A business deal gone bad cost the Quad City International Airport thousands of dollars.
Now, they’re finally filling the gap.
The airport’s industrial park was established back in the 1970s.
It’s meant to be another revenue source.
But the group had been losing about $10,000 a year after one tenant defaulted a few years ago.
One small business owner’s growth is turning that around.
“Back in high school I had a diesel truck and I started working on it myself,” says Ove Cano, Overtime Diesel owner.
Cano started working on trucks when he was 18.
A few years later, he found himself doing side jobs.
“Before I knew it there was more demand than I could really account for and keep up with,” Cano says.
So, he quit his other job.
“I had $300 in my account and I had to max out my credit cards to afford the parts to keep going. It was very, very scary,” Cano says.
Now, customers have a two to five week wait to get work done at Overtime Diesel.
He’s also started manufacturing his own parts and selling them online.
“This building I was very bottlenecked so I couldn’t go any farther or increase the turnaround times,” Cano says.
That’s when he worked with Rock Island County to find a new property.
It ended up airport’s industrial park in Milan.
“We have three times the space now,” Cano says.
Overtime Diesel will be the first tenant at the industrial park in nearly two decades, filling not only a physical space but also a financial one.
“We were losing money,” says Ben Leischner, Quad City International Airport executive director.
“We were actually in a situation where as the landowner we were covering taxes,” he says.
Leischner says their last tenants had been in default for about five years, costing the airport authority $40,000.
“It’s a very small percentage but it’s something. Every drop in the bucket counts and as a public agency we’re accountable to every penny, so it’s good to turn something that was somewhat of an unfortunate circumstance into a win for all parties involved,” Leischner says.
For Cano, that means turning his 10-year hobby into a full-time career.
“I hope we can move the jobs in and out a lot faster, I hope to hire a few more employees,” Cano says.
Tahera close: “Cano says he hopes to be back in business by mid-October and airport officials say they’re still looking for business partners to open up in the industrial park. In Milan, TR, Local 4 News.”