WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Galesburg Considering Housing Program

Feb 26, 2015

City leaders in Galesburg hope a program for subdivision development will lead to an increase in population.

During a work session, City Manager Todd Thompson told alderman that infrastructure costs and a high cost of land have led to a lack of new houses being built. He said because of that, some people that work in Galesburg choose to live outside of the city.

Thompson added that makes it tough for the city to attract new businesses and employees which hurts the city.

“Without new housing, it’s difficult to grow your property tax base. People that live elsewhere rather than live here, they spend their money in a different community,” Thompson said.

Thompson said alderman will vote in March on a $1,000,000 incentive program to cover property taxes on new housing for six years. The amount would then be repaid to the city, if the developer makes a profit on the properties.

Thompson said the benefits to the city would be more than just new housing going up.

“You have to buy furnishings. You have to buy different items to finish your house.  We estimate that folks will spend a thousand or two thousand dollars on items at hardware stores and lumber yards on their new house,” Thompson said.