MARION — Black Diamond Harley-Davidson has expanded into the travel-trailer business, supported by an economic incentive agreement approved on Monday night by the Marion City Council.
“We’re going to hire 10 people. We have 40 units inbound. Shad and I have to leave to go meet him,” said Rodney Cabaness, who with Shad Zimbro are Cabaness and Zimbro Inc., owners of Black Diamond Harley-Davidson.
Their new division, which is being set up on the same plot of land as the motorcycle dealership and event venue alongside Interstate 57, will be Black Diamond RV. They have partnered with Thor Industries, which markets the Heritage brand of travel trailers, including fifth-wheels and toy haulers.
Cabaness said they hope to sell at least 250 units in their first year, and follow the success of the Harley dealership, which started with similarly modest goals and was selling 1,400 units a year within its first three years.
“We’re excited to see how high we set the bar,” Cabaness said.
Plans are for a grand opening on the weekend of April 21.
City Administrator Gail West further added that she and Mayor Anthony Rinella had led the discussion on Black Diamond’s expansion plans.
“They wanted to keep it in Marion,” she said.
The council, with Rinella and commissioners Angelo Hightower, Doug Patton and John Goss voted 4-0 to approve the economic incentive agreement. Commissioner Jim Webb was absent.
In other business, the council approved the following:
• Payment of $7,250 to Skuta Construction for installing new bases for pumps on the Halfway Road lift station.
• Payment of $5,256 to C and C Pumps and Supply for rental and setting up a bypass pump to handle recent large rain events.
• Construction of a new 6-inch water main under Illinois Route 37, which would bypass and replace an aged 2.5-inch line that includes lead valves. Patton, an Illinois Department of Transportation employee, abstained from the vote, which was 3-0-1.
• Resignation of Dakota Wade from the Water Department and the hiring of Jason Lence to replace him.
• The appointment of Dan Dunn to the Senior Citizens’ Center Board.
• The hiring of Daniel Carstens as after-school coordinator at Boyton Street Community Center at $18 an hour.
• The reappointment of Dean Henderson, David Feth and Ron Ferguson to three-year terms on the Boyton Street Community Center Board.
• Moving the Animal Control Department to be back under the direction of Commissioner Hightower. He had previously had Animal Control in his portfolio, but that changed in the recent reassignments for the new council.
• The appointments of Anthony Franks and Greg Johns to the Zoning Board. There’s still one position that needs to be filled, according to Code Enforcement Office Director Kathy Spicer.
• The donation of property at 303 N. Garfield to Habitat for Humanity.
• The sale of 1311 Ritchie Drive to Enrico and Stephanie Castellano for $5,100, the only bid of recently listed city property that met the minimum bid.
• Annexation of 4.1373 acres owned by Monte and Jeanie Blue into the city limits.
• Annexation of 5.17 acres owned by Gary McGee, and rezoning the property from R-A Rural Agriculture to R-1 Single Family Residential.
• A Tax Increment Financing district redevelopment agreement with MK Plaza in the Hill View TIF.
• A TIF redevelopment agreement with DSH Properties and Sheila Baysinger, who is building a new architectural office on West Main Street in the HUB TIF District.
• A TIF redevelopment agreement with Perfectly Posh Boutique, which is refurbishing an old building on West Main Street in the HUB TIF.
• Adopting the International Building Code as it relates to businesses.