Moline touts new leadership and investments to grow city from all sides

MOLINE, Illinois - Moline's new Element Hotel represents a new era for economic development. It's part of nearly $100 million in projects that are happening now or on the way.

That project and several others were highlighted in Mayor Stephanie Acri's "State of the City" address on Monday, March 19. That good news came amid a week of some less happy developments, such as the announced closure of Toys-R-Us and the Moline-based Quad City Mallards closing up shop.

"We're working very hard to make sure that the changes that happen don't interfere with the positive trajectory," said Acri.

Many of those changes are prompted by construction on the John Deere corridor and new Interstate 74 Bridge.  It represents nearly $1.5 billion in state and federal funding.

Moline will also soon welcome an Ashley Furniture store to South Park Mall and a $30-million project fronted by IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union along the riverfront.

During Monday's presentation before Moline Kiwanis and Rotary clubs, Acri emphasized stable change. There's a team approach that includes new leadership in many key positions.

"I don't have all the answers, and I'm not going to pretend that I do," said City Administrator Doug Maxeiner.  "I'm going to rely on my teams."

Moline hopes to do a better job of representing its diverse population, city leaders said. That includes recruiting more women and minorities for fire fighting careers.

"Keeping my community safe is more than a job," read the narration from a fire department recruiting video.

Even with passenger rail apparently on the slow track to return, Moline remains chugging along during challenging times for Illinois.

"What I appreciate of our state reps, senators and even governor, they're going to continue the conversations," said Mayor Acri.  "Hopefully, we can come up with a solution."

It's one "Element" of a successful city.

"I think good things are on the way for Moline," she concluded.