St. Louis – MO – East-West Gateway Council of Governments presented its annual Outstanding Achievement in Local Government awards, known by their acronym, the OLGAs, to 11 regional awardees during its 46th annual meeting held last Thursday November 10 at the Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel in downtown St. Louis. East West Gateway is the region’s council of governments representing 8 bi-state counties.
The awards recognize area governments, agencies, consortiums, officials and regional citizens for their achievement in the areas of public service, leadership, and productive collaboration among local governments, demonstrating a special commitment to their community and the region.
America’s Central Port was given the award for Successful Intergovernmental Collaboration, which honors cooperative efforts between local government jurisdictions or agencies resulting in positive changes in the community. The Port was given the award recognizing the Redevelopment of the former US Army Charles Melvin Price Support Center (CMPSC).
In 1995 the Department of Defense recommended closing the CMPSC as part of the Pentagon’s Base Realignment and Closure process. The closure and redevelopment strategy created by the region stressed keeping the property together as one parcel of land.
The Tri-City Regional Port District was selected as the single lead, local agency to facilitate the transfer of the base, to plan for and manage its redevelopment.
The subsequent, collaborative efforts of the Tri-City Regional Port District, US Congressman Jerry Costello, the Madison County Board Chairman and the Mayors of Granite City, Madison and Venice, along with other regional and community leaders resulted in an overall strategy and plan to deal with the closure, reuse and redevelopment of the former 840-acre army base. Today, a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, a U.S. Army Reserve Training and Meeting Center, the third largest ethanol manufacturing plant in the U.S., and the Arch-Medical Air Helicopter Emergency Ambulance Service currently call Charles Melvin Price Support Center their home. A 2007 economic impact analysis of the Tri-City Regional Port district concluded that the Port District was responsible for approximately 1,647 jobs in Madison County, a total labor compensation of $66 million annually, generated $10 million annually in state and local tax revenue with a total economic impact of $500 million.
East West Gateway’s Executive Director Ed Hillhouse presented the award to Dennis Wilmsmeyer, the Port’s Executive Director on behalf of the Port Board of Commissioners. Over 560 government leaders and citizens of the East-West Gateway Council of Governments region were in attendance at the awards ceremony.