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updated: 7/10/2018 6:31 AM

Geneva OKs using public money to bring Dunkin' Donuts to town

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  • Geneva has approved financial incentives to get a Dunkin' Donuts to move in to the site of a former gas station and convenience store on East State Street.

      Geneva has approved financial incentives to get a Dunkin' Donuts to move in to the site of a former gas station and convenience store on East State Street.
    Susan Sarkauskas | Staff Photographer, 2016

 
 

A Dunkin' Donuts franchise will get financial incentives from Geneva, despite protest from another doughnut-shop owner and her customers.

Sonita Chheng of Fresh Donuts, 1188 E. State St., presented a petition signed by 1,200 people opposing the $70,000 grant and the $102,000 sales-tax rebate. About 10 people spoke to the council about the incentives, and just one was in favor.

"I'm not here for the stuff you can get anywhere else," resident Jay Patel said, opposing the use of public money to bring a national franchise to town.

The vote was 6-4, the same as when it was discussed in committee three weeks ago, 6-4. Aldermen Dean Kilburg, Tara Burghart, Michael Clements and Robert Swanson voted "no."

State Street Coffee LLC -- The Hari Group, plans to buy the former gas station/convenience store site at 206 E. State St. It would remodel the building, including adding a drive-up lane, as well as repave the parking lot and add landscaping.

It needs a special-use permit for the drive-up. The city's plan commission will conduct a public hearing about that, and the city council will also have to vote on it.

No date has been set for that hearing.

The $70,000 will be used for buying the site. The city plans to pay for that with property taxes collected in tax increment financing District 3. But since District 3 is only two years old and doesn't have any money in the fund yet, the city may take money out of the District 2 fund and repay it later.

The sales tax incentive is intended to help with an estimated $1 million worth of remodeling.

The city will rebate half of its portion of the sales tax generated in the first 10 years, up to $102,000.

It has sales-tax agreements with other businesses, including Dodson Place, Aldi, Nosh restaurant, and the Fresh Thyme store under construction.

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