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City OKs agreement for sports complex

Quiram: ‘It’s going to be a game changer for the city’

PRINCETON — The Princeton City Council has said “yes” to the sports complex a Tiskilwa couple plans to build in the Logistics Park, just north of Interstate 80.

During Monday’s meeting, the council unanimously approved the second and final reading of an ordinance authorizing a development agreement with Nathan and Lindsey Koning.

The plans for their sports complex include four fields that will be used for traveling baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse. The complex is also set to include an indoor dome for year-round sports, a splash pad, concession stands, restrooms by each field and ample parking.

The Konings have projected their complex will bring 124,000 visitors to Princeton each year, and add about $5 million in new revenue to the local economy.

The complex is also expected to generate anywhere between 60 and 100 jobs during construction, as well as six to eight full-time and 20 to 30 part-time jobs once it’s open and operating.

The sports complex will be built on 29 acres of land within the Logistics Park, which the council unanimously approved to sell to the Konings for $1 an acre.

To offset the low purchase price of the land, the council also unanimously voted to impose a 3 percent athletic contests and exhibitions tax on gross receipts derived from sales at the complex.

City Manager Rachel Skaggs has previously reported that this tax is expected to generate between $30,000 to $40,000 a year.

The Konings hope to open the complex in 2020.

During Joel Quiram’s mayoral report on Monday, he congratulated the Konings on their project.

“I think it’s going to be a game changer for the city,” he said.

“Economic development is jobs. It’s property tax revenue. It’s expanding our tax base.”

Princeton will try again to sell former recycling building

At least three businesses have come forward and expressed interest in purchasing Princeton's former recycling center building on the corner of North Main Street and Railroad Avenue.

A few months ago, the city received two proposals through a request for proposals process when looking to sell the building.

Promier Products, a flashlight company based in Peru, submitted a proposal expressing interest in purchasing the building through a loan agreement with the city for the purpose of using it as a warehouse center. Princeton High School also submitted a proposal expressing interest in purchasing the building to use as a bus barn.

Ultimately, a split council that could not agree on who to sell the building to caused both proposals to fail.

Princeton Mayor Joel Quiram announced Monday the city will go out for another RFP next month, and he made it clear that he's only interested in selling it to a business.

"We did have another taxing body who was interested in the building a few months ago that threw a wrench into everything, as far as moving forward with economic development," he said.

"When another local taxing body comes in to give us a proposal, they're using our tax dollars to compete against a business that is wanting to expand in Princeton, that wants to bring jobs and property tax revenue to the area to expand our tax base. They're using our tax dollars to defeat that, which to me is an improper use of our tax dollars."

Quiram went on to say that taxing bodies should all be working together to expand the city's tax base — "not maintain, or otherwise shrink it."

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