FULTON, Ill. — The city of Fulton received two bids from area businesses owners for the property known as the Robert Fulton Community Center.

The higher bid submitted is from Robert Miller and Michael Wills, who submitted a bid offering $85,000 for the city-owned property, which also had been the city’s fire station. The bid does not include purchase of the north lot. Miller, owner of Hobby Machine, stated they would use the space to merge the two businesses.

“This opportunity has come up so me and a friend of mine, who also does screen printing, are going to look at partnering together,” Miller said. “So I’m going to do my machine shop, custom bike parts, heavy on retail so you get that foot traffic downtown, you get that sales tax revenue. That’s what we’re looking at. He’s going to bring his screen printing businesses as well, expand that as much as possible. So we’re going to have multiple businesses in there but ultimately, out of the gate, we’re not going to be able to use that whole facility. So we’re going to go in, look at revamping that, put the two storefronts in, possibly take what’s left and either if there’s enough room, split it up into additional storefronts or figure out how to lease that additional space. Hopefully, get more business into that building, so that’s our plan.”

Kyle Huebner, owner of KT3 Gym in Fulton, submitted a bid for parcel one, including the north parking lot, for $55,995. Huebner stated the gym currently has approximately 60 members flowing in and out of the business on a weekly basis between his business and those using Fit Assist, owned by Colleen Temple.

“I have a business plan and everything made out to where statistically 17 percent of the population has a gym membership. So 17 percent of 3,000 people is 500 people,” Huebner said. “So if we can pull even half that’s 250 people that we can be pulling to the downtown area, to local businesses, things like that, which I think might be the biggest benefit to the community that the business has brought for a while. And I’m confident. We have to deal with people getting healthier, healthier lifestyles, lifestyle changes.”

Huebner stated his plan calls for the business renting out the middle room, where the kitchen is located, to the city for free for three years to aid in the transition from a community center to the business. He stated the space would be for senior meals, for the senior center pedicures and for the blood drive, stating his plan is to condense the space for the community center.

“The transition for the community along with you guys would be I think a lot simpler, a lot less kickback in that regard,” Huebner said. “And I want to help out the community the best I can because that’s what I’m there to do is to help people get healthier and enjoy the Fulton area.”

The Fulton City Council has up to 45 days to make a decision to award the bid to either applicant or neither applicant.

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