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City of Mascoutah
Mascoutah, a community of almost 10000 residents, is 4 miles southeast of Scott Air Force Base, which is both responsible for about 50 percent of the town’s population and served by the Mascoutah school district. A useful informational guide to the city is on the city website, www.mascoutah.com.
The first settlers named their town “Mascoutah” after the Mascouten Indians after being informed by the postal service that another Illinois town had beaten them to “Mechanicsburg,” their first choice.
The city actively seeks new businesses that create jobs while creating a strong, balanced economy, especially retail, logistics, advanced and aerospace manufacturing and export-based industries. Incentives include two TIF (Tax Increment Financing) districts; several attractive loan programs for qualifying business applicants from state and federal sources; industrial revenue bonds; and local sales tax abatements. The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville offers low-cost or free consultation and help developing a business plan, and the Mascoutah Public Library maintains DVDs and books about business equipment and training, thanks to a grant from the federal Small Business Administration.
The Mascoutah Chamber of Commerce is a hands-on group working to improve the community, in addition to more traditional Chamber activities. For years it operated the bowling alley and used the profits to build a municipal swimming pool, buy and pave downtown parking lots, help bring doctors to the community, beautify downtown and even maintain the Santa hut; its involvements continue.
North-south Illinois Highway 4 that passes through Mascoutah links the city to Interstate 64 to the north and Illinois 177 to the south. MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, Mascoutah’s public use airport, is on the grounds of Scott AFB; Allegiant Airlines provides limited service to and from Orlando Sanford International Airport and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport in Florida. A new cargo terminal and customs facility is intended to attract international cargo. Travelers can hop MetroLink light rail at the Shiloh station northwest of Mascoutah to get to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
The district’s mixture of rural, suburban and military communities provides a rich and diverse educational experience for its approximately 3,700 students. About 57 percent of the district’s students are affiliated with the federal presence at Scott AFB, and an active AFJROTC program is in place at the high school.
The district includes two elementary schools — Scott Elementary and Mascoutah Elementary — with a third elementary school in Belleville. Mascoutah Middle School recently expanded, and a new Mascoutah High School opened in 2011.
The Mascoutah Public Library (www.mascoutah.lib.il.us) provides a circulating collection, eShelf and other research tools, magazines, databases, reading recommendations, digital exhibits from the Illinois State Library, Titles of Note (best sellers and award winners) and story times.
There are seven churches, and the community has three parks: Scheve Park, Maple Park and Prairie Lake Park, and the Leu Civic Center. Seventy-acre Scheve Park has two swimming pools, a walking path, six baseball diamonds, two lighted tennis courts, a lighted sand volleyball court, lighted horseshoe pits, two soccer fields, 10 pavilions, several playgrounds and a restored railroad caboose and dining car. Maple Park has outdoor basketball courts, a ball-playing area, a playground and a pavilion. Prairie Lake Park has two fishing lakes, a fountain, a pavilion and walking paths.
Recreational activities and programs are held at the Leu Civic Center, a United Way Agency. This community center houses a gymnasium, a large auditorium with stage and kitchen, indoor horseshoe pits and meeting rooms. The center is open for physical fitness, meetings, social and fundraising activities, and many volunteers help with local civic projects. The 21 organizations in town range from scouting programs and civic groups to women’s clubs and conservation organizations. The Mascoutah Improvement Association sponsors the annual three-day Homecoming and Augustfest the first weekend of August, and many local organizations work together then for the benefit of the city’s park system.
For more information, visit the City of Mascoutah website, www.mascoutah.org, or call 566-2964. Chamber of Commerce information can be accessed at www.mascoutahchamber.com or by calling 566-7355.
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