Effingham awarded 2016 Progressive City designation
Ameren Illinois recognizes Effingham for its efforts to improve the quality of life for residents and businesses
(Effingham, IL – Nov. 2, 2016) The City of Effingham has been selected by Ameren Illinois as a 2016 Progressive City for its success in implementing forward-looking initiatives to better the quality of life for both residents and businesses.
In recognition of the award, Ameren Illinois is providing the city with a $2,500 grant towards a community-related project and road signs that can be displayed around town. Effingham will utilize its grant funds on a solar lighting project for the city’s welcome signs located at main thoroughfare entrances. Effingham is one of nine communities that will be awarded the Progressive City designation this year.
"I want to thank Ameren Illinois for this award," said Mayor Jeff Bloemker, who accepted the award at a recognition event held today at Effingham City Hall. "This award is about the residents and businesses that have made a conscious decision to take action in ways that improve our quality of life and reduce our impact on the environment. It's these collective efforts that help make our community great."
"The actions that our communities are taking to improve the quality of life for their residents and businesses are admirable," said Richard J. Mark, president of Ameren Illinois. "The Progressive City initiative allows us to recognize the important work that is being done throughout our service territory to improve environmental stewardship, reduce energy consumption and instill pride in our communities."
This year marks the seventh year Ameren Illinois has implemented the Progressive City initiative. In past years, communities were chosen for this honor based on business and residential energy savings through the year. For the first time, the selection criteria has been expanded to include sustainability and other advanced initiatives undertaken by the communities. Expanding the criteria opened the door for a wider range of communities to be recognized.
In selecting Effingham as a Progressive City, Ameren Illinois pointed to the city's success in implementing local community initiatives, including:
• Effingham's commitment to "green initiatives," such as the LEED-certified building constructed by Patterson Technologies that includes charging stations for electric cars, wind turbines installed by Hodgson Mill, Inc., the litter abatement program "Pick It Up, Effingham!," and the programs operated by the Effingham County Soil & Water Conservation District.
• The continued development of Harmony Playground, an inclusive playground that provides an area to accommodate children with a broad range of physical and cognitive abilities, demonstrates the city’s commitment to removing physical barriers and social exclusion for children with special needs.
• The cultivation of the Effingham Community Garden and the seasonal Farmer's Market are initiatives that enhance and promote a healthy lifestyle for residents.
• Restoration of the Courthouse and the downtown renovation of old buildings show appreciation for preserving the past while planning for the future.
• The completion of 51 residential and business energy efficiency projects between June 1, 2015, and May 31, 2016, generating almost $50,000 in annual energy savings.
About Ameren Illinois
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 816,000 natural gas customers in downstate Illinois, and our mission is to power the quality of life. Our service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com. Follow us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.