Author: mdittman

Public Hearing Notice


Notice is hereby given of a public hearing to be held on behalf of America’s Central Port District (the “Port District”) on February 7, 2017, at 10:00 AM, in the Main Conference Room, 1635 West First Street, Granite City, Illinois 62040, with respect to the above captioned note to be issued by the Port District in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $20 Million (the “Note”).  The proceeds of the Note will be utilized for: (i) the current refunding of the Port District’s Promissory Note dated July 16, 2014 (the “2014 Note”), (ii) the current refunding of the Port District’s Promissory Note dated April 15, 2015 (the “2015 Note” and together with the 2014 Note, the “Prior Notes”), (iii) funding a reserve fund for the Note, and (iv) paying costs of issuance of the Note.

The proceeds of the Prior Notes were utilized to finance a portion of the Port District’s South Harbor Project, including the construction, improvement and equipping of a general cargo bulkhead dock, a truck and rail loadout facility, mooring structures, deck barges and other related facilities and equipment, located just south of Lock No. 27 on the Mississippi River in the City of Madison, Illinois (the “Prior Project”).  The Note is not payable out of taxes and is payable solely from revenues of the Port District.

All interested persons are invited to attend such public hearing to express their views with respect to the Note and the refinancing of the Prior Project through the refunding of the Prior Notes.  Any interested persons unable to attend the hearing may submit their views, in writing, to the Executive Director of the Port District prior to the date scheduled for the hearing via FAX at

618-452-3402.     This  notice  is  published  and  the  hearing  is  held  in  satisfaction  of  the requirements of Section 147(f) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

Mississippi River Mayors gather with U.S. Department of Transportation and Partners to announce Marine Highway Grants for the Waterway

For Immediate Release Contact:  Jim Gwinner, 314-791-2274 or

December 5, 2016 – St. Louis, MO – The U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration announced today the awarding of Marine Highway Grants for the Mississippi River.

Though the Marine Highway Grant Program is national in scope, many of the grants have been awarded to projects on the Mississippi River signifying the incredible importance of the waterway to the nation.

Further, of the six projects that are receiving grant funds, five of them are for container-on-barge services.

“It is essential that we invest in integrated, multi-modal transportation systems that support the efficient movement of freight and people throughout this country,” says Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen.  “Our Nation’s extensive network of waterways, riverports and seaports provide an opportunity to help stimulate economic growth while reducing congestion on our national freight transportation system.”

Grantees include a planning grant for a partnership led by the Port of St. Louis, the Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative, the Inland River Port & Terminal Association, and the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association to build the container economy for the Mississippi River and work with freight forwarders to offer the Mississippi River as a container option.

According to U.S. DOT, population increase in our country will require nearly doubling domestic freight capacity to meet demand. The inland waterway system is a critical part of the solution.

“The Mayors of the Mississippi River have been working to build a sustainable economy for the waterway and the return of container movement on the River is big part of that effort,” said Mayor Francis Slay of St. Louis.

America’s Central Port of Granite City, IL received a grant for a container-on-barge shuttle project; and the ports of Memphis, Baton Rouge and New Orleans were also part of an awarded project coordinated by St. Louis based SCF Marine.

“The commercial navigation economy on the Mississippi River generates almost $5 billion in annual revenue supporting nearly 20,000 jobs. Yet, of the more than 30 million containers that enter the U.S. every year, very few of them move on our inland waterway system – this is an opportunity,” said Chris Coleman, Mayor of St. Paul and Co-Chair of the Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative.

“The Port of New Orleans, is the gateway for the Mississippi River’s global trade.     Waterways and ports in my state support over 280,000 jobs and contribute $47.7 billion to Louisiana’s economy. It is our intention to build this economy up river all the way to Minnesota,” stated Mayor Belinda Constant, Mayor of Gretna, LA and Co-Chair of the Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative.


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The Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative is comprised of 75 mayors and the association represents cities on the main stem Mississippi from Minnesota to Louisiana. More information can be found on our website at

America’s Central Port Bets Big on Rail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 FOR INFO: Megan Dittman 618-452-8422 November 1, 2016


Granite City, IL:  By the end of 2016, America’s Central Port District, located in Granite City and Madison, IL, will have completed the construction of 4.25 miles of new rail track throughout their business and industrial campus. The construction of this new track doubles the amount of new rail construction completed by the Port over the last 15 years.


Rail crew begins replacement of old rail tracks at America’s Central Port. Tracks being replaced were installed and used by the US Army during WWII.

Midway through September, rail contractors mobilized on two major rail projects at America’s Central Port, designed to increase efficiency and rail throughput, reduce congestion, and provide ample capacity to meet future needs. The first of these projects will bring rail access to a 60-acre development site in the center of the Port’s campus, which will include direct access to the recently-completed, 126,000 sq. ft. advanced chemical processing building, as well as construct an additional spur for future development on this site. This project also includes the rehabilitation of “Track 3” which currently serves two of the six primary warehouses located in the Port’s industrial campus. The existing track was actually made in the late 1800s and was installed by the Army during WWII to transport military material. The new track will be upgraded to current industry standards, and will provide current and future tenants the necessary infrastructure to handle maximum inbound and outbound traffic.

Both the new track construction and the track rehabilitation project were funded through a US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant and matched with a loan from Madison County (IL) Community Development.

“This is a great opportunity for the Port to assist St. Louis area companies that need rail,” said Bill Stahlman, Director of Engineering and Construction for America’s Central Port. “Our new rail construction opens us up to many new markets, and above all, keeps our customers’ shipping costs to a minimum. Nationwide, sixty percent (60%) of a manufacturing company’s costs are in transportation. We are working hard to reduce that number for our tenants.”

The second major rail construction project is the expansion of the South Rail Loop. The initial, single, rail loop track constructed in 2009, will now have two additional adjacent tracks to meet the growing rail needs at the Harbor. Over 15,185 feet of rail will be constructed in this project, allowing additional train capacity.


Rail crew works on a portion of the South Rail Loop expansion at America’s Central Port.

The Port is paying all of the cost of the $2.5 million project through loan funds.

Both projects are scheduled for completion by January 1, 2017, and they will create operational advantages at the Port. Going forward, the Port can accommodate multiple unit trains simultaneously, to better serve their customers.

“At a time when our states and federal government are struggling to build and maintain their infrastructure, America’s Central Port is showing that it can be done, and businesses will take advantage of a strong and reliable transportation system,” said Stahlman.

“We have such a unique opportunity in our region,” said Dr. Charles (Chip) King, Chairman of the Board of America’s Central Port. “Our location in the heart of our nation’s transportation system allows us to offer unique and efficient transportation advantages to our tenants and the region, and the Commissioners and staff at the Port want to be sure that we are capitalizing on all of those opportunities.”

Looking to the future, engineering and planning staff members at the Port have worked diligently to map out the next several projects. These future plans would rehabilitate approximately five to six miles of rail track, and improve the capacity for their operators, while constructing new buildings.

“The Port has a commitment to our tenants and our region,” said King. “Our talented staff never stops looking for ways to not only improve the infrastructure we have in place, but to add to it. With the growing population and the projected increase in demand for goods, we want to be best prepared to handle those increased amounts of freight. Our goal has been, and remains to provide our tenants and the region with the maximum transPORTunities, so that together we can leverage the St. Louis Region as the transportation powerhouse it is naturally designed to be.”




Port District Receives Illinois Intrastate Shuttle Project Designation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 FOR INFO: Megan Dittman 618-452-8422 September 13, 2016


Port District Receives Illinois Intrastate Shuttle Project Designation


The Administrator of U.S. Department Administration, Maritime Administration, Paul “Chip” Jaenichen presents Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Executive Director of America’s Central Port, with the America’s Marine Highway Award to recognize the Port for their Illinois Intrastate Shuttle Project Designation for the potential future movement of sea containers on river barges.

Granite City, IL:  The Administrator of U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, Paul “Chip” Jaenichen, and Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau visited the recently opened Madison Harbor at America’s Central Port Monday, September 12th.


Both Administrator Jaenichen and Administrator Nadeau participated in the Administrators’ Roundtable on the Freight Economy held by Bi-State Development Agency Monday morning in downtown St. Louis.

Following the roundtable, Administrator Jaenichen, Administrator Nadeau, and several transportation professionals from the St. Louis Region took a tour of various logistics areas including St. Louis River Terminal, Lange-Stegmann, and America’s  Central Port.

While at America’s Central Port, Administrator Jaenichen presented Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Executive Director at America’s Central Port, with a plaque to recognize the Port District for their Illinois Intrastate Shuttle Project Designation for the potential future movement of sea containers on river barges.

“The planning and investment in infrastructure by the Port District has been impressive,” said Administrator Jaenichen. “This river facility is like a field of dreams to those of us in the transportation industry. The design of this facility brings together the three major modes of freight transportation at a location that creates lock and ice free transportation, saving operators both time and money, and ultimately creating endless transportation opportunities for the region,” said Jaenichen.

“We are grateful for this award,” stated Wilmsmeyer “The Port District strongly believes in reinvestment in the infrastructure so that we as a region may continue to grow and thrive. ” The designation was in large part due to the work done by the Illinois Soybean Association for grain export to overseas markets in containers. The project designation makes the future container-on-barge opportunities at America’s Central Port eligible for federal funding.












Port District Diversifies Campus

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 FOR INFO: Megan Dittman 618-452-8422

Granite City, IL:  The Board of Commissioners and staff members at America’s Central Port are excited to announce their newest tenant of the 1,200-acre business and industrial campus, Gateway Legacy Christian Academy (GLCA).

“This is a great opportunity for the Port District, and for the City of Granite City,” said Dr. Charles King, Jr., Port District Chairman. “America’s Central Port is more than just your average business industrial campus filled with warehousing and office buildings,” King said. “We constantly look for ways to expand, improve and diversify our uniquely designed campus, and the addition of Gateway Legacy Christian Academy does just that.”

GLCA offers a three-year diploma program to high school aged students, as well as a post- grad program. Their academic community was designed to create a space for students to grow, thrive, and excel spiritually, academically, socially, and physically.

“The heart of the Gateway Academy experience is creating a challenging academic environment that gives students the desires and skills to achieve their dreams at the highest level,” said Melissa Morrison, Head Master at GLCA. “We are extremely excited to bring the ever expanding program to America’s Central Port.”

The five-year lease agreement between the Port and GLCA will expand the footprint of the Port to now include multiple classrooms, dormitory, dining hall, kitchen and athletic fields.

“The campus at America’s Central Port will help further facilitate more students’ dreams from the metro east as well as the greater St. Louis area. GLCA is also the home each year to dozens of international students from all over the world. We look forward to introducing them, and their families, to the Granite City community,” said Morrison.




America’s Central Port District Board Elects New Officers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 FOR INFO: Megan Dittman 618-452-8422
July 18, 2016


Newly elected Board Chairman Dr. Charles King, Jr. (left) receives the gavel from former Board Chairman John Hamm, Mayor of Madison, Illinois.

Madison County, IL: America’s Central Port Board of Commissioners appointed Dr. Charles E. King, Jr. as the new Board Chairman of the Port District for a one-year term at the Annual Meeting held Monday, July 11.

Dr. King replaces outgoing Chairman, John Hamm III, Mayor of Madison, IL., who remains on the Board of Commissioners.

Significant projects during Hamm’s tenure as Chairman the Port District include the completion of construction of the $50 million Madison Harbor; the largest project the Port has undertaken since its inception, the groundbreaking of an advanced chemical processing plant, and the groundbreaking of a bulk storage facility to support the new harbor.

Dr. King thanked Mayor Hamm and presented him with a plaque commemorating his service to the Port District.

“On behalf of the Port Board of Commissioners and staff at America’s Central Port, I would like to thank Mayor Hamm for his leadership and guidance during his time as Chairman,” said Dr. Charles E. King, Jr. “The Port District has focused on job growth and transportation investments, and I plan to continue that mission,” King said.

Other appointments at the annual meeting included Mayor Tyrone Echols of Venice, IL as Secretary and Mayor Brant Walker of Alton, IL as Treasurer.







Minister of Road Transport, Highways, and Shipping Visits America’s Central Port District

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 FOR INFO: Megan Dittman 618-452-8422
July 15, 2016

Delegation from India learns about U.S. Transportation System


Minister of Road Transport Highways and Shipping of India Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari and his staff learn about America’s Central Port District and the United States transportation system.

 Madison County, IL: U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration Office of Gateways Director Bill Paape, Minister of Road Transport Highways and Shipping of India  Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari,  Consulate General of India D.B. Bhati, and other government officials from India visited America’s Central Port on Thursday, July 14. The Minister is an equivalent position to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

The visit from the Minister and his staff and advisors was part of a tour of U.S. maritime facilities in order to understand the infrastructure, capacities, and importance of waterway transportation in the United States. In 2015, highway fatalities in India were four times higher than in the United States. The officials are looking at roadway design, intelligent transportation systems, enforcement of no cell phone usage and creative ways to shift freight movement to other modes.

America’s Central Port Executive Director Dennis Wilmsmeyer and Port Engineer Bill Stahlman briefed the Minister and his staff about the history of the Port, its operations, and recent infrastructure investments before taking a tour of the Port’s developments. They discussed the many benefits of barge operations and how a viable river system can shift trucks from overcrowded roads to waterways.

During the briefing Wilmsmeyer talked about the transfer and conversion of the former Charles Melvin Price Support Center to the current development of the Port District and the infrastructure improvements that the Port has made to attract new businesses to the region since the transfer of the property.

Following the briefing, the group took a tour of the 1,200 acre Port facility, including a stop at the newly constructed Madison Harbor, and then continued north to the Melvin Price Locks and Dam #26.

Other stops on the U.S. tour by the delegation included Washington D.C., Port of New York/New Jersey, San Francisco, and the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach.




Port District Receives Award for Commitment to Logistics and Distribution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                             Contact: John Hamm III
June 15, 2016                                                                                                       


ACP_0105-Edit (1)Madison County, IL: America’s Central Port District was recognized as a winner of the 8th annual EDIE awards at the 2016 Illinois Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Luncheon held June 14th in Chicago, Illinois. The Port was one of five winners out of 22 applicants.

The EDIE Awards, sponsored by ComEd, are designed by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Economic Development Association (IEDA) to honor those who imagine, design, invest, build, and bring jobs, growth and prosperity to communities in Illinois. It is the job creation and growth provided by those innovative companies that acts as an economic lifeline for our state.

With the completion and opening of its new multi-modal Madison Harbor in January, the Port is positioning itself to create more jobs and transportation opportunities for the State of Illinois and the St. Louis region. The $50 million lock and ice-free harbor, located on the Mississippi River, increases the on-loading and off-loading capabilities of the Port’s operators, while also positioning the Port for the future of containerized shipping.

“This is a great honor for both the Port District and the City of Madison,” said John Hamm III, Mayor of Madison, IL and current board chairman of America’s Central Port.

“Since the Port began in 1959, our mission has been to create job growth and transportation opportunities, and development for the region,” said Hamm. “Through ongoing collaboration and teamwork, the Port plans to continue infrastructure investments for the benefit of our state.”

Hundreds were in attendance at the annual luncheon, including Illinois Governor, Bruce Rauner, who gave remarks congratulating the Port and all EDIE award recipients. Chairman, President, and CEO of The Boeing Company, Dennis Muilenburg, was the keynote speaker for this event.

Other EDIE award recipients were Sunstar Americas (Schamburg), Method Soap Southside Soapbox, Invenergy, LLC, and Metro Chicago Exports.


Congressman Mike Bost and Congressman Rodney Davis Host Roundtable at Port District

Madison County, IL.- Today Representative Mike Bost (R-IL) and Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) hosted a roundtable discussion at America’s Central Port in Granite City, IL with industry leaders to discuss the upcoming reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and other transportation and infrastructure issues.


Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Congressman Mike Bost (R-IL) host roundtable discussion with local industry leaders at America’s Central Port.

“Our region’s waterways, chief among them the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, are a critical part of our economy,” said Davis. “We have a responsibility to upgrade and repair our waterways and this begins by reauthorizing a water resources bill every two years. Last Congress, we came together to pass the first water reauthorization in nearly seven years to streamline the approval process, enable the use of public-private partnerships as an alternative tool to move some projects forward, and help address the large backlog of projects. I want to build on these successes in the next bill and continue to cut through red tape that’s preventing even greater job growth.”

“As a member of the House Transportation Committee, it’s important to me to see, first hand, the condition of the infrastructure in Southern Illinois,” said Bost. “Today’s meeting with local stakeholders is an important first step in learning the needs of the transportation system, whether it’s in Madison County or other areas of the 12th District. This vast and critical infrastructure impacts the lives of every one of us on a daily basis and is essential to maintaining our economic vitality.”

Industry leaders at the roundtable expressed the importance of maintaining existing infrastructure as well as building new structures to help grow businesses and job opportunities in Southern Illinois and across the region.

“Our Nation’s waterway system is one of the greatest assets in our region, and in our country,” said Dennis WIlmsmeyer, executive director at America’s Central Port. “The economic success and growth of our region and our country rely heavily on operable infrastructure and it is great to see so many leaders coming together to help our nation achieve that goal.”




Originally created by the Illinois legislature in 1959, the Port District is a special- purpose unit of local government. As an economic development entity, the Port has an annual impact on the economy in Madison County. The Port owns or leases 1,200 acres of land and uses its powers to attract investment to the Southwestern Illinois region.

Watch: ACP Receives Achievement in Logistics Award