A company that rents out electric scooters in large metro areas is considering coming to smaller communities and looking to be implementing them in Monmouth.
A presentation was given to the Monmouth City Council on Monday from Bird Scooter about implementing these rental scooters to help members of the public get around town quickly.
City Administrator Lew Steinbrecher said the city had been in talks with Bird Scooter about finding public lands to create a “nest” for where these scooters would be stored but wanted to gauge aldermen’s feelings on them.
“Before we got into any deeper conversation with them, we agreed that we should at least approach the city council and take their temperature and see if there were any concerns or general support to pursue the idea,” Steinbrecher told WGIL on Tuesday. “And, generally, the council responded favorably and allowed us to continue these negotiations to work out some of the details.”
Members of the public would rent these electric scooters using a phone app. They have a top speed of 15 mph.
Steinbrecher said that Bird Scooter felt that with the college in town and the demographics of the city, Monmouth had the potential to be a profitable market.
Bird Scooter says they’d work with a local entrepreneur to collect the scooters nightly, charge them, and return them to the pickup locations each morning.
Aldermen on Monday approved a term sheet with Scott Haase, a local entrepreneur and developer who is renovating the former Review Atlas newspaper building into a family entertainment and recreational facility. The building sits within the boundaries of the newly established main street tax increment finance district.
Steinbrecher says that the building falls in the newly established TIF district and that the agreement is similar to that of the agreement with LMP and Hy-Vee, who is renovating the former ShopKo building, as well as the new Monmouth Townhomes development.
“All of these projects are within the new TIF district and I would expect, based on some conversations there’s going to continue to be some interest for commercial reinvestment in Monmouth here in the months ahead.”
Haase agreed to commit a minimum of $550,000 into the rehab of the building. The city will be rebating future TIF property tax increment revenues generated from the parcel up to a maximum of $120,000.