WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Galesburg Gamble on Land Pays Off

Mar 8, 2016

Galesburg aldermen came out on top after gambling on whether more money could be raised through renting land the city owns near Knoxville.

The city had been leasing the 170 acre site to Triple T Farms of Kirkwood.  Triple T was paying $500 per acre, but asked to reduce its payment to $300 per acre because corn and grain prices have dropped.

Instead, aldermen decided to put the land out for bid, knowing they were risking receiving an even lower price. But the winning bid -- out of four bids received -- came from L&P Thompson Farms of Little York for $357.66 per acre. 

Fifth Ward Aldermen Peter Schwartzman said putting the land out for bid proved to be the right decision.

“We came out pretty well. So let the market work,” Schwartzman said.

City Manager Todd Thompson called it a great result for the city.

“There’s some uncertainty of what might have transpired and in this case, we got about 20% more, so that’s great,” Thompson said.

The city will earn around $61,000 with the rate from L&P Thompson Farms, which is $10,000 more than what Triple T Farms would have paid.