Geography: Jefferson County is located in the heart of Southern Illinois at the junction of Interstates 57 and 64. The City is one hour east of St. Louis, Mo., one hour west of Evansville, Ind., ninety minutes north of Paducah, KY and two hours south of Champaign, IL. Latitude 38.417N, Longitude 88.903; Elevation 512 Feet
Transportation: The intersection of Interstate Highways 57 and 64 is the economic driver for the area. The Daily Traffic Count on I-57/64 is about 37,700 vehicles. Traffic congestion at State Route 15 and Interstates 57/64 caused the City of Mt. Vernon to embark on an aggressive transportation initiative which includes an additional interchange on Interstates 57/64. A new exit, Exit 94 Veterans Drive, has opened. The new exit opens more than 600 acres for retail, commercial and industrial development. City of Mt. Vernon is also served by three major railroads and a local airport. Although the airport does not have commercial flights, its runways and facility are exceptional and quite adequate for carrier services, private jet landing, refueling, and charter flights.
Population Demographics: The City of Mt. Vernon (15,277 pop.) experienced a population decline of 4% while Jefferson County (38,827 pop.) experienced a population decrease of 4% from 2000 to 2010. This shift is attributed to the development of residential projects just outside the incorporated area of the City. There are very few lots available within the city limits for residential development so as the new housing has been built just outside of the Incorporated Limits of Mt. Vernon. Therefore, the County population has grown. The City of Mt. Vernon is the largest community in the Jefferson County and although there are some small companies with employment opportunities throughout the County, most of the commerce, jobs, and services are in Mt. Vernon.
|2010 Pop.||2000 Pop.|
|City of Mount Vernon||15,277||16,269|
General Economic Makeup: The current economic condition of Mount Vernon could be described as stable with some growth. The growth that has been experienced recently has been from internal expansion. Continental Tire the Americas expanded in 2008 and has continually added jobs to their current workforce of 2,500. Walgreens Distribution Center (1,385 employees) has hired 40 additional employees. Mount Vernon Mold Works has hired 25 this year. The Armory, a $24 million joint use facility for the National Guard and Army Reserves, opened in January 2011.
We are excited to announce the new SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital , a $248 million project, is open at Exit 94 and Veterans Drive and Crossroad Community Hospital has Completed their $25 million expansion which will begin in April 2011.
New projects in the retail market include a complete remodel of Times Square Mall, a new strip mall, Mt. Vernon Crossing (2010), with Jimmie Johns, Game Stop, and the recruiting office. Also, new to our market is Hobby Lobby, Ross for Less, Big Lots, Rare Chop House and Moe's Mexican Restaurant.
Mt. Vernon is a natural break for tourists traveling though Southern Illinois. The average stay is one night and about 50% of the overnight stays are for business purposes. There are 12 hotels/motels representing over 1115 rooms. The City has a 5% Hotel/Motel tax from which we receive revenues of about $500,000 yearly. The Holiday Inn is the largest facility with about 223 rooms and 10,000 SF convention space. Drury Inn and Suites completed their new hotel project in Mt. Vernon opening in August 2014. The largest tourist attraction is Cedarhurst Center for the Arts which is home to the Mitchell Art Museum and an 80 acre contemporary sculpture park. Cedarhurst enjoys very good reputation in the art world and the sculpture park, one of the largest of its kind in the U.S., is featured on the cover the book "Sculpture Parks and Gardens of America".
Rend Lake, an 80,000-acre manmade lake, is about 15 minutes south of Mt. Vernon which attracts many locals and tourists for water sports, camping, hunting, fishing, golf, biking, and other outdoor sports and is the municipal water source for the area. The state of the art Rend Lake Shooting Range enhances the year around benefits of the lake area. The Corp of Engineers estimate attendance at the Wayne Fitzgerald State Park at Rend Lake at about 3 million annually.
Education: Rend Lake College is a valuable asset for Jefferson County. The main campus is only 13 minutes from Mt. Vernon and they have an new off campus center in located in Mt. Vernon. Rend Lake College is dedicated to supporting the educational and training needs of our economic base and maintain several valuable programs, such as, Industrial Electronics, Industrial Maintenance, Industrial Technology, Mining, Manufacturing, Welding Technology. The RLC Advanced Technology Center provides education in Computer Programming, Computer Science, IT Systems Specialist, and Web Design. OSHA, PLC Training, Haz-Mat, Forklift Training, and business soft skills training is also provided through the Advance Technology Center. Rend Lake College works closely with industry leaders in our region and they are known for quick response and custom programs.
Layoffs/Closings: There has not been a significant plant closing in the past five years.
City of Mt. Vernon website - www.mtvernon.com