East Moline Aldermen Discuss Triumph Foods - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

East Moline Aldermen Discuss Triumph Foods

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  East Moline aldermen voted Tuesday night to keep working on a controversial development deal. The city is considering hiring a firm to negotiate a new agreement with Triumph Foods, the company who wants to build a pork processing plant.

  Triumph Foods and East Moline had a development deal back in 2006, but when the recession started the deal was delayed. The city and company are trying to get the agreement off the ground again, even though it has to be renegotiated.

   "You need to really find out where your money is going," says East Moline resident Doug Riel. People from East Moline voiced their concerns about the development deal and why it stalled. "Before you go and spend another $10,000 tonight, make sure you know that Triumph Foods is coming," adds Riel.

   Council decided to keep the ball rolling on the project. The next step in getting Triumph Foods to build in East Moline is hiring a firm to re-negotiate the deal. "We are re-negotiating a deal that has to be in the best interest of East Moline, its citizens and its tax payers," says East Moline City Attorney Bill Phares.

   City leaders say dollar figures from the deal in 2006 don't work anymore. They would like to close the TIF and restart a new tax incentive. Also, sewer and waters rates would have to be re-negotiated. So would electrical usage, because the city can make thousands of dollars every year from the utility tax. "We need help and expertise, because we aren't able to make the numbers work and figure out what is fair and equitable right now," says Tim Kammler, Director of Engineering and Maintenance Services.

   Hiring the firm would cost $10,000. The money would come from an excess in the sewer and water fund. However, some aldermen do not agree with the city spending the money. "Don't come down here and ask me for $10,000, because I'm not interested," says 5th Ward Alderman Dave Kelley.

   If the firm does submit a proposal council accepts, it does not mean Triumph Foods is a done deal. "In the long run if it's not going to be financially beneficial to the city and tax payers, then it might simply be we don't do the deal, we back out," adds the City Attorney.

  Council members also added to the proposed consulting agreement. They want the firm to give aldermen and city staff regular updates on the re-negotiations. The East Moline city council still has 2 more votes before they decide to hire the firm.