Posted Online: Aug. 25, 2010, 9:10 pm

Silvis officials approve industrial lot division

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By Seth Kabala,

SILVIS-- A house divided has problems, but an industrial lot divided is a good thing in Silvis.

At a special city council meeting Wednesday, alderman unanimously approved a variance to the final plat of an industrial property Miller Trucking & Excavating is developing at the intersection of Illinois Route 5 and 2nd Avenue North, granting an exemption from sidewalks.

"We didn't see the need for a sidewalk in an industrial park," Mayor Bill Fox said. "We tend to agree with them."

Miller bought the 9-acre lot as one big field.

"They subdivided it into three, 3-acre pieces to be more marketable," said city inspector Tom Lupinski said. The division made the properties subject to subdivision ordinances, such as the installation of sidewalks, he said.

But since this development is intended to be primarily industrial, the sidewalk requirement was unnecessary and Miller requested the Board of Appeals variance, Mr. Lupinski said. The board granted the variance request Monday, with the Planning Commission recommending council approval of the final plat.

Mayor Fox said the council took its swift action because Miller officials have expressed a desire to move quickly and start running water and sewer lines. Miller has a tentative agreement with a tenant for one of the lots, Mayor Fox said, noting the city tried to get the property developed 12 years ago with the installation of a rail port, but plans fell through. The lot has since sat vacant.

"All there is right now is storage sheds," said Ald. Bob Fulton, 3rd Ward.

But if all goes as planned, those sheds will soon have company. The developed land will be called the Miller Industrial Park. Miller also owns land directly west of the industrial park that it may develop at a later date, Mayor Fox said.

In other business, alderman scheduled a personnel meeting, recessed from Aug. 9 for 9 a.m. Aug. 30 to discuss updating the employee handbook. City Clerk Jim Nelson much of the terminology in the current handbook, not updated since 1998, is outdated.

The meeting also will include a discussion about a "Plan B"for when Mr. Nelson is out. Because the retirement of former billing clerk Linda Barnett has left the office short-staffed, committee members will review options for a temporary or permanent part-time worker.

APublic Services meeting at 4 p.m. Aug. 30 will discuss using Rock Island County Waste Management Agency grant money to buy more recycling bins.