With more townships voting to join the Tri City Regional Port District, the Great Rivers Land Trust is also getting behind the effort. The district has been lobbying area township boards over the past month or so as it gets ready to take its case to Springfield. Expanding the district would require the approval of the Illinois General Assembly.
The Land Trust’s Executive Director Allie Ringhausen says they have no issue with what is going on, and in fact are friends of big business. For example, he points to the ethanol plant at America’s Central Port that receives most of its grain via barges that use a newly created barge port. To build the port, Ringhausen says the Port District had to remove 55-acres of wetlands.
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He says after the sale, the district donated the conservation easement on the property back to the land trust. The next step in the process of expanding the port will come from Springfield, as the expansion would require legislative approval at the state level.