Fulton Looking to Add New Businesses - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Fulton Looking to Add New Businesses

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Fulton officials are looking to everything they can to capitalize off of the eventual opening of the Thomson Prison. Last fall, the federal government bought the prison from the state, which will employ 1,100 new workers.

While there's no word on when it will open, city leaders hired a consultant to find ways to take advantage of the possible new community members.

Right now, there's 100 acres of land just south of town on 22nd, that city can either use to bring in new industrial businesses, or use the land to build housing units for the new prison workers.

The consultant recommended using it for industrial business, and city council agreed.

First Ward Alderman Charles Dykstra says, "I think its time to lure people for more housing but in related to that, the city felt that, that was not a good area to develop housing."

This is majorly because the land across the street is filed with other industrial businesses.

Third Ward Alderman Wes Letcher agrees, "There's a holding pond for flood waters and there's already, and there's already Industry across the street. We figured I'd take to much to make it housing ready."

The current plan is to bring in 27 businesses, and one is already showing interest. 

"As soon as we made the decision to go industrial we had them waiting right there asked to buy some property," Dykstra commented.

This will create six new jobs, and take up three or four acres.

But that's not all.

Alderman Letcher says, "Everyday there's calls at city hall for people looking to put in new businesses."

Letcher also comments that new housing isn't needed.

"I've driven around town there's plenty of homes -- there's plenty of homes for sale in town. They are already built and existing so I'm not worried about the housing shortage," he said.

This has some residents split.

Samantha Briese says industry will bring more money to the area:

"Fulton's a small town and it's not like we get a whole lot of people coming in I don't even know anyone who's moved in. So I think it would be stupid for business." 

While Eric Fish says housing will boost the economy.

"We don't have a very big industrial -- so a lot of people that live in the area go to the quad cities. So I think we should bring business in."

The consultant also suggested city leaders try to attract fast food restaurants, and expand its city parks to make sure Fulton's economy grows.

 

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