a lease buyout for a cell phone tower on city property. The city was making $18,000 a year on a 50-year lease for the property. Now they’ll be paid a lump sum of $291,000.

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