Jerseyville’s Russell: Railway to rev regional economy
Jerseyville Mayor William Russell recently lauded Kansas City Southern Railroad’s (KCSR) decision to house a central facility in the heart of town, delivering manifold jobs and ultimately expected to jumpstart both the local and regional economies.
"The business community, they are energized," Russell told Fox station KTVI in St. Louis. "They are excited about moving forward with this project."
KCSR officially announced its plans in early March before an audience including Gov. Bruce Rauner. The depot will serve as a hub for off-loading cargo to semitrucks along the railway route, which runs through the city. Additionally, plans include manufacturing ventures.
"It's probably the largest impact and opportunity that our community will ever have," Russell told the Fox station. “Our whole region, from the southern part of Illinois, all along corridor 67, we've brought this forward as a regional concept for jobs and for our young people.”
Jerseyville, which has approximately 8,000 residents, will likely see a spike in activity as job openings attract a labor pool. The railway intends to create 1,000 jobs soon, followed by more in the years to come, the company told KTVI.
Stonemont Financial Group of Atlanta along with the Jerseyville Economic Development Council and KCSR will finance the project.
State Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville) predicted that the project would relieve unemployment and encourage potential workers to “get moving.”
"Having the railroad come here in this facility is a major investment in this entire region and the entire state of Illinois,” Davidsmeyer told KTVI, adding that the area is anticipating “hundreds of millions of dollars” pouring into the local economy.