C&N Supply looking to move south of town, Dixon council wants annexation

Farm supply store has been part of downtown for 27 years

C&N Supply at 105 S. Peoria Ave., in Dixon, on Wednesday, March 22, 2023.

DIXON – C&N Supply is planning to move from its longtime downtown location to just south of the city, and the Dixon City Council wants an annexation agreement in place or the group will object to the project.

Doug Hicks, owner of C&N Supply at 105 S. Peoria Ave., spoke to the council Monday with concerns about a resolution on the agenda objecting to a zoning change for the property he plans to purchase at 1546 state Route 26.

Hicks is petitioning Lee County to change the property from agricultural zoning to industrial to accommodate the business. The request will go to the Lee County Zoning Board of Appeals April 6 and then go to the Lee County Board for a final vote.

The city doesn’t have authority outside the city limits, but it can support or object to zoning changes within a mile and a half of its boundaries.

Storefront of C&N Supply at 105 S. Peoria Ave., in Dixon on March 22, 2023.

There’s a vested interest in the city in promoting business growth and economic growth.”

—  Dixon Mayor Li Arellano Jr.

Hicks said he didn’t think an agricultural store was a good fit for downtown so he wanted to move to a better location and planned to start constructing the new building in May.

He’s already invested in the project, doesn’t want to delay the construction and said he doesn’t see why he should annex.

“I just don’t know a reason why I should annex in,” he said.

Mayor Li Arellano Jr. said the objection came about because they were told that there wasn’t interest in annexation, and the city isn’t going to support losing one of its businesses.

“There’s a vested interest in the city in promoting business growth and economic growth,” Arellano said. “We want to see it happen within our borders; what we don’t want is businesses trying to move right to the edge of town – especially when they generate sales tax and all these other things – and not be a part of the city.”

Dixon attorney Courtney Kennedy, representing Hicks, told the council that annexation isn’t off the table.

The council decided to hold off on the resolution objecting to the project pending a possible annexation agreement.

Hicks took over C&N Supply and FarmChains.com about two years ago following the death of his father-in-law, Ken Novak, who was fondly known as “Krazy Ken the Farmer’s Friend.”

Novak died in July 2021 after fighting stage III esophageal cancer.

C&N Supply has been in its downtown location for 27 years, and Hicks is hoping to grow the business after building a new facility at the new property, which used to house hogs.

“It’s a great opportunity to grow,” Hicks said.

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Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers joined Sauk Valley Media in 2016 covering local government in Dixon and Lee County.