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October 15, 2012

Greetings ~



Just as the St. Louis Cardinals continue to turn in a winning performance, the Metro East also has enjoyed some big wins over the past few weeks. The latest agreement between MidAmerica Airport and Ningbo Lische International Airport is a win-win for both airports and current and future tenants that will benefit from this partnership, while the region also scored a victory with East-West Gateway's approval of a solution for the Poplar Street Bridge ramp issue that ultimately improves access to Illinois. Be sure to check out all the I-255 related stories from the latest edition of the Illinois Business Journal to see how its expansion has been a real bonus for the communities it connects. And, there's more to celebrate with national recognition for St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville and the opening of the new MetroBikeLink Trail this month. Read on for all of these stories and more.

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MidAmerica Airport forms partnership with airport in China (The Belleville News-Democrat, October 3, 2012)


Ningbo Lishe International Airport, located in the Zhejiang Province of China, has formed a partnership with MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah in hopes of establishing a trade roMidAmerica Logoute between the two airports. The agreement has been in effect since January, although the public announcement was officially made at The International Air Cargo Association's 26th Air Cargo Forum in Atlanta, Georgia  on October 3. According to the Belleville News-Democrat, the agreement calls for both airports to work together on the following four key initiatives: help organize freight originating from each airport to assist carriers; assist air carriers to start new air service; assist all trade route users with government approvals and support; and coordinate joint discussions and joint marketing to users of the trade route. North Bay Produce, which became the newest tenant at MidAmerica Airport this past June, will be one of the first to benefit from the new trade agreement and hopes to begin using air for logistic solutions for importing and exporting shipments from Central and South America before the end of the year. (Read More)  


McKendree making $410,000 in improvements to campus arena (The Belleville News-Democrat, October 7, 2012)


Holland LogoMcKendree Logo Construction on McKendree University's new 1,824-square-foot locker room is expected to be completed in mid-November, just in time for basketball season. The university is preparing to enter the NCAA Division II competition next year. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the $410,000 in improvements, which are being managed by Holland Construction Services, will be paid for entirely with private donations and will help in the university's recruiting efforts. (Read More)  


New Fairview Heights fire station expected to cost $3.5 million (The Belleville News-Democrat, September 30, 2012)


According to the Belleville News Democrat, construction on the new $3.5 million, 15,000-square-foot Fairview Fire Department fire station is expected to begin early next year. The proposed Engine House No. 2 is planned to be located at 214 Ashland Avenue. The Fire department is in need of a bigger place for its larger fire and ladder trucks and more parking spaces for the volunteer fire staff. The enlarged garage will allow staff to inspect the fire engines without having to pull them into the parking lot. The new, more energy-efficient station will also be equipped with a tornado shelter, capable of withstanding an F4 tornado, which will also serve as sleeping quarters. The Fire Department currently has three paid employees and a volunteer staff of approximately 40. (Read More) 


Mike Shannon's is expanding to Edwardsville (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 8, 2012)


The Post-Dispatch is reporting that the impending opening of a new Mike Shannon's in Edwardsville appears to be getting closer. Buzz about the new location began circulating last week after Co-owner Pat Shannon-Vanmatre, Mike Shannon's daughter, tweeted a job opening for head chef at Mike Shannon's Grill, which will be located in the same shopping plaza as Peel Pizza. The tweet described the décor and attitude of the restaurant, along with pricing and hours of operations. (Read More)


St. Clair County Transit District to add 2.2 Miles to MetroBikeLink Trail (St. Louis Front Page, Oct. 14, 2012)


SCCTD St. Louis Front Page reports that the new 2.2-mile MetroBikeLink Trail extension linking the Swansea MetroLink Station and the Memorial Hospital Station is set to open in mid-October. With a total project cost of $3.3 million, this new segment includes a grade-separated bridge over Fullerton Road and drinking fountains at both the Swansea and Memorial Hospital stations. More than half of the project cost was funded by the St. Clair County Transit District, 36 percent by the Federal Transit Administration, with the remaining funds contributed by the Metro East Park and Recreation District. (Read More)


Metro-east schools get more than $500,000 in state assistance (The Belleville News-Democrat, October 11, 2012)


According to the Belleville News-Democrat, several local school districts will receive state assistance for maintenance and improvements. Seven school districts in St. Clair County will each receive $50,000 in state grants, which is the maximum amount allowed. Five Madison County school districts also have received a total of $250,000. The grants can be used for everything from building renovations and repairs to parking lot improvements and asbestos removal. (Read More) 


Anderson Hospital Women's Pavilion, Maryville, The Korte Company (Illinois Business Journal, October 2012, p.17)


Korte logo Anderson Hosp  

The Illinois Business Journal reports that The Korte Company recently completed a $5.1 million, 16,900-square-foot, second floor addition to the Anderson Hospital Women's Pavilion, along with a first floor remodel. The 17 new postpartum/delivery rooms were built to resemble luxurious hotel rooms. The Pavilion is also connected to a surgery suite to allow quick access in the case of an emergency. Other features of the addition include a nursery, social servile suite, classroom, waiting room and staff office. The first floor remodel included updating 12 postpartum/delivery rooms and the addition of elevators and stair access to the newly completed second floor. (Read More)


East-West Gateway OKs plan for major changes to Poplar Street Bridge (The Belleville News-Democrat, September 26. 2012)


According to the Belleville News Democrat, The East-West Gateway Council of Governments Board of Directors unanimously approved a plan to remove the eastbound Interstate 70 ramp to the Poplar Street Bridge and make other major changes to the bridge that ultimately will ease congestion on the bridge while improving access into Illinois. The first two phases of the three-phase process include many updates, such as a two-lane exit ramp from the Poplar Street Bridge that will allow motorists to travel onto I-70 and the addition of a fifth eastbound lane to the bridge. The cost for these two phases is estimated at $80 million. The third and final phase, which is currently unfunded, would create a third lane for the eastbound Missouri lanes of I-64 approaching the bridge along with the reconfiguring of the on and off ramps of I-64 at Sixth Street and Broadway. The projected series of enhancements are expected to take place over the next four years. (Read More


Illinois 255 - Transforming the Landscape of Southwestern Illinois (Illinois Business Journal, October 2012)


The October edition of the Illinois Business Journal also contained a special 5-page section dedicated completely to the I-255 extension. The section features a variety of articles that talk about the positive impact that I-255 has had on the communities it connects. Here's a list of the ones that caught our eye that you can check out in your hard copy or in the online edition at 


  • IDOT preps for ribbon cutting on latest Illinois 255 extension north to Humbert Road (p.12)
  • St. Louis Regional attracts development, see tenants' operations expand with 255 (p. 13)
  • Collinsville's immediate proximity to 255 translates into growth for city over past (p.14)
  • Village of Hartford expanding business opportunities along with 255 expansion (p.14)
  • Village of Godfrey creates TIF, business district to attract companies, grow along with Illinois 255 (p.14)
  • Gateway Commerce Center along 255 brings, retains thousands of Madison County jobs (p.15)
  • Leadership Council cites 255 as example of one of region's major multi-modal resources (p.15)



In Other News



Private aircraft lining up at region's doors for customization, modification, overhaul (Illinois Business Journal, October 2012, p.1)


STL Downtown Airport STL Regional Airport A cover story in the latest edition of the Illinois Business Journal highlights the aviation modification, repair and overhaul (MRO) service companies West Star Aviation and Jet Aviation St. Louis, which operate at St. Louis Regional Airport and St. Louis Downtown Airport, respectively. Both companies are experiencing a boom in the MRO market after the 2008 recession resulted in many corporations disbanding their aviation departments, creating a surplus of aircraft in pristine condition that were purchased at steep discounts by other corporations. Many of those repurchased aircraft have ended up at West Star or Jet Aviation for a new paint job, an update to the interior to meet the specific needs of the new buyer, and modifications recommended by the FAA. Customizing new aircraft has also been lucrative for the two companies, which are responsible for bringing in additional revenue from around the world to the community in which they are located through client travel and lodging. The IBJ reports the biggest challenge these companies face is finding enough skilled workers to complete the in-demand services.(


St. Elizabeth's recognized among top 50 cardiovascular hospitals (The Belleville News-Democrat, October 4, 2012)


St. Elizabeth's Hosp Truven Health Analytics, an independent health rating company, has selected St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville as one of the best providers for cardiovascular care services in the country. According to the Belleville News-Democrat, Truven reviewed 1,000 U.S. hospitals by analyzing outcomes of patients with heart failure and heart attacks and those who received coronary bypass surgery and percutaneous coronary interventions. St. Elizabeth's is only the third hospital in Illinois to ever receive the accreditation. (Read More) 



Contact Information

Ellen Krohne

 Executive Director

Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois



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