New proposed river port in Cairo, IL impact local businesses

CAIRO, IL (KFVS) - A proposed river port in Cairo, Illinois is getting a boost from the latest state budget.

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The spending plan includes $1 Million towards continuing the river port project.

Cairo business owner Gabrielle Harris has a positive outlook about a proposed river port coming to Cairo. "It's only going to be beneficial, any type of opportunity that creates jobs, we want it, we need it hear in Cairo," he said.

State Senator Dale Fowler is behind this initiative."This budget contains an encouraging investment in the river port project for Cairo and the rest of Southern Illinois, directing much-needed funding toward permitting and design costs for the project," said Senator Fowler. "The river port would have a major economic impact on our region, and I'm encouraged that this budget package recognizes the project's possibilities."

According to Fowler, the funds will go towards design cost and permits, which could take a year and a half to complete.

"I can't give you an exact date on when this will come to reality, but once the permitting is completed, he said."We'll hopefully make some concrete projections. I think you're going to see a lot of pro-business initiatives and actions in the city of Cairo," Fowler says.

Harris says he's on board with the future project. "You're talking about the river, the rail, the interstate...all those things are essential for a business to be successful, so i think that we are a prime location if people really look at investing in Cairo," Harris says.

The Rauner Foundation gave the authority $100,000 five months ago to market the proposed development to companies and investors.

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