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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 1999

Governor Announces $150,000 Grant To Morton

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that the Village of Morton has been awarded a $150,000 grant to meet the infrastructure needs of Air-Land Transportation Services Inc., which is expanding its facility in Morton. Air-Land Transportation Service currently employs more than 200 workers and expects to hire an additional 15 full-time employees after the expansion is complete.

"When businesses expand in Illinois, they have needs that only government can fulfill, Ryan said. "My administration is committed to providing communities, such as the village of Morton, with the resources necessary to make sure companies can grow and create new jobs."

The Department of Commerce and Community Affairs administered the grant through its Community Development Assistance Program. Most of the money will be used to extend Flint Avenue, which is needed to accommodate a new facility and parking lot that Air-Land Transport Service plans to construct.

"The CDAP grants are a valuable tool communities can use to create further economic development, " DCCA Director Pam McDonough said. "By meeting the infrastructure needs of business, companies can expand and hire more workers, which keeps our economy strong."

Air-Land Transport Service provides truckload transportation for heavy equipment manufacturers, as well as other businesses. During the last three years, employment at the Morton company has risen 63 percent. The expansion project is expected to be completed by next spring, with additional workers hired by August of 2000.

"Our city greatly appreciates the financial support of all investors in this project, as well as the Economic Development Council for the Peoria Area, for their efforts in guiding the grant process," Mayor Donald F. Roth of Morton said. "This project will be instrumental in offering more job opportunities here in Central Illinois.

"One of our corporate commitments to Air- Land employees, Morton and Central Illinois is growth and diversification, said Air-Land owner John Gray Jr. "The announcement of this grant will support our company's effort in meeting this objective. Our company appreciates the support given by everyone involved to make this happen."


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