Mayor Shares Economic Development Activity w/Rotary

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Published on December 11 2013 7:50 pm
Last Updated on December 11 2013 7:50 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Effingham Mayor Merv Gillenwater shared good economic development news with the Effingham Noon Rotary Club at their meeting December 11.  The mayor served as guest speaker at Noon Rotary's Annual Business Associates Luncheon.

Gillenwater discussed several commercial businesses that have located in Effingham or will soon be opening.  He also shared that there are more to come including a nationally-known retailer that will occupy the remaining space in the strip mall in front of Kohl's, a natural gas fueling station on West Fayette, and the new Honda dealership that will be located on the former Dixie Truckers Home location off the West Fayette Avenue interchange.  The mayor said the good news extends to the industrial sector, mentioning the metal plant addition at John Boos and Company and an as-yet-unidentified manufacturer that would retrofit an existing local building and generate 70 jobs over the next three years.

The mayor also discussed fracking, which many see as an economic boon to southern Illinois.  He didn't disagree, but said consideration needs to be given to what would happen if the fracking market would grow large for a period of years and then tap out.  After the meeting, Gillenwater said there is concern that if the industry took over motels and restaurants during the good times, how hard would it be to re-attract those who now utilize Effingham that might be displaced?

City Economic Development Advisor Todd Hull joined the mayor at the meeting.  Ron Kinder served as Rotary weekly program chairman.

(FROM LEFT, CITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ADVISOR TODD HULL, MAYOR MERV GILLENWATER AND ROTARY WEEKLY PROGRAM CHAIRMAN RON KINDER)