The vote in November to merge Cahokia, Alorton and Centreville into one town known as Cahokia Heights is a first step toward potential financial stability, regional and national economic development and public policy professionals say.
Steve Zuber, chairman of the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois’ economic development committee, says access to some of the country’s best logistical infrastructure abound in these small American Bottoms communities, yet they’re not attracting development at an appropriate rate due to declining tax bases and correspondingly high property taxes.
“It’s a recurring dilemma,” said Zuber, a principal of BARBERMURPHY and a longtime commercial/industrial real estate broker. “A lot of these underserved communities, from Dupo to Alton along the Mississippi River, are located along our region’s prime heavy industrial corridor. Due to their proximity and their heavy industrial zoning, these towns hold really great future potential for development of heavy industry. But right now and for some time now, their property taxes and other financial constraints prove a major hurdle to development.”