On August 6, 2015 Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 4130 giving the Illinois Department of Military Affairs (DMAIL) the authority to transfer the Illinois Guard Armory in Streator to the city of Streator. This bill was introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives by Representative Frank Mautino, and shepherded through the Illinois Senate by Senator Sue Rezin.
Representative Mautino and Senator Rezin, on behalf of the State of Illinois, and Mayor Jimmie Lansford, on behalf of the city of Streator, invite the Streator community to participate in the formal transfer of ownership, which will occur at 2:00 pm, Monday, August 24, 2015 at the Streator Armory. “The transfer of the Streator Armory is a perfect example of how state and local government can work together to make sure our communities are even better places to live,” Senator Rezin said. “I want to thank everyone who helped make this happen, and I look forward to what this armory will become, the important role it will play, and fun events it will host in Streator.”
DMAIL decided in 2014 to decommission the Streator Armory, an iconic building built in1938 by the Works Progress Administration near the Vermilion River on Streator’s west side. Although nearly 80 years old, the structure is in good condition, and has been periodically modernized and updated by DMAIL through the years. “When we learned that DMAIL wanted to discontinue the use of the Streator Armory, due to unit restructuring and restationing, I offered to help the city obtain title to the building,” said Representative Mautino, “if they had a plan for its use. I believe the proposed plans are innovative and appropriate for this building.”
In anticipation of this legislation, the city of Streator and the Streator Chamber of Commerce worked together to form Streator Incubator, LLC, to operate the facility as a small business incubator, and community event center. The city will lease the facility to Streator Incubator, LLC for $1 per year to enable this new venture. The Streator City Council will act on this lease agreement at its regular meeting on August 19. The board of Streator Incubator LLC has been meeting monthly since April, and expects to make announcements soon about the first tenants to occupy the incubator. The new management company already has a website (www.streatorinc.com) and a preliminary business plan for its operations.
Streator has a long history of nurturing small entrepreneurs, start-ups and creative industrialists. Streator Incubator LLC hopes to build on this history of industrial and agricultural innovation by providing a facility that can help young businesses grow and succeed. About half of the Streator Armory is a mix of variously sized rooms and offices that will permit diverse business uses. The other half is a large gymnasium that can host athletic events, community activities, exhibits and shows. “We invite anyone who needs the assistance of the Streator Incubator to contact us so we can talk about how