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Today’s numbers are grim

Friday, Feb 7, 2014

* From the Decatur Herald & Review

Decatur has the second fastest-shrinking economy in the United States, according to a study by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

The study shows that Decatur had a decline in what is called Gross Metro Product of 4.8 percent in 2013. Gross Metro Product is similar to the gross domestic product, although measured on a city level. At any rate, a decline of nearly 5 percent isn’t good.

The news isn’t predicted to get much better in 2014. The study projected that the GMP would improve by only .8 percent in Decatur.

The employment statistics aren’t really news to folks in Decatur, although some might be surprised to learn that the 4.2 percent drop in employment was the worst in the nation.

There are some bright spots in the future. The “Midwest Inland Port” project ought to boost employment.

But Decatur also needs to try and stop its young people from leaving. Jobs are hugely important, of course, but, as with far too many small cities, there’s just not much of anything going on in that town and no apparent effort by city leaders to get anything going. Decatur used to have a thriving local music scene, for instance. No more. A couple of years ago, I was heading to Decatur and asked a local political leader if he could recommend a good restaurant. He couldn’t.

Making the city more livable won’t cure all its problems, but, hey, why not at least try anyway?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


38 Comments
  1. - cicero - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    Let me guess. Republicans will say it’s all the fault of Quinn and Madigan.


  2. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    ===Making the city more livable won’t cure all its problems, but, hey, why not at least try anyway?===

    I hate to say it, but the town is just downright depressing. There is really nothing going on there, and if I was looking for a place to open up a new restaurant or bar, the only place in town I would consider is right around Millikin - but college bars aren’t going to be the draw that gets Decatur moving again.


  3. - Wallendar - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    Give a block or two of downtown over free to any artists, chefs, etc who will settle there. Help them set up an artist’s co-op in an old warehouse. Milwaukee had one and it was a bee hive of activity even at night and on the weekends.


  4. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    === and no apparent effort by city leaders to get anything going ===

    Aye, there’s the rub.

    “Yes, we care. No, we have no new ideas.”


  5. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    cicero, there was no need for partisanship on this post. C’mon.


  6. - Mr. Jim Lahey - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    Phase 1: Work on the smell. I mean it is BAD.


  7. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    Decatur was industrial grim in the best of times. Seriously, it’s painful to breathe there, what with the processing. In the summer, it’s almost unbearable.

    Some other small Midwestern industrial towns come to mind. Clinton and Burlington, Iowa, for example.

    You gotta make a buck. It’s one way to go, but it ain’t no way to live.


  8. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    === will say it’s all the fault of Quinn and Madigan ==•

    I’m not sure that it’s anyone’s “fault”, per se.

    But wouldn’t it be nice if Illinois were running in the black rather than the red?

    We might even be able to afford targeting areas such as Decatur with a series of local, state-funded “stimulus” plans. I’m thinking bigger than just DCEO grants to local businesses.

    Unfortunately, anything like that right now would require borrowing more money or taking dollars away from other programs.


  9. - Decatur Visitor - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    I’m not a party guy, so I can’t speak to their music. If you’ve got kids, they’ve got the lake, great parks, zoo, children’s museum, nice hiking.

    I think the music scene is a fairly limited cross section of people.

    And the fact that the local political leader couldn’t name a restaurant like Bizou, or Robbie’s or Jimmy Ryan’s speaks poorly of them, not Decatur.


  10. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    With my previous post notwithstanding, Doherty’s Pub is cool and has decent bar food.


  11. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    “stop its young people from leaving”

    Marijuana legalization can help Decatur and the entire state. An exploding new industry is a great new tonic to a stagnant economy. There are new ideas coming out of Colorada that are expected to create strong growth, stronger than the sale of smartphones.

    http://www.livetradingnews.com/coming-soon-cannabis-infused-chocolates-drinks-and-creams-30450.htm

    Let’s see which other states will legalize marijuana. It seems likely that one or more states will join Washington and Colorado this year.

    I’m not holding my breath on legalization in Illinois anytime soon (no pun intended), but we should watch how other states’ economies are affected by legalization.


  12. - Rod - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    Since Tate & Lyle took over A. E. Staley and the workers struck and the union was broken Decatur had been skidding. From 1992 through 1995 the Staley workers waged one of the most hard-fought struggles in recent labor history, and were broken. There is a book that discusses this strike its “Staley: The Fight for a New American Labor Movement.”

    Ever since that strike and the breaking of the Staley union, wages of even unionized workers in Decatur have ceased to keep up with inflation and many jobs have gone off shore. I would say Decatur represents the reality of the union free world Mr. Rauner wants to see.


  13. - Decatur Visitor - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    Rod, I don’t know anything about the union issues, but do you really think that if the union was stronger that the jobs would have stayed here? That’s an argument I’ve not heard from either side of the union debate.

    btw, the odor from facilities definitely is an issue. because the prevailing winds generally keep it out of the heart of the city, it’s tolerable. but those who mention it as a problem are spot on.


  14. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    It’s pretty insane to think about a 5 percent contraction in that town in one year when Decatur had already contracted so much from where it was 15-20 years ago.


  15. - LincolnLounger - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    A little harsh, I think.

    They really do try, but you can only put so much lipstick on the pig. They have pumped millions into downtown beautification, ripped out the parking meters, and provided lots of incentives. The bottom line, though, is that it is an economy nearly completely based on manufacturing and blue collar labor. It’s easy to sneer at Decatur — Springfieldians do it all the time. However, the demographics are radically different, and to try and compare it to any other downstate city just doesn’t work. Their Mayor and business community really do try; but they can’t very well flip a switch and make manufacturing jobs return.

    They were at the forefront of business incubators, TIFs and other incentives, and the housing is remarkably cheap. The people there, for the most part, are genuinely nice, and I have a soft spot for them; however the town is radically different in the past 15 years. More than 20,000 people have moved elsewhere. ADM’s corporate headquarters relocating will keep most of the jobs; however, a beleagured community will lose significant leadership and resources for its charities and non-profits. Most people I know are genuinely terrified at the horrific crime rate. Frankly, it would be even worse but Millikin University recognized early what was going on in the 80s and started snapping up properties to attempt to insulate their campus as best they could.

    Two of my favorite watering holes that were Decatur institutions have closed and are sitting empty because the owners of both places were exhausted from being robbed and couldn’t find people to work there any longer — to say nothing of insurance.


  16. - Downstate - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    There are some incredible success stories in Decatur. My friend purchased a small production/design shop approximately 15 years ago in Decatur. He grew it tremendously by finding some national niches (with all production occurring in Decatur). He sold the firm and retired, but the operation continues to thrive and expand. Great workforce (it’s a union free shop) and a bright future.

    Decatur has to grow their own new businesses, because the union challenges, and Jesse Jackson’s tirade cast a dark cloud for economic development over the city.

    A company I’m affiliated with has several customers in Decatur - and they are all doing pretty well.

    They need to create a new level of optimism in the city by celebrating the business successes. They need to start infusing entrepreneurship in the young people. And they need to decide if they can welcome new businesses into town that are union-free.


  17. - Rayne of Terror - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    We left the west end of Decatur in 2005 for Bloomington area because of Illinois Power shutting down the IT department. I loved it there deeply. I’m sorry to hear a local leader couldn’t tell you about the amazing food & local music at Paco’s. The best pizza I’ve ever had comes out of a shack on West Grand. Maybe who ever said that shouldn’t be in office.

    How can you look at a town that throws the Celebration and say there’s no music scene? The music scene plays out in basements and union hall benefits for medical costs and private parties where hundreds of people listen to multiple bands over the course of a weekend. Just because there’s no Canopy Club doesn’t mean there’s no music scene. Plus, duh, Millikin is a music school. THere is SO much music happening in Decatur. And Millikin people who stay make music until they die. I recently went to a 50th anniversary jazz band program as the presbyterian church on main and was BLOWN away by the student and alumni bands.

    You drive into town on any main drag in Decatur and it looks like hell. Why is that? What is it about Decatur that it hides its greatness for only those patient enough to find it.


  18. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 11:47 am:

    “union-free”

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. This shop should not be used as a state model or national model. We don’t need a brave new world of union-free businesses. How many times to we have to show that unions overwhelmingly improve wages? How ironic is it that the national economy is struggling and wages are flat while union participation is at the lowest point since the Great Depression?

    “Jesse Jackson’s tirade”

    If you think one person’s opinion had that much influence on a city’s economy, then perhaps I’m wasting time responding to this. Nice dog whistle, though.


  19. - Almost the Weekend - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 11:51 am:

    Decatur 2014 a product of NAFTA in 1992


  20. - Downstate - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    -Grandson of Man,

    Jesse Jackson is “one man’s opinion”? Really?

    That event happened nearly 15 years ago, but you still knew what I was talking about. I think his actions were more than just an “opinion” being thrown out there.

    As for welcoming “union free” employers to Decatur - it would seem that your answer would be “NO”. That makes it very tough to make the top ten list for site consideration. Just saying.

    Sadly, when many people think about Decatur, they think about the “issues” that Rev. Jackson felt were critical to highlight….on a national basis.


  21. - anon - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 12:06 pm:

    Yeah Rich, sounds like a great place to invest in a restaurant or any business. Geesh.


  22. - Rayne of Terror - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 12:09 pm:

    People pretty much think Decatur is full of bigots and that perception does go back to the football game & Jesse Jackson incident. It’s unfortunate because I found living there thru my twenties that you mix with more people with varied backgrounds, socio-economic status, and race than any other three midwestern towns of that size I’ve lived in.


  23. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    The decline of Decatur is sad, but I can’t help but feel a little schadenfreude when the DHR writes about these kinds of topics since it was a longtime cheerleader for factory job, wage, benefit, and safety cuts. It’s no wonder that as jobs left, businesses and cultural institutions closed, and now you have a shell of a city.

    ==- Decatur Visitor - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 11:04 am:==

    DV, I’ve read the book Rod is talking about and even attended a forum about the Staley workers in question with people involved in the labor struggle. The local union was sold out by its national counterparts who advocated a business union strategy. A major part of the union’s beef with its new owners Tate & Lyle was the repeated demand for wage and benefit cuts despite the Decatur operations being the most profitable for T&L (hundreds of millions per year and nearly a third of net profits once T&L purchased Staley).

    Is anti-black racism part of Decatur’s negative image? Yes, and Jesse Jackson has nothing to do with that. The culprit is the racism. Going back to the book Staley mentioned by Rod, it also discusses the racism present at the Staley operations in Decatur and the wider community and how anti-black racism affected the labor struggle.


  24. - Roadiepig - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    As a lifelong resident of Decatur I can attest to some of the complaints lodged here. But there are many pluses to this industrial town that seem to be ignored by those people who are “better” than those who chose to stay here. Rayne of Terror and Lincolnlounger listed many of the pluses (and Lincoln- how did you miss mentioning your namesake’s wonderful gyros and reopened kitchen with tasty Greek inspired food?) so I won’t go over them again. But to those of you posting your snide comments about smells / too much union labor strife/ nothing to do- how are you being any different than the leaders in some of our surrounding states who can’t say one nice thing about our home state , while puffing their chests about the paradise they chose to live in?

    We also live on the historic west end, our house has been paid off since I was in my mid 40’s (it would have cost at least 150% more in Springfield or Champaign), and if I am craving specialty grocery items (Indian or Asian, for instance) or want to see a nationally touring musician I am less than 50 minutes away from those items at any given day. Lake Shelbyville (a world class fishing and recreation location) is less than 30 minutes away- that’s less time than a drive from the north side of Chicago to Joliet, without the hellish traffic. Yes, we need new businesses to want to locate here, and we need to think outside of the “manufacturing only” box (maybe , if we ever get real about marijuana , our nearly vacant downtown area warehouse can be converted into a growers area similar to what is happening in downtown Denver?), but for me this is home. Btw- before someone says it, Decatur is not “little Detroit” . The percentage of vacant housing and businesses is not nearly as high as Detroit, and the exodus of people leaving, though troublesome, is not as high either (many just relocated to the many small surrounding towns and still work here. This is a national trend over the last 40 years, not just here.)

    I guess my point is if you are sick of hearing blowhard governors of nearby states denigrating Illinois, you might want to back off on the 100% negative naritive for this piece of your home state .


  25. - mythoughtis - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    Decatur is what I consider ‘home’ also, even though I didn’t move there until fifth grade, and moved out 15 years ago. I lived in Decatur/Mt. Zion for 30+ years. I still live within a half hour of it (only moved close enough to Springfield to commute quicker). I still have my doctors, dentist, hair salon there. I still shop there when I am in town. I find the mall in Forsyth easier to travel to/deal with than White Oaks - especially at Christmas.

    I would still be there if two different large offices had not been bought and then closed. I miss it every day. Decatur has a different feel than Springfield. Decaturites don’t pretend to be better than everyone else, and Decaturites don’t care about your politics.

    Decatur needs JOBS, both manufacturing and office.


  26. - In the Middle - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    I think of the work Peoria-area leaders started some 25 years ago in transforming the riverfront. It was dump back then. They worked with CAT to change that and leaders continue to try to make the area an attractive place. They see a need.

    I just don’t have that impression with Decatur. All my life it’s been an unattractive place, and I’ve never heard much good from businesses who try to work with the city on anything.


  27. - girllawyer - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 1:09 pm:

    And no one mentioned Decatur’s “Avon”? Coolest movie theater around


  28. - CIC - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 1:22 pm:

    I agree Decatur has been in a spiral dating back to the purchase of Staley’s by Tate and Lyle. It seems the city gets gut punch after gut punch. Loss of jobs at Firestone and Ameren. Inconsistent employment at CAT. Move of corporate jobs at ADM and then creation of a tech center outside of Decatur. College bound high school grads leave town and rarely return. I don’t see anything in the works to reverse this trend. It is sad to see it happen. It’s easy to recap the problems as I have. I don’t have a solution to the downward spiral and haven’t heard a convincing plan to alter the trajectory of Decatur. I’m afraid my days in Decatur may be numbered if I need to follow my job to a new location.


  29. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 1:24 pm:

    Roadiepig, thanks for your wonderful piece and insight on Decatur. I agree with you about the blowhard governors (and candidates). They try very hard to make the narrative negative because it plays into their agenda of weakening unions and the politicians who vote in their interests.

    “if we ever get real about marijuana”

    The mental image of Illinois with legal marijuana, universal health insurance, marriage equality, minimum wage increase, lower crime rate and the rest is very pleasant in my mind. The majority of Americans support most or all of these ideas, so what I’m saying is not as off-the-wall as it seems.


  30. - Bobby Hill - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    In 2010ish they raised sales tax 1% for education. Not saying that is good or bad but the dream and reality of new schools did virtually nothing. Or, in my opinion it hasn’t done an iota of what was promised.


  31. - Demoralized - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 2:13 pm:

    @Downstate:

    So getting rid of unions is the key to economic success? I don’t understand this anti-union fervor that is out there.


  32. - Roadiepig - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    Thanks GrandsonOfMan- can only call it as I have lived it here

    BobbyHill- the (everything but the steel beams) new Eisenhower High has only been open for about three weeks and the construction on the other city High school (MacArthur) has only really been in progress since the start of Christmas break. The new Eisenhower is a beautiful, state of the art campus that is a much needed upgrade from the 50’s era construction of its past incarnation. There are some people locally who have been moaning about these new facilities being “a waste of money”, as if the children of this town don’t deserve anything this nice. If you are expecting a major turnaround in how this city’s schools are viewed by outsiders in that short period of time , or expect grades to improve drastically overnight, I guess you could be right about it “not doing an iota of what was promised”. All I expected was that they use the additional revenue to give the town’s schools a major upgrade to increase the odds that some people might stay . I guess time will tell us which is right..


  33. - What is to bo done? - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    The underlying (and growing) reason for unemployment is disruptive technology. When companies like Netflix (over $100B) can flourish with 2,000 employees, this says volumes. It will get worse since the vast majority of jobs to be replaced are the very ones so many Americans are doing.


  34. - Downstate - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 3:00 pm:

    -Demoralized,
    “so, getting rid of unions is the key to economic success.”
    I didn’t say that at all. What I suggested was that Decatur, by reputation, seems to only welcome union companies, even though they have many union-free companies that are thriving there.
    If Decatur is only interested in welcoming union shops, then they have to realize that very few union firms are actually expanding, across the nation. Hence, their pool of prospective firms looking to move to a place like Decatur is very, very small.


  35. - champaigndweller - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 3:08 pm:

    Isn’t this sort of a chicken and egg argument? If people had good jobs, good restaurants would follow; or do good restaurants draw good jobs or people who hold those jobs?


  36. - mokenavince - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 4:04 pm:

    Decatur proves you can’t cut your self out of a depression. This town needs an infusion of money,
    Private or government.
    We should support what ever it takes to get towns
    like Decatur on their feet.
    It has always been a hard working town, and always will be.


  37. - Endangered Moderate Species - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 4:19 pm:

    Decatur is an example of why capitalism should not be confused with patriotism. The american manufacturing companies whom built Decatur became multi-national and they found cheaper labor in other parts of the world. They were not loyal to Decatur, Illinois or the USA. Like it or hate it, but this is how capitalism works.


  38. - Patrick Hoban - Friday, Feb 7, 14 @ 4:52 pm:

    Rich,

    We have little to no faith in a “Projection” Report that does not contact local officials to base its projections on. Or for that matter a report that has been wrong in the past (see last year’s projections) and does not disclose its source or methodology.

    Is there a chance our metro GDP is down from last year? Of course there is. We make things in Decatur which makes us a Top 25 Global Trade community in the Nation. Because of this distinction we rise and fall with the Global Economy.

    You are correct in that the Midwest Inland Port will have a major impact on the local economy being that it is the only one like it of its kind. Anytime I mention 3 Class 1 Rail providers in 1 privately owned ramp to logistic specialist they tell me it does not exist. It does and its Decatur’s. No one knows the possibilities because its unique and it is located in a 1 day truck drive to 95 million consumers without the wait time of major metros.

    As far as events we are home to the largest Street Festival in Central Illinois, The Largest Barstool Open in the Nation and the Largest Food Drive in the Nation. You can find live Music every weekend, comedic acts such as Tommy Davidson and Jim Belushi, and multiple young professional groups.

    When it comes to “no apparent effort by city leaders to get anything going” I would like to offer you some examples…

    LAKEFRONT DEVELOPMENT PROJECT:
    A partnership project between the City of Decatur and the Decatur Park District to develop Decatur’s Lakefront. Project plans includes new boat docks, miniature golf course, amphitheatre, running trail, hotel, retail & residential developments.

    DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION: ¬
    $14 million Downtown Streetscape Project represents a public development imagined as the next step in efforts to bring a new look, feel and energy to the city¹s Central Business District. The three-phased plan is bringing new sidewalks, landscaping, lighting, recreational opportunities and other amenities to Downtown Decatur. Perhaps more importantly, it has already spurred a return to prominence of the city¹s downtown in the form of new businesses and jobs, entertainment options and the creation of a ³new² downtown that is now a destination for both local residents and visitors alike. In an effort to halt the downtown decline being seen by cities across the country in the early part of the decade, the Decatur City Council approved a massive capital improvements program downtown, the likes of which had never been seen in this Central Illinois jewel of a community.

    HIGH SCHOOL RENOVATION PROJECT:
    $76 million renovation project of both District 61 High Schools.

    RICHLAND COMMUNITY COLLEGE EXPANSION PROJECT:
    $16 million project that includes building additions, renovations and the new Workforce Development Institute.

    MILLIKIN UNIVERSITY RENOVATION PROJECT:
    $1.4 million project that includes artificial turf, lights, track and new scoreboard.

    POLICE HEADQUARTERS DEVELOPMENT PROJECT :
    Decatur is currently renovating a site to serve as the new Police Headquarters.

    LAKE DECATUR, HUNTING AND FISHING:
    Decatur remains one of the few cities in the country with its own inland lake, the City¹s primary water source and a hotbed of year-round water recreation activities including swimming, water skiing/jet skiing and, of course, fishing. The Lakeshore Landing redevelopment project, now underway, promises to make the shores of Lake Decatur an activity center year round as new restaurants, shops, housing, and other lake-based activities will represent a draw for both locals and visitors from across the Central Illinois region. The City also has a very active hunting community both along the lake and throughout the area (deer, duck, turkey, etc.) with its heavily wooded landscape, varied temperatures and multi-faceted terrain.

    DECATUR PARK DISTRICT:
    The Decatur Park District currently plays host to more than 7,500 youth and adult athletes as part of a number of locally run programs including baseball, soccer, softball, tumbling, wrestling, basketball, Special Olympics and others. This is in addition to a number of golfers in leagues that compete on the city¹s three award winning golf courses including Red Tail Run, a recently opened signature course designed by legendary PGA Hall of Famer Raymond Floyd. Be sure to visit www.decatur-parks.org for details on park district programs.

    DECATUR AS A RUNNER FRIENDLY COMMUNITY:
    The Road Runners Club of America, the oldest and largest distance running organization in the United States, in 2011 named the City of Decatur as one of a select few ³Runner Friendly Communities. According to the RCCA, Runner Friendly communities meet select criteria which include ³community infrastructure, community support, and local government support for running. Each community has an infrastructure that can foster physical activity in a safe environment; a proven track record that organizations and businesses work together to promote running as a healthy exercise and sport; and there are positive relationships between the running community and local government.²

    SHORELINE CLASSIC, RODNEY T. MILLER MARATHON:
    Now in its 24th year, the Shoreline Classic is the premier Road Race in downstate Illinois, annually drawing thousands of runners and spectators both locally and from across the state. Both the USATF Certified 5K and 15K races are run along the shores of beautiful Lake Decatur in a colorful fall setting. The Rodney T. Miller Triathlon was established in 2007 and each year draws hundreds of participants and thousands of fans to the shores of Lake Decatur. The triathlon features both adult novice and elite participants in addition to separate kids races.

    HEALTHCARE AWARDS AND LOCAL EXPANSION:
    The last few years have been marked by significant expansion and a bevy of awards for both St. Mary¹s Hospital and Decatur Memorial Hospital in Decatur. St. Mary¹s recently completed the first phase of what is a $31 million construction and expansion project which added a new lobby, emergency department, laboratory and hospital façade. In the coming years plans are to add a new intensive care unit, new surgical areas and to relocate the Prairie Cardiovascular Consultants to St. Mary’s. The hospital has added 26 additional cardiologists to the hospital’s medical staff as a result of expansion and recently completed a new 17,500-square-foot health center and a new, 14-bed geriatric behavioral medicine program. In 2012 Decatur Memorial was named one of the country¹s 100 Top Hospitals and one of the top 50 cardiovascular hospitals by Thomson Reuters. The hospital remains in the midst of a $39 million three-part expansion project that is adding rooms, a new tower and community education center, cafeteria and other amenities. DMH added 19 doctors to its hospital staff and added several new Express Clinics throughout the city and recently opened the new, state of the art Cancer Care Center of Decatur.

    CARBON SEQUESTRATION PROJECT:
    The Decatur community has made significant strides towards green economic development and towards positioning itself as a leader in the development of green initiatives. Decatur¹s Archer Daniels Midland continues to work towards construction of an $84.3 million carbon sequestration facility which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by capturing and storing carbon dioxide from the company¹s ethanol plan in porous rock below the Earth¹s surface.

    ENTERPRISE ZONE PROGRAM:
    $1 Billion in Capital Expenditures by local companies in the past 5 years.
    2 Retail Corridor Overlays added

    LAKE DECATUR DREDGING PROJECT:
    $89 million project set to begin in March to increase Lake Decatur’s Water capacity by 30%

    Next time you are in Decatur let me know and the City Manager and I will buy you lunch at one of our highly recommend restaurants.

    Patrick Hoban
    Economic Development Officer
    City of Decatur, Illinois


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        * Illinois governor grants 38 clemency requests..
        * Highway interchange named for former Chicago mayor..
        * The Startup Surge: Business Students Dream Big..
        * Medical Cannabis Reform Inches Forward in Illinois..
        * Circle Interchange Renamed After Jane Byrne..
        * Governor Pat Quinn signs bill to protect mounta.....
        * Ribbon-cutting, Grand Opening: WIU-QC Riverfron.....
        * Why districts 112 and 113 are ruining reading..


        * U of I facing scrutiny over job-offer decision
        * Illinois governor grants 38 clemency requests
        * Highway interchange named for former Chicago mayor
        * 30-year prison terms in Decatur home invasion
        * Prairie Farms cuts 66 jobs in St. Louis County
        * Monument dedicated at suburban Chicago cemetery
        * 20-year-old woman guilty in Joliet double murder
        * State agency issues long-awaited fracking rules
        * Detective's work led to renewed Quincy death probe
        * Meth suspects were not members of Illinois church

        * Quinn grants 38 clemency requests
        * IDNR issues long-awaited ‘fracking’ rules
        * Court rules state retirees can stop paying health insurance premiums
        * Governor hopefuls rip each other on hiring, taxes
        * Fracking industry officials donating to Rauner
        * IDNR set to release fracking rules Friday
        * DNR: $1 hunting, fishing licenses for Illinois seniors not ready
        * Renovation of Illinois Supreme Court building completed
        * Vallas: Rauner income tax rollback would cost schools $4 billion
        * Rauner: Department of Agriculture 'full of cronyism'

        * American Airlines fares back on Orbitz after deal
        * Meet Bruce Rauner, the big spender
        * Organic grocer pulls plug on plans for old Fox & Obel site
        * Chicago business barometer rebounds in August
        * Long-awaited fracking rules released


        * Aurora couple on O’Hare shuttle bus ‘landed in a pile of humans’ after crash
        * Joliet woman guilty in double-murder; two more to stand trial
        * Woman guilty in Joliet double-murder; two more yet to stand trial
        * Young woman guilty in brutal double murder in Joliet
        * Firefighter describes scene at O’Hare shuttle bus crash
        * Young woman found guilty in brutal double murder in Joliet
        * Judge expected to announce verdict Friday in Joliet double-murder
        * Ex-Cook county worker charged with fraud in grant program


        * Paramedic delivers his own baby on Edens Expressway
        * Man accused of illegally lobbying says Biden meeting led him to think activities legal
        * Man convicted in '99 fatal DUI crash, gets 6 years in new DUI case
        * Judge throws out challenge to new flame retardant standard
        * Fracking approaches final hurdle in Illinois
        * No foul play suspected in death of IU student from Libertyville
        * Deadline looms to transfer old CTA fare card balances
        * Sex abuse suspect jailed for texting family of alleged victim
        * Ebola screening added to intake procedures for some U. of I. international students
        * Mom reacts to guilty verdict in Joliet slayings: 'It's a relief'


        * Donated Breast Milk Helps Sick Infants
        * DNR Releases Fracking Rules
        * Update From Ferguson Via KWMU's Rachel Lippmann
        * Listen to State Week - August 29, 2014
        * Inspector's Report Reveals Clout Hiring At IDOT
        * 'Belleville' The Movie Is NOT A Documentary
        * Journalist and doctor encourage honest conversations about death
        * Libertarians Survive Illinois GOP's Ballot Challenge
        * Undocumented Immigrants Call For Presidential Orders
        * State Retirees To Stop Paying Health Premiums


        * Quinn grants 38 clemency requests
        * IDNR issues long-awaited ‘fracking’ rules
        * E.J. Dionne: 2014 and the limits of rage
        * Esther Cepeda: Farmers markets, here I come
        * Rep. Tom Morrison: What Illinois could learn from other states
        * Court rules state retirees can stop paying health insurance premiums
        * Governor hopefuls rip each other on hiring, taxes
        * Fracking industry officials donating to Rauner
        * IDNR set to release fracking rules Friday
        * DNR: $1 hunting, fishing licenses for Illinois seniors not ready


        * AAUP 'deeply concerned' over Salaita
        * Soybean farmers showcase agriculture’s impact on local economy
        * Groundbreaking set for new school
        * Son freed from jail after 50 days for court outburst at father's sentencing
        * State agency issues long-awaited fracking rules
        * Jeremy Dirksmeyer, Oakwood-A-P, August, 2014
        * Michl Kearney, Hoopeston, August 2014
        * Subsidence blamed for closed lanes on westbound Illinois 15
        * Clint Schwartz, Milford-Cissna Park, August 2014
        * Police: Man tries to lure 11-year-old boy into car


        * Crocodile that bit swimmers dies during capture
        * Ex-sailor who spied for Soviets dies in prison
        * Man gets 6 years for DUI on same road as fatal crash
        * Driver injured after car crashes through garage in West Chicago
        * Jury convicts Michigan man in slaying of 42-year-old Zion man after night of playing cards

        * Army Veteran Shane Scherer Joins Roskam's ...
        * Roskam talks tax reform, health care, immi...
        * Roskam hires wounded veteran in West Chica...
        * Inactive Congress Discussed - Alton Daily ...
        * Roskam, Kirk speak to local business owner...
        * Roskam Talks Taxes - Alton Daily News
        * Nadler introduces resolution condemning an...
        * Roskam gives business leaders vision for f...
        * Nadler, Roskam Introduce Bipartisan Resolu...
        * Rep. Nadler, Roskam Introduce Resolution C...

        * Sen. Dick Durbin talks student loans at NIU...
        * Sen. Dick Durbin talks student loans at NIU...
        * Durbin and Oberweis trade barbs at Roundtable...
        * Durbin and Oberweis trade barbs at Roundtable...
        * Durbin and Oberweis trade barbs at Roundtable...

        * Putin hopeful Russia won't lose right to h......

        * Illinois Democrat Leader Says Republicans Would Hire ISIS Terrorists
        * Coalition Hopeful Hydraulic Fracturing is One Step Closer in Illinois
        * Illinois UFO sighting resembled Star Wars ship, Waltonville witness claims
        * Durbin says Obama should bypass Congress on immigration
        * ERA passage could undermine new Illinois pregnant mom law
        * Andrzejewski: How Quinn Pumps his Friends Pensions
        * Lt. Colonel Allen West endorses Colonel Larry Kaifesh for U.S. Congress [video]
        * FBI National Domestic Threat Assessment Omits Islamist Terrorism
        * Busted: Congressman Schneider disses coal/oil while pocketing industry profits
        * Where's Weyermuller? On a Ten Million Dollar Safe Passage Route


        * Quinn Refuses to Answer New IDOT Questions
        * IDNR Delivers Revised Rules to Implement Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act - Rules strengthened to ensure public participation, improve transparency, toughen penalties and protect the environment
        * Governor Quinn Proclaims September as “Recovery Month” in Illinois - Encourages people to speak up about mental illness and substance abuse
        * Governor Quinn Dedicates Jane Byrne Interchange - Governor Renames Circle Interchange in Honor of Chicago’s First and Only Female Mayor to Date
        * Rauner Rolls Out Students for Rauner Coalition




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