The wait is almost over. Gov. Pat Quinn is set to visit Marion tomorrow to sign SB 2093, the STAR Bonds development bill that could lead to thousands of new jobs created in Southern Illinois.
Quinn's set to be at the Operating Engineers Local 318 meeting hall at 11 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Quinn vetoed a similar bill last year sending it back to the legislature with a change in the language to limit state incentives to 50 percent of the eligible costs. This time the bill includes the language Quinn wanted.
The bill would use the state's portion of the new sales tax revenue generated by the project to fund bonds to pay for the development.
In testimony last month Bruce Holland, the lead developer behind the proposal, admitted that no companies had signed on yet, but were waiting for the bill to be passed. No word yet if Holland will make any announcements along those lines.
Already he has met the first June 1 deadline in the bill to secure control at least 50 percent of the land in the proposed development. The district will include 45 to 50 acres west of Interstate 57 next to Rent One Park and behind Menards, as well as least 350 acres east of the interstate and north of Morgan Avenue.
In order to secure a STAR Bonds district the developers must show they have at least one large retailer (a destination user as defined by the bill), and one entertainment user (an entertainment center or theme park). What and when they announce those two developments will go a long way in indicating just how big this development will be.