A majority of local business executives recently surveyed by the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce think the Quad Cities economy will improve in 2014.
Dr. J.B. Penn, Deere & C.'s chief economist ratified their opinion during a presentation to community leaders at our annual Economic Forecast. Penn called the national outlook "brighter this year than it was in 2013."
The Quad Cities has major projects underway in every corner of our region, equaling millions of dollars of investment. Just look around our community and you can see retail growth on Elmore Avenue, a new hotel and other improvements at the Quad City International Airport, a Quad Cities campus of Western Illinois University nearing completion, and major projects like the new casino and City Square taking shape.
These developments are building tax base for our local governments, providing jobs for our families, and adding to the diversity of our regional economy.
The Quad Cities Chamber advocates and applauds balanced growth throughout our region.
We have reason to celebrate the significant progress made on changes to SouthPark Mall, a major tax generator and anchor attraction for our community. We extend our thanks to owner Macerich and the City of Moline on recently executing a development agreement that will result in significant redevelopment and major improvements to the mall property. SouthPark Mall is celebrating 40 years as a staple in our community, and we cannot think of a more appropriate way to mark this milestone than their plan to meet the future retail needs of our citizens. As this important transformation is now becoming reality, we encourage community leaders to continue the momentum in other geographies that hold great promise for attracting private investment and increasing dollars for local services.
One such location is the intersection of Interstate 280 and Highway 92.
From the chamber's vantage point, this area offers one of only a few interstate interchanges in the Illinois Quad Cities capable of generating more private investment and thus, more tax base for our community. Investment at this intersection began seven years ago with the casino development, and we should maximize the power of that interchange to the benefit of the community and all taxpayers.
We look forward to the announcement of a sound development plan for the "Jumer's Crossing" site. Its proximity to the highway is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss. Let's grow the tax base for the entire Quad Cities region. Tara E. Barney is president and CEO of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce.
Today is Friday, Aug. 22, the 234th day of 2014. There are 131 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: The ferry boat, Rock Island, having been put in good order at the boat yard is now making her regular trips, much to the gratification of those who have to cross the river. 1889 -- 125 years ago: W.J. Gamble, for many years superintendent of the Moline & Rock Island railway, leased the Fourth Avenue Hotel and renovated and refurnished it throughout. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Pending the building of new public schools or additions to the present ones to provide adequate room for all the children, the board of education decided that pupils younger than 6 years old would not be accepted in Rock Island schools. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The fifth annual New Windsor Fair and Horse show, which has been delayed for two days because of unfavorable weather, got off to a new start last night. The parade was held this morning. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island County Fair and Rodeo will celebrate its silver anniversary this year. The fair opens Tuesday and will run through Saturday and offers entertainment and activity for young and old. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Earl Hanson School, Rock Island, joins the Program to Assist Latch Key Student, which aids working parents. PALS is a before and after school program for grades 1-6 in certain Rock Island public and private schools.