MT. VERNON, IL (WSIL) -- People in Mt. Vernon have more options when it comes to shopping local as city leaders make progress on revitalization efforts for under-used and under-developed spaces.
Rural King and Harbor Freight are two of the most recent additions to downtown. They opened in March in the old Kmart location.
Dunkin Donuts is preparing to open in a few weeks and mayor John Lewis says they have several new businesses ready to start building, which they will announce soon.
"The community I think is excited because we do have so much going on and we're developing around the (I-57 exit) 94 with a new Culver's and a Mach 1 Gas Station and Quick Trips coming," explains Lewis. "There's a lot going on in the city from infrastructure to business coming in--and to investments."
Mount Vernon has also made an offer to purchase the Register-News property. They have applied for a $3 million grant to move the old building and build a public green-space called Broadway Commons Town Plaza.
"Everybody's wanted a green space down there, everybody is telling us it will help the downtown," says Lewis. "We want to make that a place that's visually pleasing with fountains, water effects, place to sit, congregate, talk, so, we're pretty excited about it."
Mayor Lewis adds that the city has received overwhelming positive feedback on the proposal, prompting leaders to develop plans to ensure its future with-or-with-out the grant.