ROCK FALLS – The council approved a payment plan Tuesday that would retire the Illinois EPA loan for the Reliant Fastener site by the end of 2016.
City Administrator Robbin Blackert asked for permission to send a repayment letter to the EPA that would pay back the full amount of the revolving loan in three installments over 3 years.
In 2009, the city entered into the loan agreement for $208,377.36. With a 20 percent state match, and an additional 10 percent green space discount, the city owes $145,864.15. The suggested schedule calls for payments of $36,466.03 by the end of both 2014 and 2015, and the final payment of $72,932.09 by Dec. 31, 2016.
The loan calls for payback to begin when development starts at the property. On May 6, the council announced plans to build a Holiday Inn Express & Suites in the RB&W District, which will set that clock in motion.
The money to pay back this type of loan often comes from TIF funds or land sale proceeds in the area to be developed. Rock Falls will use money from its general fund to make the payments, Blackert said.
“There won’t be any TIF money for a couple years from the hotel, but we’re able to pay this out of the general fund,” Blackert said.
She said the city has been fortunate to escape the Reliant cleanup situation relatively unscathed.
“This process has cost over $6 million total for demolition, roads and cleanup,” Blackert said. “Thanks to the Illlinois and U.S. EPA, we’ve been left with only about $145,000.
Mayor Bill Wescott said the city wants to be proactive to ensure its good relationship with the agency.
“The EPA has told me that nothing has ever been done with many properties that have had their help with cleanups,” Wescott said. “The EPA has been a good partner, and we want to be models for how this should be done.”
Blackert said it is important to maintain that relationship for future projects.
“We want to stay in their good graces, because we’ll be knocking on EPA’s door again for the Limestone Building,” she said.
The Rock Falls City Council next meets at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 5, at City Hall, 603 W. 10th St.
The agendas will be posted at www.rockfalls61071.com and at City Hall. Call 815-622-1100 for more information.
The City Council meeting also can be viewed live on Channel 5.