CITY OF ZION, ILLINOIS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2020
Contact: Dave Knabel, City Administrator 847-746-4023
ZION, Illinois — The Zion City Council on July 21 approved a redevelopment agreement to open a new Popeye’s, an annexation agreement that will eventually create berms and buffering between the Zion landfill and residents, and a donation agreement that gives the city site control over an approximate 22-acre parcel of property on Illinois Route 173.
The City Council took these steps to spur economic development and growth, create new and diverse revenue streams in the City, and decrease the City’s reliance on real estate tax dollars to support essential services, Mayor Billy McKinney said.
“Since joining the City Council as a Commissioner, I’ve worked with City staff to find additional economic development opportunities in the City and we have also gained Enterprise Zone designation from the State of Illinois,” Mayor McKinney said. “Zion is open for business and economic development and is moving forward more rapidly thanks to the City Council’s actions.”
The three projects include:
- New Popeye’s: Popeye’s is opening a brand-new restaurant with new construction and the project is expected to feature a new branding for Popeye’s. It will open by the end of the year. The Popeye’s will be located on the vacant site of the Dunes Theater. It is expected to be a cornerstone of the revitalization of Sheridan Road.
- Land for redevelopment: The 22-acre land donation will be initially used for City purposes. The land is located on Illinois Route 173 across from the Walmart Supercenter. The donated parcel was the prior home for American Industrial Heat Transfer, Inc. Joined with the 18 acres from the ballfield land located at Illinois Route 173 and Green Bay Road, Zion will now have 40 prime acres for municipal use.
- Improvements near landfill: To try and prevent sound and litter issues for residents near the Zion Landfill, the city approved a landscaped bermed wall to border the disposal site. As part of its agreement with Advanced Disposal last year, the city approved an annexation for the landfill. Yesterday, the City Council modified the project by including an additional 10 parcels that will help provide increased separation between the landfill and the residential areas.
Since the City’s budget has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mayor, City Council, and staff have all taken the search for additional revenue personally, McKinney and council members said.
“Tonight we approved multiple initiatives, in the middle of a crippling pandemic, to increase revenue streams to the City,” Commissioner Christopher Fischer said. “When these projects are completed the additional funds will offset the burden on the City’s homeowners and taxpayers. I’m glad that we worked together as a City Council and completed these important steps on the road to progress.”
City staff was also recognized for their efforts in this process. Commissioner Richard Frierson said, “I’d like to thank our staff for finding and bringing us these projects. These projects don’t just happen. They are the culmination of a lot of foresight and hard work.”