Champaign City Council votes on land annexation

By Beth Gilomen

On the agenda:

The Champaign City Council voted again Tuesday to annex a 70-acre portion of land, which will allow Andersons Agriservices, Inc. to build an ethanol plant.

The first vote, held Nov. 7, was voided because the notice of a public hearing and the vote took place within less time than mandated by law.

The plant will be built at the southwest corner of Staley Road and State Route 150 in an Enterprise Zone that was established by the council on Sept. 5.

The special taxing district is meant to spur economic growth in underdeveloped areas of the city. It means that the company will not have to pay sales tax on the materials used for the construction of the plant.

What it means for the City of Champaign:

n 30 additional jobs created.

n Property tax revenue from the $100 million plant will benefit the Unit 4 school district.

n “Because there’s going to be a big demand for additional corn here in our community, it will drive up the price that a farmer in this region can get for his corn,” said Tom Bruno, At-large.

“Also, the corn grown in Champaign county will be consumed without having to transport it such a distance. Somebody has to pay for that distance. If you’re growing corn and ultimately shipping it to Iowa . someone has to pay for that . and it ultimately affects how much the farmer gets . . If our farmers make a nickel a bushel more, that’s a lot of money and it does get spent on cars and homes, in restaurants and movie theaters.

“Even if the farmers live 30 miles outside of Champaign, they’ll probably shop here, because we’re the market for a big area. So all that additional revenue because people’s corn is selling for more, gets diffused in the area.”

n Price of ethanol fuel will most likely remain the same because it will still be filtered through outside distributors.

By Beth Gilomen, staff writer