Forest City Mayor Barney Ruiter discussed the coming of a new visitor’s center in Forest City during his monthly meet and greet Saturday at Sally’s Restaurant.
The visitor’s center will be in the old Casey’s building on the corner of 4th Street and J Street.
Ruiter said the visitor’s center will also have the Forest City Chamber of Commerce and Grow Forest City offices.
“We’ve got a lot of things coming together,” Ruiter said. “It’s taken a lot of hard work by a lot of people to get it done.”
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Ruiter said one of the first projects councilman Ron Holland wanted him to do when he became mayor was to get the local option sales tax in Hancock County and all of Winnebago’s in Hancock County Industries.
Ruiter had to get over 200 names on a petition to get it over to Hancock County and on the ballot, and after getting over 350 names from going to the Hancock County Fair, the petition went before the Hancock County Board of Supervisors, put on the ballot and passed by six votes, Ruiter said.
“But what that means is we were getting about $24,000 a year from Hancock County on that local option sales tax,” Ruiter said.
The city then bought the old Casey’s building for $1, and visioning plans have been made to turn it into the new visitor’s center.