By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald
---- — FULTON, Ill. — The finalized sale of 14 acres of land for $175,000 between Agri-King and the city of Fulton has come to a close.
City Administrator Randy Balk recently concluded the deal with Agri-King, after solidifying the city's purchase of 112 acres of land for an industrial park along Illinois 84.
A 10-year, $975,000 loan from Central Bank allowed the city to purchase the 112 acres from land-owner Steve Bemis to develop the area.
Balk is happy the city now has control of the property and feels the deal with Agri-King is a big step in the right direction.
"We were glad we could participate with them," Balk said. "It helps us get a foundation for the industrial park."
Agri-King President Terry Callahan said the company has not made any decisions or conceptualized a plan for the 14 acres, but growth of the facility is anticipated.
"We have many opportunities ahead of us," Callahan said. "We're just planning and preparing for the future."
Contract stipulations with the city requires Agri-King to start planning expansion within four years of the agreement.
Callahan said if the company's growth continues the way it has been, he has no concerns with meeting those contract obligations.
"We do expect that if what we anticipate to happen, and if our growth gets to where we think it will go, then we do expect to build in the next couple of years," Callahan said.
Balk and city officials will meet later this week to discuss the future of the park and to conceptualize a plan for development.
"(We) like this site because it has access to rails and highways," Balk said. "We will meet with Agri-King and developers to create a vision for the site."
Prior to the purchase of the property, Fulton officials learned of interest from other inquiries to the future development in the industrial park.
"The Illinois Department of Economic Development sends out leads of businesses that are interested," said Balk, adding the city can now pursue those leads because it has control of the property.
The final step for the city is to name the property. City Council members have tossed around a few ideas, but are interested in what the community has to say.
"The council has given their suggestions, so now we are holding a public contest for the naming of the park to be submitted to the city of Fulton," Balk said.