A rest-stop near the “Home of Superman” in southern Illinois has reopened after being closed seven months because an unpaid water bill.
The $15,000 bill went unpaid because Massac County, the agency responsible for maintenance of the stop, was cut off from funding during the ongoing state budget stalemate, Director of the Greater Metropolis Convention and Tourism Bureau, Trish Steckenrider said.
The Superman themed rest stop and welcome center sits along Interstate-24 at the Illinois, Kentucky border. According to Steckenrider, it’s a vital funnel for visitors to Metropolis.
A 2014 Illinois traffic study found that 1.9 million vehicles travel to the stop each year. During the seven month closure, hotels and other businesses saw a decrease in patrons by as much as 20 percent, Steckenrider said.
“That trickle effect, that multiplier effect really does effect us,” Steckenrider said. “We’re just doing what we can do until the state does pass a budget.”
Since the stop was directly affecting tourism, the bureau stepped up to pay the bill to keep the welcome center open over the next year, Steckenrider said.