January 16, 2018
This issue of Good NewsLink is our first of the New Year and it's filled with links to stories about exciting new developments for our region. You'll see below spotlights on public and private projects throughout Southwestern Illinois that are taking shape in many industry sectors, from senior housing and transportation to healthcare and recreation. 

You'll also find insight from the County Board Chairmen for both Madison and St. Clair County on what they see ahead for their counties, and those thoughts are amplified by separate articles highlighting the projections for some of our individual communities.

It's a lengthy edition, but we hope you'll find it to be a great way to catch up on all the good news that's brewing as we dive full speed ahead into 2018. Have a great week!
Ronda Sauget, D. Mgmt, MBA
Executive Director
Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois

$10.9 million senior living facility breaks ground at Swansea MetroLink station
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/8/18)
Officials formally broke ground today on Metro Landing of Swansea, a $10.9 million senior apartment project adjacent to the MetroLink station in Swansea.  The project is designed to be both affordable, independent living for the residents and a useful, readily available transportation option, and it is the result of cooperation of numerous parties, including federal, state and local governments and other stakeholders. (Read More)

West Star Aviation building 2nd hangar in 3 years at St. Louis Regional Airport
(Alton Telegraph, 12/21/17)
West Star Aviation, a tenant of St. Louis Regional Airport in East Alton, plans to have another hangar built by next spring. The 47,300-square-foot structure would be the second hangar the company has built in the last three years to accommodate its expanding business that specializes in maintenance, repair and overhaul (known in short as MRO in the aviation industry), mostly for corporate jets, but also for some privately-owned jets. When West Star brought its first MRO hangar, which held its grand opening in May 2014, it also brought 150 immediate jobs and more than $20 million in revenue. ( Read More)

Memorial's not abandoning Belleville. They've invested $71 million since 2012.
(Belleville News-Democrat 1/11/18)
While Memorial Hospital in Belleville has expanded with a new hospital in Shiloh, become part of the St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare system and has plans for a new Siteman Cancer Center in Shiloh, the hospital's leaders have invested more than $71 million in the original hospital campus over the past six years.  These capital expenditures were authorized for the Belleville campus after Memorial opened a $24 million Orthopedic and Neuroscience Center in 2011 along Frank Scott Parkway. (Read More )

Holland Construction partners with Fairview Heights on city's future rec center
(Illinois Business Journal, 12/16/17)
When the city of Fairview Heights began moving forward with plans to build a recreation complex, it looked for a construction partner with long standing ties to the community, someone they could trust to help make their vision for this new facility a reality. (Read More)
IDOT in 2017: Building connections, improving safety, focusing on innovation
(Riverbender, 12/30/17)
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Transportation, under the leadership of Gov. Bruce Rauner and Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn, delivered in 2017 on its commitment to create economic opportunity throughout the state by better connecting communities, improving safety and enhancing quality of life. ( Read More)

Public meeting set on I-270 Chain of Rocks Bridge replacement
(The Telegraph, 1/3/18)
GRANITE CITY - The public will get a chance to be updated and give input on the proposed replacement of the I-270 Chain of Rocks Bridge over the Mississippi River at a public meeting later this month.  The meeting will be from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17 at Southwestern Illinois College's Granite City Campus, 4950 Maryville Road, Granite City. ( Read More )

Kern: Activity, revenue take off at MidAmerica Airport
(St. Louis Business Journal, 1/4/18)
2018 budget: $168,677,174
Population: 262,759
Employees: 907 (active employee count includes full- and part-time positions)
What's new at Scott Air Force Base? Scott AFB is our largest employer in Southwestern Illinois with 13,000 employees and an annual economic impact of more than $3.2 billion. Nearly 30,000 military retirees live in the county and the greater St. Louis region. ( Read More)

Prenzler: Amazon jobs are just the beginning in Madison County
(St. Louis Business Journal, 1/4/18)
2018 budget: $145,247,999
Employee count: 845
Population: 265,759 E
What is the county doing to build employment and attract jobs? This past year Madison County successfully attracted jobs in a number of sectors.  Westar Aviation recently added 100 jobs at the St. Louis Regional Airport in Bethalto.
Prairie Farms moved its corporate headquarters to Edwardsville, bringing with it 80 to 100 jobs and is building a $9 million, 30,000-square-foot building. ( Read More )

Report indicates regional growth
(The Edwardsville Intelligencer, 1/5/18)
We've become accustomed to seeing new businesses and homes pop up in the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon area for years.
Now, that trend has grown to encompass the entire St. Louis region. ( Read More)

Officials celebrate completion of MetroBikeLink trail in St. Clair County
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/5/18)
I t may take some warmer weather to really enjoy it, but cyclists, walkers and joggers now have the final 2.9-mile section in place for the 11-mile MetroBikeLink Trail that runs throughout St. Clair County.  Users can take advantage the year-round on the trail, which now connects five MetroLink stations, beginning at Memorial Hospital and ending at Shiloh-Scott. St. Clair County Transit District and engineering firm TWM collaborated on the entire trail design. The funding was provide   ( Read More)

BJC gets approval for ownership change of Memorial hospitals
(St. Louis Business Journal, 1/3/18)
BJC HealthCare has received the green light from the state of Illinois to become the sole owner of Memorial Hospital in Belleville and its Memorial Hospital East facility in Shiloh. (Read More)

Auffenberg Shiloh purchases 32 acres for new St. Clair Auto Mall relocation
(Illinois Business Journal, 12/21/17)
Auffenberg Shiloh, LLC has purchased a 32-acre development site on Frank Scott Parkway in Shiloh for the future St. Clair Auto Mall relocation project.  In February an additional 3.6 acres will be added for a total of 35.6 acres, the property brokers, BARBERMurphy Group, reported Wednesday. ( Read More)

Coldwell Banker Brown Realtors merges with Property Professionals
(Advantage News, 12/18/17)
EDWARDSVILLE - Coldwell Banker Brown Realtors will expand its presence in the Riverbend.
The real estate agency announced Monday it has completed a merger with the Property Professionals offices, which are in Godfrey, Grafton, and Hardin.   ( Read More )

Illinois Slashes LLC Fees To Encourage New Businesses
(Peoria Public Radio, 12/21/17)
Effective immediately, the fees for a popular form of small business in Illinois are significantly lower.
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation Wednesday that substantially reduces startup, annual filing and other fees for limited liability companies (LLCs).  The filing fee for new LLCs drops from $500 to $150 and annual report fees drop from $250 to $75. Previously, the Illinois fees were among the highest in the nation, according to the governor's office. (Read More )

Program aims to help businesses grow
(Advantage News 1/5/18)
The Illinois Small Business Development Center for the Metro East at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is collaborating with WRS Solutions LLC to bring the highly acclaimed Kauffman Foundation FastTrac Growth Venture series to the Riverbend. (Read More )

Progressing Forward: Alton 2018
(River Bender 1/9/18)
ALTON - Alton Mayor Brant Walker was brimming with enthusiasm when asked about his views of Alton in 2018 last Friday.
In 2017, Alton went through several changes. The people reelected Walker, but the mayoral race brought a lot of issues in the city to a head. Before the race had finished in April, many things were in the process of transformation. After the people had spoken, those changes kept coming. Walker said he would like to continue that trend into the future. (Read More)

Estimated $9 million jail renovation project has plenty of bidders
(The Telegraph 1/10/18)
EDWARDSVILLE - Almost a dozen general contractors have expressed interest in bidding on the upcoming multi-year, estimated $9 million renovation of the Madison County Jail.  The county is expected to seek bids in the spring, with work beginning in late spring or summer. ( Read More)

Ameren Illinois chief named as leading black business leader
(Post-Dispatch 1/12/18)
Ameren Illinois chairman and president Richard J. Mark, has been named by a publication as one of the most powerful black executives in the U.S.  Black Enterprise includes Mark among 300 black business leaders. (Read More)

SIUE School of Engineering solidifies global partnership with Tongmyong University
(Alton Telegraph, 12/10/17)
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering (SOE) Dean Cem Karacal, PhD, welcomed a contingent from Tongmyong University (TU) of Busan, South Korea on Monday, Dec. 4, the first of the group's three-day visit to the SIUE campus. Among the Korean visitors was TU's School of Engineering Dean Kim Jung-In. ( Read More)

SIUE gets $100,000 humanities grant
Advantage News, 12/19/17)
The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded Southern Illinois University Edwardsville a two-year $100,000 Humanities Access Grant for the creation of an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on digital storytelling. ( Read More)

Boeing grant will help SIUE East St. Louis Center kindergarten prep program
(Illinois Business Journal, 12/16/17)
The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Center is able to prepare more children for kindergarten because of the continued support of The Boeing Company. Boeing recently gave the ESLC a Kindergarten Readiness grant, which is the company's second award to the center. The five-week program will begin in summer 2018. ( Read More)

SIUE Science Building survives the test
(Illinois Business Journal - 1/15/18)
About the time that many of this year's freshman students were arriving in the world, SIUE began laying out plans to remodel one of the university's oldest buildings.  Now, those students - 19 years old and counting - will soon meet the latest jewel on campus. Science Building East, a project fraught with unexpected challenges, is ready for its closeup. (Read More)

Mayors push regionalized growth effort
(Illinois Business Journal - 1/15/18)
A group of Metro East mayors, cast in a rare forum to talk about their towns, said they are leaning on each other more than ever and believe growth will rely on such cooperation. ( Read More )

New multimodal station opens several opportunities for Alton
(Illinois Business Journal - 1/15/18)
The new Regional Multimodal Transportation Center and substantial remodeling to nearby Alton Square have the city rolling into the new year on a high note.  The train station is now seeing full parking lots, Mayor Brant Walker said. (Read More)

Hangar projects address demand at St. Louis Downtown Airport
(Illinois Business Journal, January 2018)
St. Louis Downtown Airport's list of plans for 2017 included several new hangars. Construction is in progress at the general aviation airport located in Cahokia. ( Read More)

Shiloh sees health-care progress and other opportunities ahead
(Illinois Business Journal, January 2018)
By anyone's estimates, Shiloh had the kind of year like you read about - story after story on positive developments. The coming year looks like more of the same. ( Read More)

New trail will connect up Troy and O'Fallon areas
(llinois Business Journal, January 2018)
An eight-mile bike trail linking Troy and O'Fallon should be wrapped up by the end of 2018, giving recreationists another means of enjoying the Madison County Transit District trail network. (Read More)

Development leads Collinsville to strong revenue growth in 2017
(Illinois Business Journal, January 2018)
The city of Collinsville enjoyed a strong economy in 2017 with sales tax revenues up 10 percent over 2016 levels and the assessed valuation of the city's real estate up 4.7 percent, according to City Manager Mitch Bair.  (Read More)

Monroe County Economic Development plans series to help entrepreneurs
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/1/18)
The first of a series of entrepreneurial programs for Southwest Illinois sponsored by the Monroe County Economic Development will take place Wednesday, Jan. 3, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Stubborn German Brewery, 119 S. Main St., Waterloo.  ( Read More )

Illinois American Water recognized for diversity, inclusion by NAACP
(Illinois Business Journal - 1/15/18)
On Oct. 8, Illinois American Water was named the Corporate Business of the Year for Diversity and Inclusion by the East St. Louis Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at a ceremony in St. Louis. This award is presented to companies who visibly exceed standards in the areas of diversity and inclusion. ( Read More)