LOVES PARK, Ill. (WIFR) -- Updated: December 14, 2018, 10:45 p.m.
The newly adopted plan allots $1.68 million of host fees to be paid over a 6 year period to the city of Loves Park, breaking down to roughly $280,000 a year, with the funds being used to refurbish infrastructure in the 600 acres surrounding the proposed Costco site.
The opening of the discount depot would generate approximately 200 jobs to the area, offering an average salary of $56,000 per position. While Loves Park mayor Greg Jury is thrilled at the result, one board member says he plans to use this debate as a means to improve the current approval process for future projects.
"I appreciate the support the county board gave us and we're looking forward to not just the Costco but the 600 acres to the north that's going to bring hundreds and hundreds of jobs to Radex pipeline," said Mayor Jury.
"I wish that we had a better policy for economic development coming out of the host fee fund. I expect to start working on that between now and our next board meeting with other board members so that we can start getting that down and writing right away, make our recommendations to staff, so that we can get a new policy on the right way forward with economic development in this county," said board member Daniel Fellars.
Tonight's approval comes after months of back and forth talks between county board members and city officials, namely when it came to dividing up the funds between the Costco build and the surrounding infrastructure.
Updated: December 13, 2018, 7:38 p.m.
UPDATE: Winnebago County board members vote in favor to fund a $1.7 million host fee to help bring Costco to the stateline.
The board voted 12-7 in favor of the funding. Four new members of the County Board were able to cast their vote on the issue.
The previous board voted 11-8 in favor of the host fees last month, before Chairman Frank Haney asked the board to reconsider.
A planned investment of $1.7 million for a Costco in Loves Park has been put on hold.
Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney has asked county board members late Thursday night to reconsider a plan to use "host fees" for funding the development of a Costco.
The board voted 11-8 in favor of the plan last month. The money was expected to be used for road upgrades around the future Costco site, in addition to demolition and relocation of Cream City Stateline Scale.
Haney cited several factors leading to his request in a letter, including concerns from several nearby area mayors, development of other long-term economic projects and millions of dollars the city faces in deferred capital.
The "host tax" issue is up for reconsideration at the next county board meeting on Thursday, Dec. 13.