Winter 2015

Letter from the Executive Director


Wishing you all the best in 2015


The entire staff and SWIDA Board would like to wish you a happy and successful New Year. SWIDA has had many success stories over the past 27 years.  This would not have been possible without many great partners, business owners, professionals, colleagues, elected officials and friends that have made our Authority and region a better place to live, educated our children and work.


Last year SWIDA saw a $15,000,000.00 housing development in East Alton become reality. Our partner, RISE, and contractor, Altman Charter, have done an excellent job in the heart of East Alton to build 47 new low income housing tax credit (LIHTC) homes. Completion of all the units should be sometime this spring.


After 27 years of dedicated service to Southwestern Illinois
Development Authority, Chairman Robert Lombardi has stepped down.  Mr. Lombardi had served on the SWIDA Board since its establishment and served as Chairman of the Board for the past 16 years.  Mr. Lombardi was extremely dedicated to assisting in helping Economic Development in Madison, St. Clair, Bond and Clinton Counties.  $ 1.2 billion in bonds were issued during that time.


SWIDA's new Chairman will be James Nations.  He has served on the SWIDA board for the past 16 years and has been Vice-Chairman for many of those years.


We look forward to continuing to work with all of you in 2015 and for many years to come.

Kindest regards,


Mike Lundy

Executive Director

In the Spotlight - Madison County Participates in East Alton Low/Moderate Income Housing Development
Before New East Alton Development

The Madison County Economic Development Office, Community Development Office and Grants Committee assisted the SWIDA/RISE East Alton Housing Development by offering funding from three different loan programs: Home Funds,

CDBG Funds and UDGA Funds.

Chairman Alan Dunstan, previous Economic Development Director, Walter Hunter, current Economic Development Director, Frank Miles and John Herzog and staff from Community Development are very pleased to see the area in East Alton, known as the Defense Area, being recreated. East Alton Mayor, Fred Bright and the Village of East Alton have been aggressively acquiring property in that area for over 14 years. Mayor Bright, Treasurer Joe Silkwood, the Village Staff, Zoning Department and the Village Board have been exceedingly helpful throughout this process.


We are happy to announce that 27 of the units have been completed and are rented.  Altman Charter is working towards a late spring completion date for all 47 units. 



SWIDA's Resources

Through its enabling legislation, SWIDA has been given a wide variety of powers to: finance, buy, sell, own, create, and manage almost any type of activity that would contribute to the economic development of SWIDA's four- county region.


SWIDA's main tools for fostering economic development include:


Issuing tax-exempt revenue bonds: 

For all bonds issued through SWIDA, the buyer of the bonds does not only not have to pay Federal income tax, but also does not pay State of Illinois income tax on the interest they receive from buying the bonds. The project has to meet Federal IRS guidelines to qualify to be Federal tax-exempt.


The bonds are not bought or guaranteed by SWIDA or any other governmental entity. The bonds are sold in the private financial markets to individuals or institutions solely on the strength of the project and the company borrowing for the project.  If the company financials are not strong enough to meet the market requirements, they may have their local bank guarantee or buy the bonds directly.  


Advantages of tax-exempt financing: 

The main and very strong advantage of tax-exempt bonds is the significantly lower interest rate the borrower pays. Because the buyer of the bonds does not have to pay income tax at all on the bonds, the buyer is willing to accept a lower tax-exempt interest income. This is similar to an individual buying municipal bonds for one's personal financial portfolio. In fact most SWIDA bonds can be bought by individuals.


The lower differential interest rate can be as much as 1.5% to 2% annually, which over the course of a typical 20-year, multi-million dollar bond issue can add up to significantly large actual dollars saved from financing of the project.  Depending on the size of the project, the overall savings over the life of the bonds can range from at least hundreds of thousand dollars to several million dollars.      


Where Are They Now?



In 1998, SWIDA issued $8,200,000 in double tax-exempt revenue bonds for Holten Meat to build a new meat processing-packaging facility in Sauget IL. Holten Meat was originally founded in E. St. Louis in 1960 by the Holten family that bears its name.  In 1990, needing additional capacity, Holton Meat moved to a lease facility in St. Louis.  By 1998 Holten again needed additional modern facilities that they wanted to own rather than lease.


SWIDA was able to structure a bond deal to finance the construction of an 85,000 sq. ft. facility on 12 acres, allowing for anticipated future expansion. Prior to the move, Holten had about 120 employees.

Holten has now more than doubled the size of its facility to 180,000 sq. ft. and, more importantly for Southern Illinois, expanded its employment to over 300 workers. To meet national demand, Holten acquired two additional production facilities in other geographically strategic parts of the Country, but stills maintains its corporate headquarters and largest production facility in Sauget.       

Holten's history is a "coming-around story", having been founded on the "East Side" then later moving to St. Louis and then returning to the East Side at its current site. The original location at 919 Lynch in East St. Louis was founded by "Red" Holten, the father of the current Holten owners Mike and Jim.


In 1988, Holten Meat launched what eventually became its flagship product, the Thick N Juicy Burger. The heat and moisture retention capabilities of this burger made it a national success in both the food service distribution and retail markets alike.  

In 1990, the company was forced by demand to find a larger facility in a former Kroger warehouse building in St. Louis. In 1995, Canada's largest supermarket chain started selling Holten's "Thick N Juicy". Later, Sam's Club started selling it.  The Burger is also sold across the nation at professional sports stadiums, ski-lodges, beach resorts, casinos as well as institutional places like hospitals and nursing homes. So wherever you go, you may be eating a TNJ. 


In 1998, a newer, modern, quality assurance facility was needed, prompting Holton's banker, Scott Hudspeth to join the firm as CEO and partner. Scott spearheaded the bond deal with SWIDA to build Holten's current facility in Sauget. That facility now produces about 350,000 pounds of burgers a day. The company also makes other meat products: a rib product (before Mc Donald's Mc Rib was available) and a breaded pork loin, featured at Dairy Queens, as well as breaded steaks and pork fritters.  

Holten Meat is a prime example of the interest saving financing SWIDA can provide businesses, especially manufacturing businesses, with its double tax-exempt bond financing. So if you are planning a capital improvement project in the $ 1million to $10 million range give SWIDA a call.   




James Nations, Chair

Reggie Sparks

Barbara Johnson

Khalil El-Amin

Jim Sullivan

Dave Willey

David Miller

Kennard Tucker

John Hipskind

Kevin Kaufhold

Greg Kuehnel


Mike Lundy, Exec Dir

Joe Gasparich

Teri Rumsey

Contact Us

Southwestern Illinois Development Authority

1022 Eastport Plaza Dr

Collinsville, Illinois



(618) 345-3400

Email: info@swida.org



In This Issue
In Our Next Issue...

Learn more about SWIDA's role in fostering development in the City of East St. Louis.

Did you know...

SWIDA has issued $1.2 Billion in Bonds.

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