Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms joined 4 The Record this week. This is the second part of that conversation.
Economic development is a recurring theme for Rock Island.
It’s a priority for the candidates for aldermen as well.
We’ve had several conversations about it and yes there’s Watch Tower Plaza, the vacant property Thoms inherited from the previous administration.
Thoms addressed if he expected to see more progress there by now and what’s surprised him most about the lack of interest from developers.
Thoms and his economic development team have done the traditional things to try to reach investors by going to conventions intended to make connections.
Thoms discussed if it is time to pursue unconventional ideas for that property and what those options might be.
Rock Island recently found out it will get $27 million from the American Rescue Plan for pandemic relief.
Half comes this year and the other half about a year from now.
The exact rules for how that money can be used haven’t been finalized, but Thoms talked about what priorities he has for utilizing that money based on his expectations.
Watch the full discussion in the video above.
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