By William Kincaid
ST. HENRY -- Village Administrator Don Hess told council the business park officially has been completed at a total cost of $336,430.70 -- almost $100,000 less than the engineer's original estimate.
Treasurer Ruth Miller said Choice One Engineering drew up the original plans for the business park and estimated the project would not exceed $436,541. The village then accepted a bid from Jutte Excavating for nearly $335,000.
Hess told council on Monday that Jutte Excavating's final bill for the entirety of the project was $330,980.47, while the village spent an additional $5,450 on extra work such as asphalt and stone work.
Hess said he was quite pleased with the project and its final costs, which were $100,000 less than expected.
The village now is waiting to receive a $360,000 loan to pay for the work. The interest-free loan was awarded through Midwest Electric, who received the money from the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service. The USDA's program provides funding to corporations so they can create revolving loan funds in rural areas to stimulate economic development. The St. Henry loan will be paid back with four annual payments of $90,000 each.
Hess hopes to obtain the check by the next week or so.
"Hopefully we can square this thing around by the end of the week," he told council.
Hess also said the village used the remaining $30,000 of the grant for such infrastructure as streetlights and water mains in the business park.
The business park along state Route 118 -- which is officially called The St. Henry Business Park -- is roughly 31 acres and currently includes the Homestretch business.
Hess said it is not platted. Therefore technically there are only two lots -- the north and the south land of the park.
But Hess said the park is capable of being platted off to whatever size is conducive to a particular business.
Although some businesses have shown preliminary interest in the park, Hess said there is nothing to report at this time.