SPRINGFIELD, Ill. | A central Illinois Republican says a new law offering tax incentives to a company looking to build a fertilizer plant in either Tuscola or Iowa shows what can be accomplished when lawmakers work together.
State Rep. Adam Brown, R-Champaign, was a key supporter of trying to lure Cronus Chemical LLC to Douglas County.
In the end, a package of tax breaks for the Delaware-based start-up company was combined with Democrat-backed economic development initiatives, including the construction of a third Chicago-area airport and a new basketball arena for DePaul University.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed the legislation Thursday at a ceremony near where the airport is being planned in Peotone.
"It's really a shining example of what we can do when we work across the aisle," Brown said Thursday.
Cronus has said it is looking to build a $1.1 billion urea production facility in either central Illinois or in Mitchell County, Iowa. Illinois' package is worth an estimated $14.5 million.
Iowa officials also acknowledge they have talked with the company, but they have not outlined what, if anything, is being offered.
A company spokesman said a decision on which location will be chosen will come in about a month.
State Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, praised Thursday's signing as a potential boon to the region.
"Cronus has the potential to be a huge economic shot in the arm and an excellent opportunity for approximately 225 permanent jobs to be added in the central Illinois' agricultural community," Rose said in a prepared statement.
Brown said he talked with company officials on Wednesday and feels good about Illinois' chances.
"I think we've done everything we can," Brown said.
The project is expected to provide as many as 2,000 jobs during the construction phase and up to 200 permanent jobs once operating.
It is planned for a site across the street from the failed Futuregen project, an experimental, low-pollution power plant that has since been relocated to Morgan County near Jacksonville.