MORRISON – Morrison resident Mike Cozzie saw a need for a gas station and convenience store on the south side of town.
"For years, I've thought if somebody would put [one] on this side of town, it would save me a lot of trouble to get the things that I need," Cozzie said. "Lo and behold, it was myself."
Cozzie, 42, plans to build the business south of the Morrison Institute of Technology on state Route 78. It will be a Conoco store affiliated with the Gibson Oil Co. of Lyndon, Cozzie said.
Sterling City Council members Monday approved adding the .67-acre site to the Whiteside County Enterprise Zone. The Rock Falls City Council is scheduled to do so tonight.
That means Cozzie will get a sales tax exemption on building materials and a 5-year tax abatement.
The project is going through rezoning with the city of Morrison right now, Whiteside County Enterprise Zone Administrator Betty Steinert said.
The $700,000-plus project will result in the creation of four full-time jobs, she said.
"I think it will be really good," she said. "There's nothing on the south side of town. Especially in that area, no retail down there. You have MIT students that live on campus, I think it will be good for them" and for the employees of the industrial park across the road.
"Hopefully, then, passers-by that need things will stop by there," she said. "We love renovation, but this is something new for the south end of town coming in."
Cozzie said he will begin construction as soon as Morrison OKs the plan, which it is set to discuss later this month. He hopes to have the facility open by Labor Day weekend.
He also wants to inspire further growth in the community.
"Hopefully, we'll see some more people jump on board," he said. "It's good for everybody."