CANTON, Ill. (WMBD) — New businesses may be welcomed into Canton in just a few years. Tuesday night, Canton’s City Council approved a settlement agreement 25 years in the making with Navistar, formerly called International Harvester.
In 1997, the International Harvester caught fire, and 25 years later, the company must clean up the old site, following bad environmental conditions.
“Getting that agreement signed, getting the remediation done, and moving the site towards its next path in life is really the priority. It’s going to allow for the ability to actually have these conversations with developers about recreating that site and what it looks like for the future,” said Cole McDaniel, executive director for the Spoon River Partnership for Economic Development.
International Harvester agreed to pay $2.1 million according to the settlement.
“A year ago, we reached out to them asking if they would come back to the table. And they said they would. And we, it took us 13 months this time to get an agreement with them,” said Mayor of the City of Canton Kent McDowell.
Mayor McDowell said it may take a few years for businesses to relocate to the old site, as the details of the settlement and plans for the old site are still in the works.
Upon receiving the no further remediation, or NFR, Navistar has 30 days to pay the $2.1 million. They also have 60 days from Dec. 6 to send the city a draft work plan for the site.
The council approved the agreement with Navistar seven to one, and now the city can work on a project that’s been dormant for over two decades.
As for the $2.1 million, Mayor McDowell said the money will be spent on the old site, but for now, it will be put away for the next elect to decide the specifics.