The City of Effingham has a new feather for its cap after being named a 2016 Progressive City by Ameren Illinois on Wednesday at City Hall. While the award used to be based solely on energy efficiency projects, Ameren Community Relations Coordinator Jeni Hagen says the award now looks at other factors in a community as well. According to her, it’s all about taking efforts to improve life for residents.
Hagen cited numerous initiatives in Effingham that led to the award including the LEED-Certified Patterson Technologies Building, charging stations for electric cars, and some 51 residential and business energy efficiency projects since June of 2015 though May of 2016. Other community initiatives that helped distinguish Effingham for the award include the restoration of downtown and the Harmony Playground Project. The award is more than just a title. It comes with a $2,500 grant to be used towards a community related project.
Effingham Mayor Jeff Bloemker says that the grant money will be used for a solar-powered lighting project for several City of Effingham Signs in areas with low lighting. He said that the award is another accolade that can be used to sell Effingham.
2016 is the seventh year Ameren has awarded the Progressive City Award and the first year that the criteria has been expanded to include community based initiatives.