Rock Island weighs company's request to buy Hauberg Center
The Rock Island City Council reviewed a presentation Feb 8 on its options concerning Hauberg Center.
The city has received a bid to purchase the historic property from Bridges Catering. Company owner Bill Healy Sr. said he selected the location out of 26 locations they scouted throughout the city and that his family will personally pledge to rehabilitate and preserve the building through a five year, $937,000 capital improvement plan.
In making the case for the bid, Healy's son, Bill Healy Jr. noted a decrease in booking and a total net loss over the past three years of more than $250,000. In contrast, Healy pointed out the capital investment his company prepared to make in improving the building, plus the estimated $300,000 in new sales tax revenue the business would likely generate.
Healy also said there was nothing in the center's documents from the Hauberg family that says the building is to be held in perpetuity, and the parks and gardens around the center will remain public property.
Several residents and business owners came forward following the presentation in support of Bridges' bid, which would locate their main offices and facilities at Hauberg, creating an estimated 12 full time jobs 100 part time jobs.
No action was taken.
In the regular meeting that followed, the council narrowly approved by 4-3 vote the leasing of nine 2016 Ford F-150 pickup trucks to Entreprise Fleet Inc for $71,655. Aldermen Schipp, Foley, and Tollenaer voted against the plan, on the grounds that the risk outweighs the potential benefits and that the program was not successful the last time it was tried.
The council also approved a third fingerprint scanner for the Rock Island Police Department for $16,584, a new services agreement with IOS for police promotion testing, a permit request from Nicole Appelquist to operate a hair salon in her home on 7th Avenue, and a new 30 space parking lot for Unity Point Health's offices on 27th Ave.