Category: News

Mayors speak at annual breakfast

Thursday, April 7, 2016 11:50 am
By MATTHEW KAMP mkamp.edwi@gmail.com | 0 comments
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Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton, left, and Glen Carbon Mayor Rob Jackstadt after Thursday's breakfast.

Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton, left, and Glen Carbon Mayor Rob Jackstadt after Thursday’s breakfast.

Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton, left, and Glen Carbon Mayor Rob Jackstadt after Thursday’s breakfast.
Posted on Apr 7, 2016by Matt Kamp
Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton and Glen Carbon Mayor Rob Jackstadt each delivered their fair share of jokes Thursday at the Chamber of Commerce Mayors’ Breakfast, but they also both raved about the growth of their respective communities.

Gathered in front of a large crowd inside the Leclaire Room at the N.O. Nelson Complex, Patton and Jackstadt discussed the past year and the future of Edwardsville and Glen Carbon. Both painted pictures of growth and stability.

“We have a lot of growth, a lot of great businesses and those (people) that have been serving our community for decades,” Patton said.

Edwardsville will be going through a facelift over the next year, from the construction of the new public safety facility building to the Spray and Play Park to the facade program downtown that has already seen the redevelopment of several older buildings. The Spray and Play Park is expected to open in May, and the new public safety facility building will likely be going out for bids in June.

Prairie Farms also recently announced its potential move to the enterprise zone, and Patton said another Fortune 500 company could soon follow.

That doesn’t include what took place the last year with the addition and re-location of a number of new businesses, including Planet Fitness, Gingham Buffalo, Happy Hop, Signarama and Source Juicery.

Edwardsville’s assessed value went from $611 million last fiscal year to $630 million. The tax rate remained at 1.54 percent for a third straight year.

“Growth is good, and we try our best to keep the tax rate flat,” Patton said. “If your home or business hasn’t been re-assessed or you haven’t added on, you haven’t seen an increase in the city of Edwardsville despite these projects.”
Those projects include the three-pronged A Better Place to Play campaign, which will help give residents more opportunities to stay in town. The Spray and Play Park will be first to be done, while the 70-acre Plummer Family Sports Park will be completed as a phased-in project. The proposed ice rink is the third part of the campaign.

With all the new businesses, Patton said residents “won’t have to leave Edwardsville and Glen Carbon” to go shopping or play in the parks.
Road projects will also be a common sight around town. Linden Street was recently approved for renovations, and future work includes Buchanan Street and Route 143, among others.

“If you ever hear me refer to me team as an all-star team, they really are,” Patton said. “I have to single out Eric (Williams, public works director) for everything that he’s doing. Eric is a young man, but this year is going to fly by. He’s going to be another year older before he even knows it, and that’s because of all the construction. These street projects are going to be tremendous this year.”

Jackstadt followed Patton to the podium, and he also spoke highly for the potential of Glen Carbon over the next year.
“There’s no doubt that businesses and individuals continue to invest in the village of Glen Carbon, and we appreciate that. We appreciate working together to keep our community what it is. It is truly grateful to be partners with Edwardsville in many projects,” Jackstadt said.
Growth will continue, and it will likely be from Capital Land Development. The group has signed a contract to purchase 52 acres south of Edwardsville Crossing and nearly 70 acres one mile south on Route 159 east of Troy Road. Both properties are owned by the Foucek family.
Jackstadt said the group may deliver future plans to the village in the next month.

“They have been actively presenting these projects to prospective tenants. They are happy to report to us that they have substantial interest from desirable tenants from both restaurants and retails,” Jackstadt said.
New businesses in Glen Carbon include Altitude trampoline park, which will open in Ma;, Fast Fitness Boot Camp, which will open this spring and the additions of Ross Dress for Less, Men’s Wearhouse and Kirklands to Edwardsville Crossing. Renovations were also done at The Cabin at Judy Creek.
Last year, 30 new homes were built with an average value of $327,800.
There were also 407 building permits, resulting in an estimated value of $22 million. There were 242 permits in 2014.
Glen Carbon’s assessed value was $12.7 million.

Like Edwardsville, Glen Carbon will also be busy with street projects, including Old Troy Road.
“We are clearly focused on infrastructure improvements like many municipalities,” Jackstadt said. “We are moving forward pretty much alone with trying to improve Old Troy Road. There’s no doubt we are going to have to address funding issues.”
Jackstadt did say Glen Carbon is in “healthy financial condition.”
IMPACT Strategies sponsored the event.

Edwardsville seeks expansion of enterprise zone Expansion would house new headquarters for Prairie Farms Dairy

EDWARDSVILLE — The city is seeking an expansion of its enterprise zone to accommodate the planned construction of a new headquarters for Prairie Farms Dairy.

The Carlinville-based dairy cooperative plans to build a new, three-story 37,000 square-foot headquarters facility in Edwardsville’s corporate center, which sits along I-55 and Route 143. While the Carlinville headquarters will remain open, 90 employees will be relocated to the new facility, which will cost $9 million to construct.

The new construction is contingent on being included in the Gateway Commerce Center Enterprise Zone, which includes Pontoon Beach and parts of Madison County. Both Pontoon Beach and the county will have to pass ordinances approving the enterprise zone expansion.

The Edwardsville City Council moved the ordinance for second reading at its meeting Tuesday night. It can be approved at the next council meeting on April 19.

Businesses in government-defined enterprise zones benefit from incentives like property tax abatement, sales tax exemptions, tax credits and deductions, low-interest financing programs and training programs.

Prairie Farms reports annual sales of $3 billion and employs 5,700 individuals. Founded in 1938, it operates 36 manufacturing plants and more than 100 distribution facilities in the Midwest and South.

Hortica Insurance and Employee Benefits, a national insurance company, is also located in the city’s corporate center.

Reach reporter Kelsey Landis at 208-6460, Ext. 1396 or on Twitter @kelseylandis.

Joe Glik Park playground slated for upgrade

EDWARDSVILLE — A playground in one of the city’s largest parks may receive a facelift if the county awards a request for funding from the mayor.

Joe Glik Park, the 42-acre park on East Lake Drive in Edwardsville, features a large playground, 2,500 feet of trails, two fishing lakes, sand volleyball courts and open areas for play. The property was purchased with a donation from Joe Glik, patriarch of local retail chain Glik’s, in 1998, and two Illinois Department of Natural Resources Grants, according to the city’s website. It opened in 2003.

Since building the large playground, the city hasn’t “had it in the budget” to fix up the aging surface, said Katie Grable, assistant director of the department. The funds will be used to resurface the playground with a poured-in-place material made of recycled tires. Wood chips are currently used at the playground.

City council trustees approved on Tuesday night Mayor Hal Patton’s resolution to apply for Sustainability Grant Funds from Madison County Community Development. The action comes after a recent $1,000 donation from Glik that the mayor announced at the council meeting.

The mayor will request $15,000 in county funds, which the city’s Parks and Recreation Department has to match at 20 percent, Grable said. The parks department has been in the process during the last 10 years of resurfacing all the city’s playgrounds with the recycled tire material.

The material is eligible for the county’s sustainability grants because it’s recycled. Not only is it earth-friendly, but it cushions falls and makes playgrounds easier for accessibility.

Work under a small play structure in the park will begin April 11.

Edwardsville recently received a Park Enhancement Grant from the county to help the city complete its planned Spray and Play Park. The $133,155 grant will help fund splash features to be installed at the new splash park, located at the corner of South Main Street and Schwarz Street near downtown Edwardsville. The park is set to open this summer.

Reach reporter Kelsey Landis at 208-6460, Ext. 1396 or on Twitter @kelseylandis.

Prairie Farms’ move begins to take shape

Posted: Saturday, April 2, 2016 8:54 am
By MATTHEW KAMP mkamp.edwi@gmail.com | 0 comments
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Posted on Apr 2, 2016by Matt Kamp
The city of Edwardsville has started taking the necessary steps to facilitate the move of Prairie Farms Dairy to town.

At Tuesday’s Finance Committee meeting, the aldermen recommended the approval of adding territory to the enterprise zone in the Edwardsville Corporate Center. The land sits to the south of Scott Credit Union’s headquarters on the eastern side of Interstate 55.
“We have been approached by a local developer to add a Fortune 500 company to our corporate center,” Economic Development Director Walt Williams said. “We anticipate between 90 and 100 jobs. They are out of Carlinville right now, and they looked at several communities throughout the area and deemed that Edwardsville was the best location to place their headquarters due to the proximity of their other planting facilities.”
Prairie Farms will keep a facility in Carlinville, but the headquarters would be moved into Edwardsville.

A 38,000-square foot building, including a basement, has been proposed with the estimated cost of $9 million.

For the move to happen, the enterprise zone would need to be expanded. Edwardsville, Pontoon Beach and Madison County would all have to pass ordinances for the expansion.
Alderman Will Krause asked what the expansion of the enterprise zone would mean to Prairie Farms.

“It provides 10 years of tax abatement and also provides sales tax forgiveness for all the sales tax for all materials for the new headquarters. In terms of their decision to relocate, it is predicated on the expansion of the enterprise zone,” Chris Byron said.
Currently, the enterprise zone is 12 square miles with businesses taking up 5.5 to six acres. An additional six acres is being sought for the move. “The expansion to that is insufficient. It’s not a big number,” Williams said.

Alderman Art Risavy asked what the time frame of the project is.
Once approved by the state — after being approved by Edwardsville, Madison County and Pontoon Beach — it’s a 13- to 14-month project. There will be eight to 10 weeks of design.
All three recommended the approval of the expansion.

“I truly thank you for choosing Edwardsville as a possibility to relocate your headquarters,” Krause said.In other business, the aldermen recommended the approval of an agreement to encourage development within T.I.F. District No. 2 for 113 Plaza Court. It’s the Metcalf Building.The agreement would be with LJC Partners, LLC for improvements and renovations to the building. It’s a pay-as-you-go request to get 90 percent of any increment that is created due to the remodeling investment for the property.
The TIF 2 district expires in 2020 and is payable in 2021.According to the resolution, the purchase and redevelopment of the property will be approximately $1.5 million.
TIF 2, which was created in April, 1997, was designed to help development by deferring property taxes from higher property assessment after redevelopment.

Prairie Farms set to move corporate headquarters in 2017

If all goes according to plan, Prairie Farms will be moving its corporate headquarters to Edwardsville next year.

“Prairie Farms has experienced tremendous growth, and our present facility does not accommodate that growth,” said CEO Executive Vice President Ed Mullins, noting that the headquarters have been in the current location since 1947.

“Prairie Farms currently has corporate employees in four different metropolitan St. Louis area locations in addition to Carlinville,” Mullins said. “The new office building would allow us to consolidate Carlinville and our other corporate offices into one location. This will improve the communication and coordination among all of our departments, which will enable us to meet the needs of our customers and position our company for continued long-term growth.”

Edwardsville was chosen over five other area locations, Mullins said, because of its proximity to Carlinville and the other corporate offices.

The Carlinville plant will continue to operate as it does now, with no changes. “All corporate employees in all locations have been given the opportunity to join us at the new facility, with no one losing their position,” said Mullins.

The new building, which will cost an estimated $9 million, is expected to be complete in August 2017. The design has not yet been finalized. It will be located in Edwardsville Corporate Center, a business park along Interstate 55 and Illinois Route 143; the center also houses the headquarters of Scott Credit Union and Hortica Insurance.

“We will be very sorry to see them leave,” said Carlinville Mayor Deanna Demuzio. “We know that the processing plant is still going to be here, and we’re hopeful that they’ll be able to increase production. We’ll just have to see what the next 18 months brings. We’re happy to keep the production end of it.”

Article from the Macoupin County Enquirer-Democrat

Roadway work to begin in downtown Edwardsville

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced Thursday that lane restrictions will affect traffic through downtown Edwardsville in the coming months.

Work will be done to repair the existing pavement and construct a new asphalt overlay along the identified routes.

Work will begin Sunday, March 27 from 6 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday evenings through Thursday evenings.
The project is expected to be completed by July.
Roadways to be impacted are:
• Route 157 (West Street, St. Louis Street, West Vandalia and East Vandalia) between West Schwarz Street and Hillsboro Avenue.
• Route 143 (East Vandalia Street and Marine Road) between Route 157 and Schwarz Road.
• Route 159 (North Main Street) between the Vandalia Street intersection and East College Avenue.

IDOT indicated no parking signs will be used throughout the work zones.
Anyone parking in those zones will be towed at the owner’s expense.
Christ Brothers Asphalt of Lebanon is the contractor for the project.

Prairie Farms could locate in enterprise zone

By MATTHEW KAMP mkamp.edwi@gmail.com |

The possible expansion of the enterprise zone could lead to the move of Prairie Farms Dairy from Carlinville to Edwardsville.

Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton shared the news with aldermen at the most recent City Council meeting on March 15. Prairie Farms was founded in 1938 and distributes in 14 states.
“This is a great opportunity,” Patton said in a phone interview earlier in the day. “It allows us to continue developing the Interstate 55 and Route 143 area. It’s consistent with having the goals of having corporate offices out there with great paying jobs.”
The proposed site is to the south of Scott Credit Union’s headquarters on the east side of Interstate 55. Patton said the company was also looking at a site in another state before deciding on Edwardsville.

It would be a 38,000-square foot building in addition to a basement with the cost expected to be $9 million. It will house up to 100 employees.
To make the move possible, the enterprise zone would need to be expanded. That would mean Edwardsville, Pontoon Beach and Madison County would have to pass ordinances to add land to the zone.

Currently, the enterprise zone is 12 square miles with businesses taking up 5.5 to six acres. An additional six acres is being sought for the move. The move would bring additional jobs to the community.
“With Gateway Commerce and Lakeview, you have very technical jobs with the electronic tech company jobs down there and the warehouse and manufacturing,” Patton said. “It’s always been a vision to have a diversified employment opportunity. We think the Interstate 55 and Route 143 location is ideal.”

The move has been discussed for “a while now” according to Patton, but the plan wasn’t announced until employees were notified on March 15 in Carlinville.
It’s very exciting times for Edwardsville. “We are very excited that they’ll be joining Scott Credit Union and Hortica,” Patton said. “Per my discussion with county officials, this is the first time we’ve had a Fortune 500 company moving to Madison County.”

Prairie Farms wants to move headquarters to Edwardsville business park

By DENNIS GRUBAUGH, the Illinois Business Journal

EDWARDSVILLE — Prairie Farms Dairy plans to move its headquarters from Carlinville to a new $9 million building in Edwardsville, contingent on receiving enterprise zone incentives, city officials say.

Prairie Farms Dairy plans to relocate 90 employees to the site, which is in Edwardsville Corporate Center, a business park along Interstate 55 and Illinois Route 143 that also houses the headquarters of Scott Credit Union and Hortica Insurance.

The company is proposing construction of a three-story, 30,000-square-foot facility. Prairie Farms’ existing facility in Carlinville will remain open, according to a fact sheet given to the City Council, which must consider an expansion of an existing enterprise zone.

An action item to add territory to the enterprise zone in the Edwardsville Corporate Center has been placed on an Edwardsville City Council committee agenda for March 29, for the first of what are expected to be several steps before final authorization would be granted, likely in mid-April.

The enterprise zone expansion is sponsored by Madison County, the city of Edwardsville and village of Pontoon Beach as an economic development effort.

Madison County and Pontoon Beach have been asked to pass similar ordinances. Once this is completed, Madison County Community Development will be sending an application requesting the additional territory to be added to the Enterprise Zone to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for their approval.

The request for the extension was initiated by Edwardsville Corporate Centre on behalf of Prairie Farms Dairy, which has signed a contract contingent on receiving enterprise zone incentives, namely real estate tax abatement and sales tax abatement on construction materials.

According to a fact sheet provided to the council by Mayor Hal Patton and staff, the project is consistent with the Edwardsville Corporate Centre Master Plan along with City of Edwardsville and Madison County land use plans. The plan was developed in cooperation with City of Edwardsville and the I-55 Corridor Plan guidelines.

At completion, Edwardsville Corporate Center will have approximately 800,000 square feet of office and supporting commercial space. In today’s dollars this represents an investment of $120 million, the fact sheet says. Total job creation in the overall center will be in the 2,500 to 3,000 range, the fact sheet says.

Prairie Farms Dairy Inc. represents more than 700 farm families and is one of the largest and most successful farmer-owned dairy cooperatives in the Midwest – with annual sales of nearly $3 billion, 5,700 employees, 36 manufacturing plants and more than 100 distribution facilities throughout the Midwest and South.

The company was founded in 1938. Prairie Farms distribution footprint covers over 30 percent of the United States; products are available in grocery chains, mass merchandisers, club stores, convenience stores, dollar stores, drug stores, schools, food service outlets and warehouse distribution centers.prairiePrairie Farms Headquarters-Edwardsville

Edwardsville park campaign receives $50K donation

EDWARDSVILLE — A community-wide fundraising effort for three new recreational facilities recently received a donation of $50,000 for the proposed Sports Park complex.

J.F. Electric made the donation on behalf of the Fowler family. The funding will go towards construction of the park, which will be located near the I-55 corridor.

The park will include softball, baseball and soccer fields, as well as tennis and pickleball courts.

J.F. Electric indicated the company plans to continue the partnership for the duration of the city’s “A Better Place to Play Campaign.” Other sponsors of the sports park include the Plummer family, who secured naming rights for the park, and an anonymous donor, who helped sponsor an ADA-certified ball field.

Greg Fowler of J.F. Electric said he is excited about the partnership with the city for the campaign.

“We wanted to step up and do what we could to make the sports park a reality for our community. Supporting our local youth and their interests in sports is an important investment and one that we plan to support even further in the future.”

The park is one of three to be funded by the campaign, which seeks donations from area businesses and individuals wishing to improve the community’s recreational offerings.

A “Spray and Play” park at the intersection of South Main and Schwarz streets is also being funded by the campaign and is now under construction. The splash park is expected to open in summer 2016. An Ice Rink and Teen Center to be located on the District #7 grounds is also in the works.

Mayor Hal Patton expressed gratitude for the donation.

“Working with J.F. Electric and having them support A Better Place to Play is another investment in making our community a better place to work, play, visit and live. Adding these three new parks will make this community even stronger. It will support our local businesses with additional hotel stays, restaurant visits and other retail spending and it will help facilitate the many practice and play hours needed for our local teams,” Patton said.

For more information about the campaign, contact Katie Grable of Edwardsville Parks & Recreation at 618-692-7538 or visit http://www.betterplacetoplay.com or http://www.edwardsvillecommunityfoundation.org. “A Better Place to Play” may also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/abetterplacetoplay and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BP2Play.

Edwardsville park campaign receives $50K donation

Edwardsville approves new business district Could bring a burst of new retail, restaurants

By Kelsey Landis – klandis@civitasmedia.com

web1_Town-Center-business-districtThe Edwardsville Town Centre business district would be anchored by a grocery store and feature restaurants and shops. EDWARDSVILLE — The approval of an ordinance establishing Edwardsville’s newest business district could mean a host of new shopping places for the public, but it will be some time before the city sees the benefits.

The months-long planning process will now begin after city council approved an ordinance establishing the Town Centre Business District at Tuesday night’s meeting. City Administrator Timothy Harr said plans — for construction plans a formal agreement between city and developer — could take two to three months.

But city officials and the public are excited about the development, to be located on a 131,890-square-foot area southeast of the intersection of St. Louis Road and Governors’ Parkway. Committed tenants include names like Fresh Thyme Market, Global Brew Tap House and McAllister’s Deli. Madison Mutual Insurance is the only business to inhabit the still undeveloped land.

Edwardsville Town Center, LLC is the developer and new owner of the property. The company bought it from Madison Mutual for $8.7 million in December. Christopher Byron, a local attorney, is the developer’s designated agent.

Now that the district is approved by the city, the developers will start the planning process, which includes hiring engineers and architects for infrastructure and construction plans.

“They (the developers) didn’t want to expend any additonal financial resources,” before the ordinance was approved, the city administrator said.

The developer will pay to build the area out with roads and infrastructure, and in return, the city will reimburse the developer by imposing a special sales tax. In the Town Centre business district, an initial sales tax of 1 percent would be implemented — totaling 7.1 percent. Of the sales tax revenue generated, 95 percent would go back to the developer.

The total estimated budget for the development is $6.5 million. The special tax will be imposed for up to but no more than 23 years.

The ordinance also includes language for future development of the area that might involve the sale of bonds. Language relating to a possible hotel is also included.

Since January, the district has been the subject of rigorous discussion in the city’s Administrative and Community Services Committee, chaired by alderman Craig Louer with members aldermen Tom Butts and Barb Stamer.

The committee members expressed points of concern over the three-month ordinance planning period. Stamer noted inaccurate and faulty wording in the ordinance, resulting in several changes. Butts expressed concern about the appearance of storefronts in the district, encouraging the developer to avoid dollar stores with neon colors.

Reporter Kelsey Landis can be reached at 618-208-6460, Ext. 1396 or on Twitter @kelseylandis.