RIVERFRONT PROJECTS BUILD STEAM
Peoria’s new Riverfront Visitors Center is open. It’s located on the riverfront in a historic, pre-Civil War building that was moved to the site from a location on Washington Street.
Another development for Peoria’s riverfront–CILCO donated Liberty Park to the city of Peoria. The company broke ground on the park in 1988, and it was formally dedicated the following year. CILCO said the park was established with the intent of spurring riverfront development and added that it’s pleased to have played an instrumental part in that development.
Peoria was featured in the July issue of Midwest Real Estate News as an up-and-coming region in the Midwest due to the economic development activity along the riverfront and the Career and Technology Center.
CEFCU’s Board of Directors announced a $100,000 donation to the Illinois Riverfront Development Corporation to build a permanent stage directly on the waterfront at the "Riverboat Landing." The stage will be used for community purposes, such as festivals and other riverfront gatherings, and will be a family entertainment center.
The Apollo Fine Arts and Entertainment Centre presented the 1997 Downtown Restoration Award to Daniel J. and Kimberly E. Philips for their restoration of the Illinois Antique Center.
The Peoria City Council gave its approval to the riverfront’s largest project yet, a sports and health complex that, according to one official, "will draw the nation’s attention." The RecPlex will feature both indoor and outdoor aquatic facilities, an indoor exercise pool, indoor arena, indoor running track and exercise equipment.
Caterpillar Inc. exported a record $6.12 billion worth of products from the United States during 1997, an 11 percent increase over the 1996 mark. It was the third consecutive year that the company set a U.S. export record.
United Auto Workers-represented employees ratified a new six-year labor agreement with Caterpillar Inc. on March 22nd covering about 12,000 employees at 14 of the company’s U.S. facilities.
Mitsubishi Motors agreed to pay a record $34 million to settle claims that women auto workers were repeatedly harassed on the assembly line. The settlement is the largest sexual harassment settlement ever for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Morton Metalcraft is planning to more than double the size of its Morton plant with an 80,000-square-foot addition to the existing 75,000-square-foot facility. The expansion will add 50 to 60 jobs.
"There has been a major shift in how manufacturing companies are structured. Many of the larger companies have started to outsource production that they previously would have done internally. This has provided opportunities for small companies. At the same time, though, it has placed pressure on these smaller companies to follow the standards of their major clients. Larger companies want their suppliers to become an integral part of the production process. They might be asked to make just-in-time delivery of parts, use electronic data interchange or become ISO/QS 9000-certified."
–Roy Knoedler, Director, Central Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center
Proctor Hospital announced the construction of a new $2.1 million treatment center for the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery.
Methodist Medical Center of Illinois announced the second Methodist Medical Center comprehensive care center will open in Morton during the summer or fall of 1998.
Keith Steffen is the new administrator of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. Sister M. Canisia Gerlach, who was administrator for nearly 38 years, stepped down from that position on September 30th.
- National City Corp. will buy First of America Bank Corp. for $7.2 billion in stock. The combined banks will together rank as the nation’s 13th largest.
- Customer Development Corp. and its affiliated companies were sold for $86 million to ChoicePoint Inc. CDC will maintain its offices in Peoria.
- Ruppman Marketing Technologies Inc. celebrated its 25th anniversary and name change to Affina in July.
- The Peoria City Council voted unanimously in July to buy the so-called Sears Block for just under $1 million. Sears will vacate the premises when it moves to Northwoods Mall in November.
- After two decades as maestro of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, William Wilsen will retire at the end of August.
- WeaverRidge Golf Course was selected the second "Best New Upscale Public Course in the Nation" by Golf Digest.
- RLI Vice President Michael Quine received the 1998 Sam Walton Business Leader Award.
- Pepsi-Cola General Bottlers will construct a $6 million sales and distribution facility in Morton on a 13-acre site near the intersection of Illinois Rt. 98 and I-155.
- Illinois Central College and Caterpillar Inc. broke ground on a dealer service technician training facility. The cooperative venture will train technicians to service equipment for independent Caterpillar dealerships.
- State Farm was granted a charter to operate a federal savings bank. The company plans to offer banking services next spring.
THEY SAID IT…
"The Tri-County community is one economic body. Yes, there are local interests, but their vitality and longevity depend upon the economic health of the whole. A failure to recognize this is an intellectual blind spot that will prevent us from seeing goals that serve the greater good of our region."
-Dr. John Gilligan, Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce
"Is the Y2K problem a result of so much media hype? Or do we face a real danger of computers starting to shut down at the dawn on the new millennium?"
-Jan Wright, Publisher
"There is a growing contingent in the American work force, and its members answer to many names: consultant, freelancer, independent contractor, self-employed. Of the 24 million Americans now working on their own, 12 million are working at home and offering the services they once performed for corporate businesses."
-Harry Sutter, Brighton Corporation
"Preliminary estimates for the final quarter suggest that fiscal year 1998 will end with a total surplus near the upper end of the $43 billion to $63 billion range. If these figures hold true through September, the federal government will take in more than it spends for the first time in 30 years."
-Congressman Ray LaHood
Governor Jim Edgar signed legislation to deregulate Illinois’ electric utility industry, a move that is expected to promote competition and save Illinois families an estimated $640 million on electric service costs in the first full year.
Electronic income tax filing is attracting more people, but most still prefer paper, according to The Wall Street Journal. "About 21 million individual income tax returns will be beamed electronically to the IRS" in 1998, up about 10 percent from 1997. However, four out of five will still arrive on paper.
"Plans to help restore our greatest natural resource, the Illinois River, received a welcome boost recently. Illinois is now only the third state participating in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, a long-term initiative to reduce soil erosion and sedimentation, improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat in the Illinois River watershed."
-Congressman Ray LaHood iBi