July 17, 2019

Recent fireworks over the July 4th holiday weekend weren’t the only thing booming as we have no shortage of good news to share with you in this edition of Good NewsLink.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law a $45 billion capital spending plan that allocates a total of some $254,469,000 to build and upgrade bridges, roads, schools, parks and other projects in Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair county communities. Additionally, the program authorizes up to a total of $5.48 million in grants for derelict building demolition or infrastructure projects to be designated over the next six years in 29 communities, making it one of the most comprehensive reconstruction efforts in the state's history that will create an estimated 540,000 jobs.

Earlier last month, I joined local business leaders, government officials and educators on a trip to Washington D.C. to meet with representatives of the Japan Business Federation with the goal of helping local businesses develop strong associations with Japanese businesses that could bring jobs to the Metro East. We met with officials from Keidanren, an economic organization representing more than 1,400 Japanese companies, 109 nationwide industrial associations and 47 separate regional economic organizations, extending an invitation to visit the region and see Southwestern Illinois as a great place to do business.

On behalf of the entire Leadership Council membership, we extend our congratulations to Col. J. Scot Heathman, who assumed command of the 375th Air Mobility Wing at Scott Air Force Base last month. As commander of the 375th AMW, Heathman oversees a diverse operational airlift mission throughout the continental United States with a fleet of 14 C-21 Lear Jets.

Continue reading on for more on these developments and exciting news related to additional investments in various other sectors, including healthcare, transportation, recreation, energy and more.

Have a great 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
Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois and local leaders traveled to Washington D.C. to present to the Keidanren, Japan Business Federation
How one Metro East intersection has brought $580M in development
(St. Louis Business Journal, 6/10/2019)
Over the past two years, about $580 million worth of development has taken place at the Greenmount Road and Interstate 64 interchange in Metro East, according to data from O’Fallon, Illinois-based real estate brokerage and development company Wittenauer Properties. (Read More) 
Locals applaud $28.8 million Federal Railroad Administration grant for work on MacArthur Bridge
(Illinois Business Journal, 6/12/2019)
Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis has received a $28.8 million U.S. Federal Railroad Administration grant to replace the main span girders on the MacArthur Bridge crossing the Mississippi River . (Read More)

IMPACT Strategies completes Hospice of Southern Illinois project
(Illinois Business Journal, 6/14/2019)
IMPACT Strategies has completed another project for Hospice of Southern Illinois, allowing the operation to move to a single campus. IMPACT was selected to oversee the renovations of a 7,500-square-foot building next to the agency's office on South Illinois Street in Belleville. The building had previously been occupied by three separate tenants and required an extensive amount of demolition before the renovations could begin. (Read More)

Illinois to pay for long-sought MetroLink extension to MidAmerica Airport
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 6/14/2019)
While St. Louis and St. Louis County officials try to figure out new MetroLink routes, up to $96 million has been secured from the Illinois Legislature to pay for a long-sought Metro East extension to MidAmerica St. Louis Airport. (Read More)

Metro East officials in D.C. vying for Japanese business connections
(The Alton Telegraph, 6/15/2019)
Local business leaders, government officials and educators went to Washington D.C. last week to meet with representatives of the Japan Business Federation.They plan to host a delegation from the group locally in the near future. The ultimate goal is to help local businesses develop strong associations with Japanese businesses that could bring jobs to the Metro East. (Read More)

Start-Up Challenge offers $20,000 to spur business growth in metro-east
(Belleville News-Democrat, 07/03/2019)
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Small Business Development Center wants to grow metro-east startups focused on information technology, health care, manufacturing or sustainable food. Part of their plan includes the Metro East Start-Up Challenge, which is entering its sixth year and now accepting applications. (Read More)

Air Evac establishes new base in Madison County
(Illinois Business Journal, 6/20/2019)
Air Evac Lifeteam is increasing its coverage in Illinois with a new base in Madison County that will serve patients within a 70-mile radius. Officials said the new base, which opened on June 19, will ensure more residents in the region will have access to lifesaving emergency medical care. The base is located on the campus of Anderson Hospital in Maryville. (Read More)

Ground broken on new Harry Gallatin SIUE golf facility at Sunset Hills in Edwardsville
(Illinois Business Journal, 6/20/2019)
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville celebrated a creative community partnership backed by external support by breaking ground Thursday for the new Harry Gallatin SIUE Golf Practice Facility at Sunset Hills Country Club in Edwardsville. (Read More)
Ron Starner, executive vice president of Site Selection Magazine , toured the Southwestern Illinois region May 2nd and 3rd. He was the featured speaker at the Leadership Council's May board meeting.

Site Selection magazine is a prominent international business publication
that covers corporate real estate and economic development sent to nearly 50,000 domestic and international high-profile site selectors and companies.
Mercy's $3M clinic in Columbia won't be its last in the Metro East
(St. Louis Business Journal, 6/17/2019)
Last week, Mercy announced it would expand into the Metro East with a new primary care clinic. But that move likely won't be the health system's last across the river. Mercy said Wednesday that construction has started on a $3 million primary care facility in Columbia, Illinois, which is expected to open in September. The clinic will mark the organization's first location in Illinois. (Read More)

Illinois hospital expands into popular Metro East development area
(St. Louis Business Journal, 6/25/2019)
HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital has opened a new outpatient physical therapy location in a fast-growing area of Metro East St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is leasing 5,550-square-feet of space for its new physical therapy clinic at the $20 million McKendree Metro Rec Plex in O’Fallon, Illinois, located at 209 Rec Plex Drive. The hospital system said the new outpatient therapy clinic, which started seeing patients June 3, offers four private physical therapy rooms and expanded gym space, and will offer additional programs such as aquatic therapy and occupational therapy starting July 1. (Read More)

Heathman takes reigns of 375th AMW
(Belleville News Democrat, 6/25/2019)
Col. J. Scot Heathman assumed command of the 375th Air Mobility Wing during an assumption of command ceremony at Scott Air Force Base. (Read More)

Illinois American Water announces $750,000 in Alton wastewater upgrades
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 7/01/2019)
Just days after completing its acquisition of the city’s wastewater system, Illinois American Water said it will make an “inaugural investment” of about $750,000 in related upgrades and improvements to service. (Read More)

Metro East raceway nears $40M in renovations after latest project
(St. Louis Business Journal, 7/02/2019)
World Wide Technology Raceway is approaching nearly $40 million in renovations under its current ownership after completion of its most recent improvement project, which is aimed at increasing the amount of road racing at the motorsports park. (Read More)

Southern Illinois eyes big boost from gaming expansion
(Illinois Business Journal, 7/02/2019)
Gov. J.B. Pritzker will visit Walker’s Bluff winery in Southern Illinois Tuesday, July 2, to tout a planned casino enabled through newly approved, massive gaming expansion legislation. (Read More)

‘Rebuild’ funds target new Metro East projects but also extensive demolition
(Chronicle Illinois, 6/27/2019)
Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s $41.5 billion ‘Rebuild Illinois’ capital improvements program allocates a total of some $254,469,000 for projects in Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair county communities, according to a detailed version of the plan released earlier this month. (Read More)

If you use MidAmerica this month, you won’t be alone. Airport on pace to set passenger record
(Belleville News Democrat, 7/03/2019)
MidAmerica St. Louis Airport and St. Clair County officials are calling 2019 a milestone year for the airport due to increasing patronage, new partnerships and projects. (Read More)

Grafton and Alton businesses returning from the flood
(Illinois Business Journal, 7/02/2019)
Following the second-highest flood in its history (3 feet below the 1993 flood) Grafton is ready for a celebration. Mayor Rick Eberlin and the city are using the Independence Day celebration, which will take place on July 6, at 8:30 p.m. near The Loading Dock restaurant and bar, to mark the unofficial reopening of Grafton to tourists. (Read More)
Thank you to the Leadership Council's Program Sponsors: