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Goodwill wins necessary approval

Store should be open by next August

Published: Friday, Aug. 23, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Aug. 23, 2013 8:46 a.m. CDT

Proposed plans for a Goodwill store to come to Morris were approved unanimously by the City Council, but a time frame is still uncertain.

On Monday, the council approved the revised preliminary plat for Saratoga Business Park, which is located off of Mission Parkway near Walmart. The plat outlines the number of lots and their locations for the business park.

Mayor Richard Kopczick said the council had approved this plat before but developers did not return within the required year for a final plat, so it has to be done again.

“Goodwill is looking at one lot, but as far as the city is concerned, it’s all one parcel [for the preliminary plat],” he said.

City Engineer Guy Christensen said the lot Goodwill is interested in has been reduced in size on the revised plat so now there are three lots on the west side of Arthur Avenue instead of two.

Besides Goodwill, there has not been any recent interest in the business park.

Goodwill is proposing the construction of a store and attached warehouse. Originally, Goodwill was hoping to break ground this fall on the building, but city officials said that during the planning process some soil samples have been taken and there are some concerns that could push the project to the spring.

The grounds used to be strip mines and can be troublesome for building.

Scott Jenkins, director of retail operations for Goodwill Central Illinois, said earlier this month he could not comment on the details or status of the project yet, but said the company hoped to have a location running in Morris by this time next year.

He said previously the store would employ 25 to 30 people.

No one spoke on behalf of Goodwill at Monday’s meeting.

The council also approved the final plat for Saratoga Business Park Phase 1, which is only good for the Goodwill property, said Kopczick.

“The remainder of that subdivision has a year to come in for the final,” he said.

According to its website, www.goodwillpeo.org, Goodwill relies on donors to: “provide gently used items they no longer want or need.

Shoppers purchase quality merchandise at affordable prices. And the revenue generated goes to train adults for employment, prepare young people for life and work, and help veterans readjust to civilian life.”

The site also states more than 92 percent of the proceeds from the stores stay in central Illinois.

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