April 2, 2019


Spring has finally arrived, and just as temperatures outside start to heat up, so is the investment activity all across Southwestern Illinois.

Much of that investment is being made in our region's infrastructure, and infrastructure investment was also in the spotlight at our annual dinner on March 21. There has been over $2B dollars in utility and infrastructure investments in our region, and $438M in IDOT multi-modal transportation investments, including $223M for the replacement of the I-270 Bridge. We would like to again congratulate those who received awards and have made significant utility and multi-modal infrastructure investments, which include Ameren Illinois, Illinois American Water, Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Senator Martin A. Sandoval, Illinois Representative Jay Hoffman, East-West Gateway Council of Governments, St. Louis Regional Freightway, Madison County and St. Clair County. In addition, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to all those who attended the 2019 Salute to Southwestern Illinois Awards Dinner, and to our many sponsors for their tremendous support in making the event a huge success! While we celebrated investments already made, all the latest news points to much more to come.

A plan to speed up trains through one of the busiest junctions in the Metro East has gotten a significant financial boost from the Federal Railroad Administration of more than $5 million. This important federal investment will help to improve rail speed and service reliability for Amtrak passengers and freight services throughout the region. 

The Illinois Business Journal highlights Illinois American Water, which expects to invest more than $100 million across its Illinois service area this year, upholding its commitment to provide safe, reliable service and high water-quality standards to local communities in 2019. And that's on top of investing over $122 million to install or rehabilitate more than 42 miles of water and sewer main last year.

With the National Weather Service forecasting the Mississippi River levels to rise 20 percent higher than average, The Metro-East Sanitary District is preparing to protect residents in the low-lying areas in Madison and St. Clair counties. While sandbags have been filled and closure gates are ready to be installed, MESD also invested $4 million into pump stations to prevent equipment damage and enable reserve pumps to be activated much more quickly than in the past, removing more water than ever before.

Continue reading on for more on these developments and exciting news related to additional investments in various other sectors, including healthcare, senior living, education and retail.

Have a great rest of the week!

Dr. Ronda Sauget
Ronda Sauget, D. Mgmt, MBA
Executive Director and CEO
Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois
104 Magnolia Drive, Ste B
Glen Carbon, IL 62034
Arcus Award 2019
The Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois won the St. Louis Arcus Award for Achievement in Regional Economic Impact - Small Enterprise.

Congratulations to all the Leadership Council Board Members and partners for all that you do to make a difference in our region daily, which contributed to this win for Southwestern Illinois!  
Byron, Plocher ‘Trace’ Edwardsville’s Development with $50 Million Mixed-Use Project
(St. Louis Construction News and Review, 3/7/2019)
The East side real estate development team of Christopher Byron and Scott Plocher is forging ahead on a $50 million, mixed-use site in Edwardsville, Trace on the Parkway. Byron, managing partner of Edwardsville-based BCPK Law LLC and Plocher, president of Highland-based Plocher Construction Co. Inc., broke ground in January on the project formerly known as Edwardsville Town Center.  (Read More)

Metro East mixed-use project secures $22M construction loan
(St. Louis Business Journal, 3/8/2019)
A 153-unit, mixed-use development in Edwardsville has secured a $21.8 million construction loan, continuing the momentum the Metro East has seen in multifamily projects. David Garfinkel, senior vice president/managing director of NorthMarq’s St. Louis office, finalized the construction loan for Whispering Heights — a Class A development with 153 market-rate apartments and 18,700 square feet of retail space at Illinois Route 157 and Enclave Boulevard in Edwardsville. (Read More)

Rail project would speed trains through Metro East
(Illinois Business Journal, March 2019 Issue)
A plan to speed up trains through one of the busiest junctions in Metro East has gotten a significant financial boost from the Federal Railroad Administration. The Lenox Interlocking Reconfiguration Project in the Mitchell area outside Granite City received $5,083,719 last month, a healthy portion of the money said to be needed to realign trackage and ease a major bottleneck. (Read More)

$2 million rehab center to be built at Alton Square, OSF HealthCare says
(Illinois Business Journal, 3/25/2019)
OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony’s Health Center says a 12,000-square-foot rehab center will be built on the upper level of Alton Square Mall in the existing food court area, with construction expected to begin in the summer. The announcement was made Wednesday at an economic update luncheon hosted by the RiverBend Growth Association. (Read More)

Senior living development to break ground in Glen Carbon next year
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 3/17/2019)
GLEN CARBON — During its village board meeting last week, Glen Carbon approved a special use permit for a planned development procedure, or PDP, from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield to create a 55-acre senior living and health care development south of Bouse Road and west of Father McGivney Catholic High School. (Read More)

Infrastructure investment supports safe drinking water, local jobs
(Illinois Business Journal, March 2019 Issue)
As the local water and/or wastewater provider, the work of our team touches every one of our customers daily. We ensure safe, reliable service to make your morning coffee, wash your dishes, flush your toilet and other daily activities which often are taken for granted. This responsibility to our customers is something we take seriously. It’s why we continue to invest in our critical water and wastewater systems. (Read More)

Metro-East Sanitary District shifts flood plan into high gear
(Advantage News, 3/20/2019)
The Metro-East Sanitary District is preparing for floods to protect residents in the low-lying areas in Madison and St. Clair counties. With the National Weather Service forecasting the Mississippi River levels to crest at least 42 feet in St. Louis, 20 percent higher than average, MESD wants to be ready for rising floodwaters. MESD President Charles Brinza said sandbags are filled and the closure gates are ready to be installed at critical intersections where levees meet roads and railroad tracks. (Read More)
 In celebration of Read Across America Day, Clifford the Big Red Dog and local Union Pacific employees and community business members from the Leadership Council’s speakers bureau visited students at Bluffview Elementary School on March 1st to read the new Scholastic book, “Clifford and the Railroad Crossing.” In this highly anticipated book, Clifford learns about railroad crossing safety alongside his closest friend Emily Elizabeth and her teammates who are going to a softball game. In addition, students were given books, conductor hats, and whistles.
Top priority: O’Fallon City Council addressing infrastructure issues
(Belleville News-Democrat, 3/12/2019)
Infrastructure has become a top priority in O’Fallon, and the city council approved and advanced more improvement projects recently, including water and sewer projects that total more than $1.25 million.
“Our infrastructure has some age on it and really needed to be addressed,” Mayor Herb Roach said. “Many of the streets in our older parts of town had not been addressed for some time. Under our citizens survey and the priorities of our City Council, we are putting forth an effort to address these needs.” (Read More)

Lewis and Clark Community College arena renovations to start April 1
(Illinois Business Journal, 3/15/2019)
Lewis and Clark Community College’s George C. Terry River Bend Arena will undergo a renovation project this spring and summer, which will include a new roof, HVAC upgrades, gutter replacement, electrical improvements, waterproofing, a new gym floor, and other interior improvements. Crews this week began moving faculty and staff out of the arena portion beginning March 11 with an April 1 construction start date. (Read More)

Leaders mark debut of Metro Landing of Swansea
(Illinois Business Journal, 3/12/2019)
An $11 million, transit-oriented senior living development was dedicated Monday in Swansea.
Southwestern Illinois Development Authority and Bywater Development Group joined with Bi-State Development and other key stakeholders and guests for the official ribbon cutting celebrating the grand opening of Metro Landing of Swansea, located next to the Swansea MetroLink Station. (Read More)

Ameren Illinois
(Illinois Business Journal, Mach 2019 Issue)
As the chairman and president of Ameren Illinois, I see first-hand the impact of people working together to drive economic development and its vital importance to the Metro East. It takes dedication, compromise, good policies and lots of hard work to help Southwestern Illinois thrive. (Read More)

Memorial Regional Health Services
(Illinois Business Journal, March 2019 Issue)
Memorial Hospital Belleville has been recognized as one of the best hospitals in the region for 2018-2019 by U.S. News & World Report. Memorial ranked fifth among the best hospitals in the St. Louis area and 19th in the State of Illinois. In addition, Memorial Belleville is listed among ‘high performing’ hospitals for treatment of heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hip replacement and knee replacement. (Read More)

St. Louis Regional Airport
(Illinois Business Journal, March 2019 Issue)
It looks like 2019 should be another outstanding year for both aeronautical and non-aeronautical business at St. Louis Regional Airport. Work is starting on Phase II of construction to expand the ramp to further aeronautical business. One million dollars in federal funds and $50,000 in state funds have been awarded for the ramp project. Later in the year there will be pavement and drainage improvements around the T-hangars.  (Read More)

County funds environmental projects
(Advantage News, 3/19/2019)
Madison County is awarding more than $181,000 in grants to municipalities and townships for environmental initiatives. Thirteen communities will receive environmental grants totaling $181,893 to support conservation and sustainability projects. The Resource Management Program within Planning and Development administers funding for the program. (Read More)

Madison County readies to help Jersey with staffing development
(Illinois Business Journal, March 2019 Issue)
A Madison County government organization is poised to play a vital role in helping staff a giant Jersey County development when the state officially reorganizes its regional workforce boundaries later this year. Come July 1, Calhoun and Jersey counties will be added to Workforce Area 22 represented by Madison County Employment and Training.  (Read More)

Building St. Louis: House of Miles trumpets local history in $150,000 renovation
(St. Louis Business Journal, 3/22/2019)
The home at 1701 Kansas Ave. in East St. Louis had seen better days.
Its white wooden panels had been ripped off, aluminum siding pillaged and windows boarded up. There was little to show that the 1,220-square-foot-structure was the boyhood home of legendary musician Miles Davis. (Read More)
Thank You to All of Our
Annual Dinner Sponsors….

Centerpiece Sponsor
IllinoiSouth Tourism

Wine Sponsors
Raifort Properties

Presentation and Award
Anders CPAs + Advisors
Holland Construction Services
Impact Strategies
McKendree University
Memorial Network BJC Healthcare
Southern Illinois Builders Association
Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program
TheBANK of Edwardsville

Program Sponsors
Ameren Illinois
icon Mechanical
Mathis, Marifian, & Richter, LTD
Poettker Construction
Prairie State Generating Company
Regional Business Council
Truck Centers, Inc.

Music Sponsors
Enterprise Holdings
Express Employment Professionals
Jackson Lewis P.C.
J.F. Electric
St. Louis Bank
The Korte Co
Visionary Wealth Advisors
Webster University - Scott AFB
Appetizer Sponsors
Barber Murphy
Cork Tree Creative
Donco Electrical Construction, LLC
Egyptian Workspace Partners
Friends of Latoya Greenwood
Geotechnology, Inc.
Hank’s Excavating & Landscaping, Inc.
Horner & Shifrin
Korte & Luitjohan Contractors
Louer Facility Planning, Inc.
Oates Associates
Regions Bank
SCI Engineering, Inc.
SW IL Building and Construction Trades Council

Table Sponsors
Ameren Illinois
Anders CPAs + Advisors
Associated Bank
Carrollton Bank
Enterprise Holdings
First National Bank
Gateway Motorsports Park
Gulfstream Aerospace
Hank’s Excavating & Landscaping, Inc.
Horner & Shifrin
HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital
icon Mechanical
Illinois American Water Company
Impact Strategies
Mathis, Marifian, & Richter, LTD
McKendree University
MG+M, The Law Firm
Phillips 66 Co.—Wood River Refinery
Prairie State Generating Company
Professional Therapy Services
Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois
Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation
Southwestern Illinois College
St. Louis Bank
St. Louis – Kansas City Carpenters
St. Louis Regional Chamber
Steamfitters Local 439
Truck Centers, Inc.

Thank you to the Leadership Council's Program Sponsors: