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Plans Continue for Galesburg Land Swap

Rich Egger

The City of Galesburg and the library are preparing to exchange some parcels of land.

The library would receive two city-owned lots that are next to the land where a new library will be built on West Main Street. A hotel once stood on the site but it closed years ago and has since been demolished.

The city would receive one library-owned lot next to the former OT Johnson site. The department store building  burned down several years ago.

Mayor Sal Garza said both the city and the library would benefit.

“We have great promise that we’re going to be able to develop that entire former OT Johnson site,” Garza said. “And the library gets a good anchor property that will help it towards the overall acquisition of that entire block.”

A public hearing must be held before the deal goes through. Aldermen approved a resolution for holding the hearing, which is scheduled for 6:00 pm on February 4 at City Hall.

Also at their January 7 meeting, aldermen agreed to renew the property tax assessment freeze for those who rehabilitate owner-occupied historic homes.

No one took advantage of the incentive last year, but Garza believes it’s worth offering the program. He said it allows the tax assessment to be frozen for eight years. After that it’s brought back up to market value over a four-year period.

The city’s Landmark Commission oversees the certification process for designating homes as historic.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.