A big loss for downtown Rock Island as Bituminous Insurance Companies has announced to Rock Island Mayor Dennis Pauley that they are moving to Davenport.
Mayor Pauley says he doesn't know why or when the company is leaving, but says downtown Rock Island businesses will be impacted when the company takes its 150 employees across the river.
Daniel Ramirec is a server at El Patron in downtown Rock Island. Soon, some of his regulars, won't be stopping in as often.
"They don't even need menus, you know. They just come and tell us right away," said Ramirec.
"The president of Bituminous Insurance came over to talk to me with a couple of other people and they let us know that their corporate had made a decision that they were going to be building a new facility and it was going to be in Iowa, it wasn't going to be here in Rock Island," said Mayor Pauley.
The company provides insurance to special industries including construction, forest products and oil and gas. Pauley says they have not decided where exactly they plan to move in Davenport.
"Well, it's a huge blow. There's 150 employees there that utilize our downtown services. We have cleaners, we have places they go for lunch, we have other things that they do, so that will be taking 150 people out of the downtown area," said Pauley.
The news of the move,
"It came as a huge surprise. We've heard rumors for the last couple of years but you hear rumors about a lot of different businesses," he said.
So far, no rumors about why the company is choosing to leave Rock Island.
"No, we have no idea. It's a corporate decision. We know that they were not recruited by Davenport or Bettendorf, that did not happen," said Pauley.
What could happen,
"Business will be a little bit slower during the lunch,"
and a loss of some of Daniel's regulars.
"It will be a change out of nowhere, cause you know, it's closing so those people won't have a reason to come here no more."