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Orgill campaign continues

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

The city of Vandalia continued to campaign for a new Orgill facility in a recent meeting with an Orgill consultant.

Mayor Rick Gottman said the meeting with J.M. Mullif of Memphis, Tenn., represents the citys latest effort to land a distribution center that would employ more than 300 people.

It was a face-to-face meeting where we could further explain our proposal, Gottman said.

That proposal includes beefed up incentives that were put together by city and state officials after the city had heard rumors in late June that Orgill had chosen Sikeston, Mo., as the home of the new distribution facility.

I feel like we have put together a very good package, and that we are doing the best we can to keep Orgill in our community, Gottman said.

During that meeting, he said, the consultant for Orgill did not give a timetable for a decision on the new facility.

Vandalia and Sikeston are the two finalists for the new 700,000-square-foot facility.

If it were to choose Sikeston, Orgill would reportedly close the Vandalia distribution center, which employs about 140 people.

After hearing rumors that Orgill was relocating to Sikeston, Gottman contacted state Sen. Frank Watson (R-Greenville) and state Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Greenville).

Watson, the Illinois Senate minority leader, contacted the office of Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who got his chief of staff involved in the effort to put together an enhanced incentives package.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has also been involved in keeping Orgill in Vandalia.