No IDOT jobs for southern Illinois

By Arnold Wyrick
HARRISBURG, IL (KFVS) - For the past nine months the pendulum has been swinging back and forth in Springfield and Harrisburg, were the IDOT Traffic Safety jobs coming or staying?  That question was answered on Friday morning.
Governor Pat Quinn put the brakes on the move of the 140 jobs to Southern Illinois.
"I am pleased to announce the employees of the Division of Traffic Safety will not have their lives disrupted and that these jobs will stay here in the capital city," said Governor Quinn.
But, it wasn't such good news for the folks in the Harrisburg area, particularly the Southeastern Illinois College Foundation.
"IDOT came to use back in early June with a proposal to buy about half of the building.  So we went for it thinking we have the opportunity to bring about 140 jobs to a very depressed area.  So the foundation stepped up to the plate," saID SIC's Director of Marketing Donna Patton.
"We had to move some offices from one side of the building to the other to meet the requirements of IDOT.  It cost us more than $200,000 so we're very disappointed in the news."
The Assistant Secretary of IDOT David Phelps thinks the governor will make the loss back up to the region.
"Anyone put in the position like Governor Pat Quinn was put in by such a controversial position of the former governor and then to have that governor's credibility go down the drain.  Governor Quinn felt like this was the best position for the citizens of the state.  And I think he will try to make up for what he couldn't do in this regard," Phelps said.
Still many residents in the region feel like help isn't coming anytime soon.
"I didn't think we'd ever get the jobs down here.  We're just going to have to keep plugging along as usual.  They've got all of the votes and the clout up north in Chicago.  We have none down here so that's the way it's going to be," said Wes Babout of Harrisburg.