``Mark Kern and his economic development team work every day to bring in new jobs and new economic opportunities to St. Clair County. They’re succeeding – and St. Clair County is growing.``
Mark Kern and his economic development team work every day to bring new jobs and economic opportunities to St. Clair County. We are succeeding and St. Clair County is growing. Over the last year, we have seen expansions at MidAmerica Airport, Scott Air Force Base and much needed improvements to our vital infrastructure. All of these efforts have helped create quality jobs and make St. Clair County the largest county south of Chicago.
St. Clair County is a major transportation hub, located at the nexus of interstate highways, major Class 1 railroad connections, two airports and the Mississippi and Kaskaskia Rivers. Mark and his team have worked to maximize St. Clair County’s location to the greatest economic benefit to our communities. Work on the new Mississippi River Bridge is on track and set to be complete in 2014. The Federal Highway Administration has verified the need for a new Interstate 64 entrance serving Scott Air Force Base and the new exit is scheduled to receive a contract award in April 2014. Reconstructing the levee system has been a key component to updating and improving our infrastructure in St. Clair County and Mark’s team continues to move that project forward.
Other areas of growth include the I-64 Corridor, Belleville’s East End, agri-business growth along the Mississippi River, the former Stockyards site, and the I-255 area near Dupo. Check out the News & Media tab for more information on the growth of St. Clair County.
``In these tough economic times, Mark Kern and the St. Clair County Board have held the line on county spending, cutting the county budget by $36 million over the last three years while working to maintain critical services.``
Mark Kern, a successful business owner, is a fiscal conservative who brings a business approach to running county government.
In these tough economic times, Mark Kern and the St. Clair County Board have held the line on county spending, cutting the county budget by $36 million over the last three years while working to maintain critical services.
These are real cuts, not budget gimmicks. The county budget today is smaller than it was three years ago, allowing St. Clair government to tax at less than half the maximum rate allowed under law. And, county government continues to annually abate taxes, as it has for the last 23 years.
The portion of property taxes paid to county government is only 11 cents out of every dollar. The rest go to schools, local governments and other taxing bodies.
Kern said, “We need to provide critical services, but we also know county residents can’t afford higher taxes. We have made some tough cuts, and worked hard to find ways to provide services at a lower cost.”
``Mark Kern is committed to making certain county government invests in our county’s infrastructure, protects and strengthens our neighborhoods and delivers critical services.``
While a fiscal conservative, Mark Kern believes government has an important role to play in our lives. He’s committed to making certain county government invests in our county’s infrastructure, protects and strengthens our neighborhoods and delivers critical services.
While cutting county government spending, Mark Kern has kept critical road and infrastructure projects moving forward. The county has supported critical park projects and set aside property for trails and green space.
Mark Kern also has worked closely with a bi-partisan group of regional leaders to find a solution to this area’s levee issues. Construction has kicked off on improving the levee system, beginning with improvements to the Metro East Sanitary District.
This major levee reconstruction effort is designed to protect 150,000 residences and businesses in St. Clair, Monroe and Madison Counties from flooding, and prevent the area from being designated a Special Flood Hazard Area which would put an expensive flood insurance mandate on tens of thousands of residences and businesses. The project is a great example of regional leaders working together to tackle a tough issue together.
Over the last three years, the County has taken down nearly 200 derelict properties in the East St. Louis and Cahokia area. Taking down derelict properties strengthens neighborhoods and encourages new development.
When Mark Kern was elected county board chairman, he created the Clean Sweep program. The Clean Sweep team schedules 40 or more weeks of neighborhood cleanups per year. Over the last six years, the team has hauled away 10.2 tons of bulk items and other trash.
Recognizing the problems faced by county residents with no prescription drug insurance or who take medications not covered by their plans, St. Clair County has teamed up with ProAct, Inc. on an innovative prescription drug benefit program. St. Clair County residents who join the plan will receive a group discount of as much as 70% on their prescription drug costs.