City plans to renovate and move more personnel to its new building

Former Johnson Tractor building was purchased this summer for 1.3 million


ROCHELLE — Rochelle City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh said Tuesday that the city has long-term plans to renovate and move more personnel and equipment to the building it purchased at 1030 S. 7th St. over the summer. 

The city paid $1.3 million for the former Johnson Tractor building. The water, water reclamation and electric departments have already moved to the facility. Fiegenschuh said he plans to have administrative services, which includes the finance departments and utility billing, join them. 

“I’d also like to see myself and my administrative staff down there at some point,” Fiegenschuh said. “And then long-term, maybe the police department would take over all of city hall.”

The city recently interviewed five firms to do design work to rehab the inside of the former Johnson Tractor building. Fiegenschuh said he’s currently unsure of what renovation costs could be. 

The thinking behind consolidating more departments into one location is to improve the city’s efficiency, Fiegenschuh said. 

“I think it’s more efficient to have departments working together and it makes more sense,” Fiegenschuh said. “The majority of what we do involves utilities, so it’s important to have that close to our finance staff. It’s the most efficient thing to do long-term.”

Moving its water and water reclamation departments to the new location has already allowed the city to market the building that used to house those departments for sale, along with the adjacent lot. 

Those properties are located at 860 and 890 S. 7th St. An appraisal was completed for the building of $195,000 and $315,000 for the adjacent lot. The proceeds from sale will be put towards improvements of the Johnson Tractor building or paying down debt. 

Some employees from the RMU building at 333 Lincoln Hwy. will move to the new building, but Fiegenschuh said there are no plans to sell that building right now and the city’s community development department will remain there for now. He stressed that the consolidation plans are all long-term. 

“I’m super excited about it,” Fiegenschuh said. “It’s a great move and I think it should’ve been done sooner. It’s in the best interest of the city to have as many departments working together as possible.”