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Monmouth Considering New Uses for Former Dairy Site

Courtesy the City of Monmouth

The city demolished the former Maple City Dairy building this year. Now city leaders are discussing how the downtown site might be re-used.

A possible concept shared with the city council shows the property could include a cluster of ethnic food stores and a space for live music and other events.

“We already have some unique things going on here in town and I think this is a further expansion of that,” said Mayor Rod Davies.

“We have such a diverse cultural community because of Smithfield Foods – I think 16 or 17 different languages are spoken there.”

He said Prairie Hills Resource Conservation and Development in Macomb is working with Monmouth on the planning and helped the city obtain grants for asbestos abatement and demolition.

The mayor said the city talked to the public library and the Buchanan Center for the Arts – both of which are near the site – as well as nearby businesses to get their input about how the now-vacant space might be used.

The Maple City Dairy building dated back around 80 years. Davies said the city hoped to preserve and re-use the art deco building but it had fallen too far into disrepair after sitting vacant for decades.

Local historian Jeff Rankin wrote about the building’s history for the Review Atlas late last year, shortly before the demolition.

Paying for the Project

Davies said some funding could come from the city’s Tax Increment Finance (TIF) district.

And Ken Helms, Communications Director for the city, said Monmouth is fortunate to have private foundations that help fund community projects.

“We’ve got a couple foundations, a couple groups that are really involved in the community. We’re hoping they’re inspired by this and do some investment in that area,” Helms said.

City leaders said the next step in the process will be to secure support from those private groups.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.