Sept. 03--NORMAL -- The Normal City Council has approved selling nearly 14 acres of surplus property near Mitsubishi Motors North America to a company planning to build a re-bar bending operation.
Council members Tuesday night also approved up to $200,000 in tax increment financing money for Illinois Construction LLC to develop a parking lot at a former gas station site.
The surplus property on Merle Lane is part of the land the town bought in the mid-1980s for the then-Diamond-Star Motors Auto plant. The plant used all but about 50 acres. The rest has been sold for other developments; only the 13.97-acre parcel remains.
The council approved selling that tract to Thornton Rave Steel Fabrication LLC of Bloomignton for $190,000. The re-bar operation will serve road construction projects in Illinois, Missouri and Indiana.
Council members also approved the TIF money request by Illinois Construction LLC for a 67-space parking lot at 702 and a portion of 704 S. Main St. The lot, which already is under construction, will be used by tenants of a planned apartment complex at 603 and 605 S. Main St.
Councilman Scott Preston asked if it was usual to have a request for TIF money come in after a project had started. City Manager Mark Peterson said it was unusual, but there were unusual circumstances.
The town negotiated a development agreement with Illinois Construction two months ago and then the company made some some ownership changes. A contractor already had been hired and the company would have had to pay a premium to hold the contract, he said.
"They started work with the hope the pact would be adopted by the council," he said. "It's clearly an eligible expense under TIF."
In another matter, the council approved a one-year extension on its contract with Peterson. The agreement give Peterson a 2.5 percent raise, bringing his salary to $178,450. The new pact extends his contract to March 31, 2017.
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