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Ameren Community Development Corporation Announces Grant Recipients

ST. LOUIS, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The board of directors of the Ameren Community Development Corporation (AmerenCDC) announced today that it has awarded $1,200,000 in funding for projects.

This cycle brings the total grant amount awarded to $9,287,000, completing the contributions for the AmerenCDC grant program established in 2002.

Since its establishment, AmerenCDC has provided grants to 71 projects resulting in the creation of 2,050 new jobs and the retention of 2,830 jobs. In total, these projects have created new investment in excess of nearly $248 million in the state of Missouri.

The final 14 successful projects are all located within AmerenUE's 20,000-square-mile Missouri service territory, in compliance with the program's requirements. They represent a diverse group of businesses and civic organizations, including minority- and female-owned businesses.

Of the 14 grants, eight awarded in the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County total $700,000. The other six grants, totaling $500,000, are awarded to projects in Brookfield, Caruthersville, Excelsior Springs, Hayti Heights, St. Peters and Union-cities in central, northwestern and southeastern Missouri. In total, funded projects for this final awards group are expected to create or retain 758 direct jobs.

This cycle's 14 projects will further leverage more than $64.7 million in new project investment.

  The recipients are:

  Name/Summary                            Project Location        Award

  American Plastics Group, Inc. --- for   Union                   $150,000
   plant purchase, expansion and
  Project, Inc. --- for building          St. Louis               $150,000
   acquisition and renovation
  Continental Sprayers International,     St. Peters              $100,000
   Inc.-for Project Trigger -- for a
   facility expansion/consolidation
  Excelsior Springs Medical Center --     Excelsior Springs       $100,000
   for development of an outpatient and
   wellness clinic
  Global Advanced Manufacturing LLC       St. Louis               $100,000
   --- for acquisition of manufacturing
  Grand Center Inc. -- to support         St. Louis               $100,000
   development of the Metropolitan
   Building-Hyatt Place Hotel
  Innovate St. Louis -- to establish the  St. Louis               $100,000
   Innovate St. Louis Venture Mentoring
  Michael Anders Prison Ministry --- to   St. Louis               $100,000
   support small business development
   initiative and job training
   opportunity for men in transition
  Center for Women in Transition -- to    St. Louis               $ 65,000
   support the growth of One World
   Neighborhood Cafe
  St. Louis Black Leadership Roundtable   St. Louis               $ 25,000
   -- for the Center for the Acceleration
   of African American Business, a
   minority business initiative
  St. Andrews Resources for Seniors -- to St. Louis               $ 60,000
   support services of the organization's
   at-home division aimed at keeping able
   seniors in their homes
  Center for Faith-Based Counseling and   Hayti Heights           $ 50,000
   Community Empowerment --- for the
   asset building center
  North Central Missouri Regional         Brookfield              $ 50,000
   Airport Authority --- for development
   of the NCMRA runway extension and
   tower relocation
  Pemiscot County Port Authority -- for   Caruthersville          $ 50,000
   development of a rail spur extension
   to Bootheel Biodiesel LLC plant

Created with the 2002 completion of a joint settlement of a rate case between AmerenUE and the Missouri Public Service Commission staff, the AmerenCDC was dedicated to addressing critical economic development initiatives in the state. It was Missouri's first utility-based economic development company to operate exclusively across AmerenUE's retail electric service area in Missouri.

The Ameren CDC was managed, supervised and controlled by its board of directors, who were selected by a collaborative process between the Missouri governor's office, 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.

Ameren made an up-front contribution of $5 million to the CDC in September 2002 with additional $1 million annual contributions in subsequent years --- bringing the total amount to more than $9 million to fulfill the commitments of the rate-case settlement.

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 $20 billion, Ameren owns a diverse mix of electric generating plants strategically located in its Midwest market with a capacity of more than 16,200 megawatts. Ameren serves 2.4 million electric customers and nearly one million natural gas customers in a 64,000 square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.

SOURCE: Ameren Community Development Corporation

CONTACT: Susan Gallagher of Ameren Community Development Corporation,

Web site: http://www.ameren.com/