Farmer City and Illiopolis
Two of the extensions are to
neighbors outside the Lincoln-Logan County territory that do not
have enterprise zone opportunities near them. Both of these go to
Monsanto sites, one in Farmer City and the other in Illiopolis. A
connecting corridor had to be extended to the Farmer City site, but
the corridor for Illiopolis had already been established when
Formosa and Elkhart were added in 2004. Together, these two
extensions total 0.8 square miles.
The total additions of 3.6 square miles bring the current area to
approximately 10 square miles used in 22 years. About 5 1/2 square
miles remains available for future developments, which enterprise
zone manager Phil Mahler says is plenty for Logan County.
This enterprise zone expansion also incorporates an area to the
north of Lincoln.
The extension brings the Farmer City Monsanto plant into the
enterprise zone. The plant will mainly see relief from an Illinois
natural gas big-user tax.
When Monsanto made its request for enterprise zone use to Lincoln
and Logan County, the Lincoln & Logan County Development Partnership
was asked to review the proposal and provide an opinion. Joel
Smiley, executive director of the partnership, identified that
healthy economies in nearby areas help the local economy, as many
people travel back and forth spending money. Additionally, both
Monsanto sites have employees living in Logan County who contribute
even more to the economy through income and property taxes.
But, even beyond the economic impact, these extensions to
Monsanto sites outside the Lincoln and Logan County borders have
additional benefits. Smiley evaluated the potential savings that
Monsanto would see and recommended fees for its use. An agreement
was struck with Monsanto to pay Lincoln and Logan County each
$20,000 a year for the term of the enterprise zone, which expires in
2017. A portion of this fee would be used to offset administrative
fees, and the remainder can be used for future marketing and
The money that comes with these designations is good, but Logan
County Regional Planning Commission director and enterprise zone
manager Phil Mahler says, "It is the jobs that are most important."
Advance planning creates better growth in a community. Targeted
land-use, zoning and enterprise zone preparations help pave the way
for commercial and industrial developments.
Also bundled into this enterprise zone request was acreage of 2.8
square miles located to the north of Lincoln. This area extends
along the Business 55 loop between Eaton Corp. and Kruger Elevator.
What is currently farm ground was identified during land-use
planning a couple of years ago as having high potential for
industrial development and was written into the county's
comprehensive plan. The properties offer highway and railroad
transportation, as well as quick and easy access to Interstate 55.
Local business promoters are now targeting big businesses,
agriculturally related industries in particular, to come and see
what Logan County has to offer. The high agriculture production,
central location in the nation and in Illinois, interstate access,
good local highways, rail and air transportation all make Logan
County a prime location for any agriculture-related industry or one
that needs production, warehouse or distribution centers.
Several months ago Logan County zoning officer Phil Mahler said
that the interest of a large agriculture business in touring tour
potential sites here was spurred by this enterprise zone addition.
While still two years out from planning future advancement to their
operations, Monsanto officials were here last week to see what we
had to offer.
Also related to business development, the Lincoln & Logan County
Development Partnership director told Logan County Board members a
week ago about other possibilities that he would be pursuing that
could bring economic growth to the county.
"The partnership will be looking at wind energy over the next
couple of years," Smiley said. This would be pursued from several
standpoints: manufacturing, suppliers and end users, he said
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The board had just heard discussion on completing the agreement that
would allow the start of the Rail Splitter Wind Farm construction.
"The potential that Logan County has, even in a tough economy, to
pick up new companies, new opportunities, new technologies, is going
to be fantastic, Smiley added.
Smiley said that he was recently at the National Association of
Manufacturers show and picked up a lead on an international company
that designs wind turbines. This is a German company, one of the
largest in the world, that is in the process of relocating its
international headquarters to Chicago. There could be an opportunity
for a warehouse and distribution center somewhere in the Illinois
vicinity. That's one of the opportunities that we're going after, he
He shared more of his plans to represent Logan County to the wind
industry. Next week is a networking show in Chicago. At the
beginning of December is an international supply and chain show in
Cleveland. Next year the largest show in the world is in Chicago.
We're going to have a presence there as well. He concluded, "These
are our opportunities to really shine Logan County for this great
People to contact for business
development or enterprise zone information:
Joel A. Smiley, MPA
Lincoln & Logan County Development Partnership, NFP
1555 Fifth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656
Enterprise zone manager:
Phil Mahler, Director
Logan County Regional Planning Commission
529 S. McLean St.
Lincoln, IL 62656
For additional information on area codes, zoning, available
properties, work force and the community see the Lincoln & Logan
County Development Partnership website,
You will also find the Logan County Comprehensive Plan, "Acres of
Opportunity," on that site.
"Enterprise zones are an important tool for stimulating economic
growth and community revitalization. Incentives are provided to
attract business startups and expansions, create new jobs, encourage
revitalization of neighborhoods, and expand the tax base." To see
more on "Lincoln/Logan County Enterprise Zone; Incentives for