October 29, 2009
With trains passing nearby, Knox College President Roger Taylor joined other local officials at the Amtrak depot in Galesburg on Wednesday, October 28, to mark the expansion of the Central Illinois Foreign Trade Zone to include the Galesburg area.
The zone allows local businesses to save on import and export duties on materials and products.
"What is good for Galesburg is good for Knox College," President Taylor said at the event. Taylor said the benefits could include more railroad business, a mainstay of the local economy. "Everybody understands the importance of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad to Galesburg, and Amtrak is also important" because it facilitates travel to Knox -- both from within Illinois and from states as far away as Colorado.
Taylor is a member of the board of the Galesburg Regional Economic Development Agency (GREDA). Taylor noted the "hard work that [GREDA President] Greg Mangieri and the rest of the GREDA staff put into the application" for Foreign Trade Zone status. "I urge the bloggers and 'pot-shotters' [who have been critical of GREDA] to join the rest of us in congratulating GREDA and the city for this big win."
This is the culmination of a many-year effort by a lot of folks," said Tom Schmidt, chairman of GREDA and president of Carl Sandburg College. "It is an additional tool that further enhances our ability to attract business expansion and new business development to the area."
Also speaking at the event were Galesburg Mayor Sal Garza, Galesburg City Manger Dane Bragg, Amtrak Chairman Tom Carper, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Terminal Superintendant Rick Danielson, Knox County Board Member Jan Occhi, and Economic Development Council of Central Illinois respresentative Vickie Clark.