City and chamber officials hope to take a busload to Springfield to protest the bill and somehow get it amended so it would include Mount Vernon.
Mayor Mary Jane Chesley said from the city’s point of view, no one wants to deny Marion the destination development, but instead, wants to promote “true regionalism” when it comes to hotels/motels, restaurants and retail development.
“It’s about competitive business and it’s regionalism,” Chesley explained. “That will be good for both communities and the counties they reside in for the creation of jobs. This is about retail, hotels, motels and restaurants, because we have 600 acres out there for potential growth and development. I don’t have a problem with Marion and STAR bonding. Good for them. They brought the idea in. The problem I have is, level the playing field and allow Mt. Vernon to have that incentive also. That would create that corridor between Marion and Mt. Vernon for economic development. That’s the message I’m taking (to Springfield).”
The bottom line is that if it's not passed this week, it probably won't happen. The House voted tonight on major aspects of the budget. When the House and Senate finish their votes on the budget, they're going to be out of there.
In their efforts to delay the bill, Mount Vernon officials are showing they would rather have no economic development take place in the region than some.