Herald-Whig View

GREDF speakers recount list of wins in 2017

Posted: Jan. 12, 2018 9:10 am

MORE than $220 million in public and private construction projects were underway in Quincy and Adams County during 2017.

That was among the strikingly impressive data shared at the Great River Economic Development Foundation's annual meeting Wednesday.

And it's a story that Mark Peterson, the CEO of Intersect Illinois, a privately funded economic development organization, said should be told to site consultants and business leaders looking to build new facilities.

"You're already winning," Peterson told the audience, a claim that was backed up with a video presentation that showed an impressive array of business construction projects.

For example, ADM Alliance Nutrition is building a $40 million production facility, while GatesAir has spent more than $25 million over three years, upgrading and preparing for the additional business that will be sparked by major changes in the broadcast spectrum.

Moreover, Knapheide Manufacturing is building a 188,000-square-foot facility that will result in 250 new jobs, and Kohl Wholesale has built a 137,000-square-foot food distribution warehouse and will add 20 jobs in the near term, with plans for more in the future.

In addition, Quincy Medical Group has added an eye and vision institute, and Blessing Hospital added two new operating rooms last year and began other major upgrades.

Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore and Adams County Board Chairman Les Post talked about the progress of a new Adams County Jail and law enforcement facility that is taking shape at Sixth and Vermont at a cost of more than $30 million. The new Adams County Ambulance facility at 29th and Chestnut was completed last summer at a cost of $1.4 million. And Quincy Public Schools continues to erect new elementary schools as part of an $89 million initiative.

Clearly, those public projects and private work are providing hundreds of construction jobs and reshaping this community.

Moore also encouraged members of the GREDF audience to look closely at other recommended expenditures that will be part of a new city strategic plan to be released soon.

"It's a vision where Quincy has vibrant trailways to run and walk, where families and friends break bread at an outdoor dining facility, where the tech industry is a growing part of our economy and where the riverfront once again becomes the place of prominence in our community," Moore said.

GREDF's annual meeting can always be counted on to offer reminders of successes in Quincy, Adams County and the region. It also demonstrates how economic development, community growth and quality of life are intrinsically linked.

And Peterson was right in saying that we're already winners.

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