A $50,000 contribution from Ameren Illinois will aid leaders of the Midwest Inland Port in attracting new, job-creating investment to the freight transportation hub. The commitment was announced at a March 20th luncheon organized by the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur – Macon County to brief area leaders on recent achievements of the EDC and advancement of the two initiatives it oversees, the Midwest Inland Port and the Limitless Decatur & Macon County community marketing campaign.
The Midwest Inland Port is the strategic development of Decatur as Illinois’ designated downstate freight transportation hub with a focus on broad-based economic development throughout the central Illinois region and on relieving rail and highway congestion in Chicago.
“This is an investment in building the future of Decatur and Macon County,” said Ron Pate, Senior Vice President of Operations and Technical Services for Ameren Illinois, who spoke at the luncheon on behalf of the company. “The EDC has demonstrated that it has a plan to stimulate growth to benefit the entire region. We believe in the EDC and the MIP and we’re stepping up to help them reach their goals.”
Pate outlined a handful of projects Ameren Illinois is undertaking to modernize its electric and natural gas energy delivery system and boost capacity to accommodate future growth in the community. Over the last six years, the company has created more than 800 jobs throughout its service territory in central and southern Illinois.
“Ameren Illinois is a committed partner in the development of our community and this investment is a perfect example,” said Nicole Bateman, Executive Director of the Midwest Inland Port. “They’ve served as the supplier of electricity and natural gas for the Decatur community for over 100 years as Ameren Illinois, and before that as Illinois Power and its predecessor companies. Their support of the MIP, both financially and in expertise, demonstrates their recognition of strategic initiatives that spearhead a community’s economic development efforts. We sincerely appreciate their support.”
The organizations that comprise the Midwest Inland Port Strategic Development Coalition represent a combination of global, national, regional and local perspectives and capabilities that are critical to realizing the full potential of the Midwest Inland Port development. In addition to Ameren Illinois, members of the Coalition include ADM, CN Railroad, Decatur Memorial Hospital, Clayco, OmniTRAX, and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.