The dynamic in the Quad Cities is so weird right now. The Illinois side is shrinking but the Iowa side is growing, albeit slowly. The Iowa side of QC is doing about as good as a mid-size, rust belt, non-university, non-state capital town can do. So on the one hand, I think Illinois' state policies are definitely hurting this area. But there is another funny dynamic at play. People who move to the Quad Cities from other Illinois cities tend to settle on the Illinois side, and people who move here from other Iowa cities tend to settle on the Iowa side. They just stick with what they are familiar with. Well, hardly anyone moves from Chicago to a smaller town in Illinois. There just aren't many people that move here and settle on that side of the river. On the other side, Davenort is considered a "big city" for Iowa. In the last 10 years, downtown Davenport has been transformed with hundreds of millions of dollars in development. Hundreds of loft apartments have gone up. Downtown Davenport is the fastest growing census tract in the area, faster than even the hot suburban areas. It's so funny to me just how the attitude or mindset of people can make such a huge difference. Just across the river from downtown Davenport is downtown Rock Island, and it is a shell of what it once was.
Back in the early 90s the entire area was totally depressed. It didn't start to recover from the farm crisis of the 80s until the mid-90s. And back then, the Illinois side led the way. They started the slow recovery first, and they did it with downtown revitalization, too. But since then they've taken a step back.
Anyway, the Illinois politicians are playing chicken with Exelon. They think they still have time. Exelon has said it's not impossible to reverse their decision, but the longer they wait, the more expensive it will be to reverse the process.
http://www.wjbc.com/2016/06/06/sen-brad ... m-closing/
BLOOMINGTON – He’s not exactly calling their bluff, but State Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, said he believes Exelon will keep the Clinton power plant open if lawmakers come up with a plan to aid nuclear energy.
“I think some people have tried to complication this whole issue and we need to simplify it,” Brady said. “I’m optimistic the fight to keep it open will win.”
Brady told WJBC’s Scott Laughlin what’s complicating the issue are claims that the legislation Exelon was pushing for would be a bailout. Brady said while providing help for unclear energy could lead to higher utility rates in the short term, he says it would have a long-term benefit in the state’s energy portfolio.
“Exelon need to do what it did, and that is lay down the threat,” Brady said. “I think they want to keep it open, but they had to lay this card out because it is real.”