Business could be booming if city continues development

By Anthony Antoine |

Published 07/01 2014 06:10PM

Updated 07/02 2014 12:27PM

DECATUR -- Businesses are investing millions of dollars to start projects here. WCIA-3's Anthony Antoine has more.

ADM has a railway hub and it's a crossroads for three major railways.

"Currently, there's a lot of interest in our Midwest Inland Port. It's an inter-Mobil yard that's out there by ADM currently."

Three major railroad companies share one yard which can transport products anywhere in the country, Canada or Mexico. The port opened last year, and Patrick Hoban is busy talking to companies about setting up shop here.

"Meetings lead to inquiries, inquiries lead to new projects which lead to building permits. Permits lead to jobs, it just comes full circle."

Since January, he's had tons of meetings and issued hundreds of building permits, which add up to about $20 million in investments.

"We're a top 25 global trade community. We ride and fall with the global economy. As the global economy improves, so does Decatur."

He says it's hard to pinpoint how many jobs it will all turn into, but the port can also help businesses throughout Central Illinois.

"If there are companies over in Champaign, Springfield or Bloomington that can use this service, they can have a container shipped to Decatur and trucked out. If you can see where Richland Community College is, that Brush College corridor, that's open farm ground right now so there's no reason to think that couldn't just be lined with redistribution centers."

While the amount of money being invested in the city is going up, the unemployment rate is going down. It's now about 9% which is the lowest level in the last six years.

The city launched a new website. For more information, click here.

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