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Industrial park plans progressing

80-acre site could be split into 11 lots; enterprise zone designation being sought

ROCK FALLS – Members of the city’s Industrial Development Commission say they hope the planned industrial park near the new sewer plant will be ready for tenants by spring.

At a commission meeting Thursday, City Building Inspector Mark Searing presented a plan to divide the 80-acre site into 11 lots.

While it would be nice to get 11 companies to take up residency, some might occupy more than one lot, he said.

Mayor David Blanton said he is working with the state to incorporate the site into the Whiteside County Enterprise Zone, which would provide certain incentives to prospective tenants.

For instance, companies could get a tax break for locating in the park, or exemptions for making site improvements.

One existing incentive: Because of the nearby sewer plant, hooking businesses up to sewer and electric will be easy and inexpensive, officials have said.

Decisions still must be made on how to handle potential drainage issues in the park, which is near a Rock River flood plain, Searing said.

Because the property was bought with sewer plant money, money from lots sold would go back to the sewer department, which also would be responsible for infrastructure improvements, Searing and City Administrator Robbin Blackert said.

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