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Galesburg launches urban agriculture pilot program

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The city of Galesburg is now taking applications for grants of up to $25,000 for its Urban Agriculture Pilot Program.

It’s the final program in a package of economic development incentives approved by the city council in February.

The programs are meant to increase minority-owned and women-owned businesses, expand business occupancy on the city’s south side, and encourage urban agriculture.

The first three programs launched in April, providing grants to small business owners and startups that meet the guidelines.

For the final program, the city defines urban agriculture as growing, washing, packaging of fruits, vegetables, and other plants.

That can be for education, retail, wholesale or donations.

Applicants can submit projects on properties they own or lease that are zoned for agriculture, industry, general business, or comprehensive plan development.

In addition, the city is also allowing projects to be proposed on select city lots.

Five-year leases for $1 a year will be awarded to any projects approved on those lots.

The application packet for the Urban Agriculture Pilot Program can be found on the city’s website or picked up at the City of Galesburg Community Development Department, located on the second floor of City Hall, 55 W. Tompkins Street.

Jane Carlson covers west central Illinois and southeast Iowa for Tri States Public Radio.