HARRISBURG, IL – Cairo economic development was on the mind of State Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg), when he and Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) toured the far southern tip of Illinois on March 17.
Fowler’s visit was the sixth visit to the Alexander County community since he took office more than two months ago. It is widely believed that is has been decades since one of the four Illinois legislative leaders toured the historic community.
Cairo and the Cairo Public Utility have been working in recent years to remove dilapidated buildings and clear lots for possible redevelopment. A several-hundred-acre site on the Mississippi River side of the town is being eyed for a major port development. Such a development would provide Southern Illinois farmers, coal producers and other major manufacturers another port opportunity to ship their goods down the Mississippi River to foreign countries.
Cairo’s physical location makes it a perfect place for a modern river port because of its close proximity to interstate, rail and the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. The river depth also makes it less susceptible to low river conditions and Cairo is also the most northern point of the Mississippi River, which never freezes in harsh river conditions.
The two legislators were accompanied by a delegation of local elected leaders and river industry stakeholders. It is estimated that a port could be developed within the next decade, but an initial series of steps must be taken before construction can start.
Fowler tours VA & Anna Veterans’ Home
Senator Fowler was joined by neighboring Senator Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo), when the two freshmen lawmakers toured the Marion Veterans’ Medical Center and the Illinois Veterans’ Home at Anna. The two facilities are hubs of healthcare and convalescence for World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the most recent veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both lawmakers said they were impressed with the staffs at both centers.
Carbondale Town Hall
Senator Fowler will be co-hosting a town hall legislative forum with Senator Paul Schimpf in Carbondale on April 1. The event will be held at Carbondale Township Building located at 216 E. Monroe in Carbondale. It will begin at 9:00 A.M. and will end at 11:00 A.M. Free coffee and donuts will be provided to those constituents in attendance.