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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 12, 2000

Ryan Announces $496,000 In IllinoisFIRST Funds For Springfield

SPRINGFIELD - Governor George H. Ryan today announced his approval of $496,000 in Illinois FIRST funds for improving road access to a growing industrial park in the western part of Springfield.

The industrial park -- Wabash Market Place East -- is the future site of a 100,000-square foot Cellular One customer service center. The facility will combine 130 existing employees currently working on West Jefferson Street with 170 new jobs and expanded operations.

"Illinois is undergoing a business renaissance," Ryan said. We are seeing jobs created in record numbers throughout the state. We are also seeing Illinois become a hub for telecommunications centers, such as Cellular One."

"Cellular One is a great addition to the economic foundation of Springfield and Central Illinois. With the help of Illinois FIRST funds, we can provide the public infrastructure improvements that are needed for economic development," Ryan said.

The road access improvements include construction of left-and right-turn lanes on Wabash Avenue to Ash Grove Road, traffic signals at the intersection, and construction of a 600-foot easterly extension of Ash Grove Road from Wabash Avenue.

Funding for the roadway work comes from the Economic Development Program, administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation. This program targets state funds for transportation infrastructure improvements that help the communities and the state retain or attract businesses and associated jobs.

Other state assistance is provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs through EDGE tax credits and job training assistance.

"Cellular One's decision to locate its new customer service center in Springfield reflects hard work and cooperation among the state, the city of Springfield, the Springfield Economic Development Commission, and Sangamon County," Ryan said.


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