Monday, May 16, 2016

News From Along Route 66, may 2016: Normal, Illinois, to Vote Tonight on Buying and Renovating Sprague Service Station

From the May 15, 2016, Bloomington (Illinois) Pantagraph  "Normal to vote on buying, renovating Route 66 historic site" by Derek Beigh.

The Sprague service station at 305 Pine Street is already on the NRHP and might become a tourist center owned and operated by Normal if the city council approves it Monday night.

"This will be one more reason for people to pull off I-55 and take Route 66 through our community," said City Manager Mark Peterson.  negotiations have been under way for a year with owner Terri Ryburn, who bought it in 2006 hoping to turn it into a B&B, tea room, gift shop and restaurant.  Despite grants and moneys, she was unable to do much with it.

The city council is considering a $458.000 investment, including $229,000 for the purchase and $200,000 to improve it as well as $172,000 to buy and renovate an adjourning parking lot.  It will be paid for by Normal's capital and general funds.

The city plans on having a gift shop on the first floor.  Terry Ryburn would get out of her $229,000 mortgage, receive $29,000 and have a ten-year option to operate the gift shop.  She will continue to live on the second floor, paying $120 a year.

It Is So Nice to See Bloomington-Normal Finally Becoming Aware of Their Route 66 Heritage After Many, Many Years of Almost Complete Neglect.  --RoadDog

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