Aldermen approve enterprise zone expansion Hurdle cleared for relocation of Prairie Farms headquarters

Posted: Monday, April 25, 2016 12:14 pm
By MATTHEW KAMP mkamp.edwi@gmail.com | 0 comments

The relocation of the Prairie Farms headquarters from Carlinville to Edwardsville took an important step Tuesday.
At the recent City Council meeting, Edwardsville aldermen approved the expansion of the enterprise zone to accommodate the move of Prairie Farms.

“Prairie Farms has expressed interest in moving to Edwardsville, and one of the prerequisites is having the enterprise zone available,” City Economic Development Director Walt Williams said.

The new $9 million, three-story headquarters would be located in the Edwardsville Corporate Center, located to the east of Interstate 55. Scott Credit Union and Hortica Insurance are currently located there.

Currently, the enterprise zone is 12-square acres with businesses taking up 5.5 to six acres. An additional six acres is being sought for the move.

“It’s a really small amount,” Williams said.
Once the move is complete, there will be the creation of 90 to 100 professional jobs, according to Williams.

Prairie Farms represents over 700 farm families and is one of the largest farmer-owned dairy cooperatives in the Midwest. Annual sales near $3 billion for the company that employs 5,700 and has 36 manufacturing plants.

Prairie Farms was founded in 1938.
Pontoon Beach and Madison County have already approved the resolutions for the expansion.

The project is estimated to take 18 months.

In other business, the aldermen approved a $6,000 tourism fund request for the upcoming Edwardsville Art Fair.
The Art Fair will take place Sept. 23-25 in City Park. If the weather is bad, it will be housed inside the Edwardsville High School gymnasium.

Last year, there were 68 artists, including several high schools, for the event. Iowa, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri and Illinois were all represented. There were 32 hotel room nights generated, according to the application.
Those numbers are expected to rise this year.

“They are expecting over 100 artists and more overnight stays,” Alderman Art Risavy said. “Based on those numbers and the expectations, we thought the additional amount was in line.”
The Edwardsville Art Fair was approved for a $5,000 tourism fund request last year.

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