Jefferson County was featured, along with a number of other Illinois communities, during the Annual Conference of the Illinois Economic Development Association, held June 22-23, 2017 in Rock Island, IL. During the “Economic Development Success Stories” session, Jonathon Hallberg presented on the newly-named Chesley Industrial Park and Phoenix Modular Elevator as the park’s first tenant. Hallberg outlined how the park received its financing, the timeline for planned completion, and the process of working with Phoenix Modular Elevator to provide them with a location well before the park’s planned completion.
The focus of the “Economic Development Success Stories” session was to share project examples that other communities could replicate and achieve similar successes. In this case, securing the first industrial tenant allowed the City of Mt. Vernon to obtain road funding through the Illinois Department of Transportation. This road funding was then used as a partial grant match for overall infrastructure funding from the US Department of Commerce – Economic Development Authority, along with a local match through bond funds. This put more than $7.3 million in infrastructure funding within reach with an expected local cost of only $2.7 million. And as a result, the new industrial park is expected to generate, when fully occupied, up to 550 new jobs for the region.
The other presenters for the “Economic Development Success Stories” session included;
- Park Plaza redevelopment – Walter Williams of the City of Edwardsville,
- Five Aprils subdivision in Newton, IL – Adam Stroud, PGAV Planners,
- MightVine Tomatoes and BrightFarms developments – Jason Anderson, City of Rochelle,
- Halo Branded Solutions expansion in Sterling, IL – Heather Sotelo of the Greater Sterling Development Council.
The session was moderated by Paul Ellis of the Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Council. Other sessions that were featured during the annual conference included;
- “The Way Forward” – Big changes in Illinois and in the IEDA
- State Update with the Department of Commerce & Team RED
- Networking with Economic Development Leaders & Businesses
- Illinois Young Professionals Kick-Off
- Workforce Development Solutions
- Foreign Direct Investment Update
- Regional Breakouts