For the 2005 Economic Development Grant program, the AmerenCDC is in the process of distributing $2.95 million of a total $9 million in funding for projects that are expected to create 677 new jobs and retain nearly 500 jobs in Missouri.
Each of the three successful projects being announced today is located within AmerenUE's 20,000-square-mile Missouri electric service territory, in compliance with the program's requirements. They represent a diverse group of businesses and civic organizations, including non-profit development agencies and public entities.
In addition to the three southeast Missouri recipients, the AmerenCDC recently announced other grant recipients from the first cycle of the economic development program. These included three grants to projects in central and northeastern Missouri totaling $580,000 and six grants to projects in the St. Louis Metropolitan area, totaling $675,000. Total project investment for all announced projects to-date exceeds $85 million.
The southeast Missouri recipients are:
Missouri Research Corporation will use the grant money to support the rehabilitation of the Innovation Center of Southeast Missouri State University, creating a business incubator facility. This grant will help finance critical building improvements for the entrepreneurial infrastructure needed to foster new economic opportunities for Southeast Missouri.
They are located in Cape Girardeau and will receive $200,000
. Southeast Missouri Regional Port Authority will use the grant for its Public Warehouse Complex Project \- the funds will help cover the engineering and design of phase I building construction for a multi-modal, multi-tenant, public warehouse complex.
They are located in Scott County and will receive $200,000
. Cape Girardeau Public Schools Foundation/Cape Girardeau Career & Technology Center will use the grant for its Career Center Expansion project \- the addition of 9,600 square feet of new lab, classroom and shop space to expand technical training programs and community education.
They are located in Cape Girardeau and will receive $150,000
. Created with the 2002 completion of a joint settlement of a rate case between AmerenUE and the Missouri Public Service Commission staff, the AmerenCDC is dedicated to addressing critical economic development initiatives in the state. It is Missouri's first utility-based economic development company to operate exclusively across AmerenUE's retail electric service area in Missouri.
The AmerenCDC is managed, supervised and controlled by its board of directors, who are selected by a collaborative process between Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt the Missouri Public Service Commission and AmerenUE.
The board made its final decisions based on each applicant's ability to stimulate community and economic development, resulting in community revitalization and the creation or retention of jobs.
"At Ameren, we work to be a performance leader within our industry and to be good stewards of the public trust. We define our success by the success of the communities and customers we serve," said Ameren Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Rainwater. "It has been a pleasure to work with the Office of the Governor, the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Missouri Public Service Commission in developing this unique program that will support economic development in the state for years to come."
AmerenCDC board member Doyle Privett added that with the funding of these grants today, these projects can take the next step toward fulfilling critical growth plans and creating new economic opportunities for the citizens of southeast Missouri. He also commended AmerenUE, the Missouri Public Service Commission and the Governor's office for their collective vision in creating this innovative public-private economic development partnership.
Ameren made an up-front contribution of $5 million to the CDC in September 2002. An additional $1 million contribution was made in 2003, 2004 and 2005. The company is funding an additional $1 million in July of 2006, bringing the total amount to $9 million to fulfill the commitments of the rate-case settlement.
In 2006, the AmerenCDC will again have two Economic Development Grant cycles. Applications are available on the "AmerenCDC" link at Ameren's Web site, www.ameren.com, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 800.981.9409. Completed applications must be postmarked by May 1, 2006. The second grant cycle in 2006 is scheduled to begin Aug. 1, 2006.
Community development corporations have been used as economic development tools dating back to the mid-1970s. Today, they are used to stimulate economic development, housing, redevelopment and commercial revitalization in communities.
The Missouri Department of Economic Development has been instrumental in establishing several community-based CDCs to leverage state and federal funding resources for the benefit of communities. By covering AmerenUE's 65-county Missouri service area, the AmerenCDC offers broad geographic distribution and increased project activity.
With assets of $18 billion, Ameren owns a diverse mix of electric generating plants strategically located in its Midwest market with a capacity of more than 15,200 megawatts. Ameren serves 2.3 million electric customers and 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000 square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.