ETHANOL PLANT COMING TO GREENVILLE
Greenville has been chosen for a proposed ethanol plant by a Kansas City-based company. In August of this year, Alternative Energy Sources Incorporated, or AENS, reported that they had plans to build ethanol plants in Central Iowa and Northern Illinois. In an announcement Monday by AENS one of those plants will be built on one hundred acres at the John W. Kelsey Business & Technology Park. The plant will be adjacent to the CSX and BNSF main railroad lines and served by the Illinois Western Railroad. Mark Beemer, president and CEO of AENS, said that with access to both mainline railroads and Interstates 70, 55 and 64 they will be able to serve national markets as well as Central and Southern Illinois and Eastern Missouri.
Construction is planned to begin within the next year, with the plant scheduled to open by late 2008. Once in operation, the plant will provide jobs for 45-55 people with payroll between $2.5 and $3.5 million. The AENS plant will be a major consumer of corn grown in Bond, Fayette and Effingham Counties using more than 40 million bushels of corn annually and producing 110 million gallons of ethanol.
Mayor Alan Gaffner told WGEL that the city has talked with several companies interested in building ethanol plants but AENS was the first to finalize a deal. Gaffner said they received confirmation of the company's intentions last Friday morning.
City Manager Dave Willey indicated that attracting the ethanol facility was a group effort by Economic Consultant Rita McDowell, Charlie Barenfanger of Vandalia, and AgraCel in Effingham and himself. Ethanol production requires a lot of water and Willey confirmed that although a formal agreement has not been reached, the water will be provided through Governor Bond Lake. The city already has water mains to the site and they can be extended for the plant's use. According to Willey, some other details need to be worked out but can't until AENS finalizes their infrastructure needs. The city manager told WGEL that he doesn't foresee any roadblocks in the plant coming to Greenville.
Mayor Gaffner pointed to the permanent jobs created by the plant and the purchase of corn from area farmers as major benefits. He added that the wages earned by those employees will also be "turned over" up to seven times in the community. Gaffner believes the potential exists of other related projects following and that the selection of Greenville for this plant will showcase what the community has to offer other perspective industries.
GREENVILLE COLLEGE BREAKS GROUND ON NEW DORMITORY
Last Thursday, Greenville College broke ground on another housing facility. This 101-bed, traditional residence hall will open in time to house underclassmen in the fall 2007 semester. Full dorms have led college administrators to review future options for additional housing. In July, the executive committee of the board of trustees approved an $8 million bond issue. The bond will provide $3.7 million for the construction of the new dormitory, $1.5 million for remodeling existing residences, and $2.8 million to refinance existing debt.
Located at the south end of Snyder parking lot, just behind the Synder Science Building, the residence hall will feature individual heating and cooling in each room as well as data ports and wireless capability. The three-floor structure will also include lounges on each floor, study areas on two upper levels, and a two bedroom apartment with an office for the dormitory’s Coordinator of Residence Education.
DINNER TO RAISE FUNDS FOR COURTHOUSE LIGHTING
A dinner with live music is going to be held in early November to raise funds for the permanent courthouse lawn lighting. Cheri Schilling, owner of Cheri's Garden Room said that only the food expense will be taken out of the profits and the rest will go towards the lighting. The Greenville Chamber of Commerce, the Greenville Women's Club and the Greenville Business and Professional Association are endorsing the dinner. Donations were being asked for the lighting, so Cheri's husband Tom came up with the idea to offer the dinner so people that are donating money can have a nice meal and still feel like they're getting a little something. Food for the event includes pork loin in a raspberry glaze, chicken with a wine sauce, baked potatoes, vegetables and a cheesecake assortment. Tom Stampfli at the piano will be providing the live music for the evening.
Permanent lighting is still needed for the south and east sides of the square. Each "Acorn" light can be decorated for the different seasons and holidays. Schilling said there are still 25 seats available at $20 a plate. She believes if the dinner is filled to capacity, there will be at least $1000 to give towards the lighting project itself. The dinner will be held Thursday, November 2 at 6PM at Cheri's Garden Room in Greenville. Today is the final day reservations will be accepted. Call 664-4610 to get your ticketst.
FFA MEMBERS HEADING TO NATIONAL CONVENTION
The annual FFA National Convention is this week. Steve Zimmerman told WGEL's Joe Doll that this is an annual trip and this year it's being held in Indianapolis for the first time. He said they would take some time to get acquainted with the city and surroundings in order to look for some good activities and educational experiences for the kids. Zimmerman also said they would be receiving 2-Star National Chapter Award based on program activities with the local chapter and their participation in the community.