Community / News / October 23, 2008

General Assembly candidate Moffit promotes sustainability, local economy

GALESBURG–Some people will say the reason to elect Republican Don Moffitt for representative in the General Assembly is that he’s running unopposed. Ask Moffitt himself and you’ll get a better reason – he’s a fan of a green earth and green in your pocket.

Moffitt’s time in office spans the past 16 years. Every term, Moffitt has been the recipient of the Illinois Farm Bureau’s “Friend of Agriculture” award, recognizing his dedication to in-state agriculture and the development of biofuels. As a farmer himself, Moffitt said he “strives to find additional markets for corn and soybean products.”

In 2007, Moffitt contributed to the legislation for wind turbines when local schools wanted to lower energy costs. “They formed a consortium, and the bill set the precedent for this organization,” Moffitt said.

The following year, Moffitt’s committee furthered this cause in passing a bill so that wind turbines could supply municipal power needs.

Wind turbines are built in large farm fields, where the machine can catch wind and spin to generate electricity. This way, power is generated through a domestic renewable source. In addition to their environmental value, “Local wind turbines create jobs, for both construction and maintenance workers,” Moffitt said.

Moffitt’s record as a representative illuminates another priority: fire protection. In 2003, Moffitt initiated an interest-free revolving loan for the purchase of new fire trucks.

“Since I was the main sponsor of this bill, the governor came to Galesburg’s fire station and signed it into legislation,” Moffitt said.

A more recent bill provides for the interest-free purchase of ambulances. This year, Moffitt worked on an annual revenue stream for fire service, totaling 7.5 million dollars. “Four million dollars goes to the interest-free ambulance fund, one and a half million dollars to new fire trucks, and two million dollars will buy small appliances at fire houses,” Moffitt said.

Moffitt’s latest project involves a capital bill that would allot state funds for local construction projects. Specifically, Moffitt said he’s hoping to build three grade separations for Galesburg’s train tracks, where the train would pass over or under the road.

“After building more grades, emergency vehicles won’t be blocked by trains. In fact, the number of trains won’t affect vehicle traffic at all,” Moffitt said. “Furthermore, the construction jobs will provide two years of employment in the Galesburg area.”

Improved railroad traffic in Galesburg will likely appear very attractive to Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad for further expansion. “BNSF will look at our town as the most ideal location to build,” Moffitt said.

Moffitt is a lifelong resident of Galesburg. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in agricultural education and agricultural economics.

Kelly Grant

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