©2011 Galesburg Broadcasting Co.
|City Council Approves Kohl's Deal, With Some Opposition
|Every member of the Galesburg City Council said they were pleased major department store retailer Kohl's is coming to town, but at least some don't like the alleged sweetheart deal they were given in order to sign on the dotted line.
The Galesburg City Council voted 5-3 Monday night in favor of a package of economic incentives to get Kohl's to locate in town -- specifically, one-point-two million dollars in sales tax breaks.
That didn't sit well with Third Ward Alderman Russell Fleming.
"I just hope the city doesn't use this as a model to entice other retailers," Fleming said.
Residents Mike Kroll and David Roknich also spoke to alderman about the incentives -- Rocknich calling it a "corporate giveaway;" and Kroll calling it a "bribe."
Kroll says nothing against Kohl's, he just doesn't like those types of deals.
"By and large, I think [those deals] are a squandering of resources," Kroll said. "In the case of retail, I think it's absolute madness to do incentives for retailers. The vast majority of retailers -- and I have no doubt it includes Kohl's -- don't locate in a community unless they have done their own research, and met their own criteria for a store to be successful at that location."
"What the city has, what the citizens of Galesburg have before them, is a one-sided corporate argument," Roknich said. "There's been no argument made for the citizens of Galesburg. And, what the citizens of this town need, for economic development is not a corporate giveaway."
A Kohl's official told aldermen, though, that due to the current economic recession, they won't build new stores unless incentives are provided, and Mayor Sal Garza claims the incentives given were on the low end of what the city was willing to offer.
Groundbreaking on the new Kohl's is expected in the spring, with the store opening at Seminary Square in the fall.
|07 06 11 by Newsroom
Click here for the WGIL News Archive
Click here for national news
The following provision applies to all visitors (which shall include persons and representatives of legal entities, whether such representatives are persons or digital engines of a kind that crawls, indexes, scrapes, copies, stores or transmits digital content). By accessing this Web site or digital service, you specifically acknowledge and agree that: (i) Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium; (ii) No Associated Press materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use; (iii) The Associated Press will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing; (iv) The Associated Press is an intended third party beneficiary of these terms and conditions and it may exercise all rights and remedies available to it; and (v) The Associated Press reserves the right to audit possible unauthorized commercial use of AP materials or any portion thereof at any time.