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City of DeKalb News

Posted on: July 7, 2022

Senator Durbin Visits DeKalb, Tours Meta Data Center

Senator Dick Durbin and Mayor Cohen Barnes outside DeKalb City Hall

Senator Dick Durbin saw firsthand the projects that have helped make DeKalb a state leader in economic development and job creation. 

Durbin visited DeKalb July 7 and along with Mayor Cohen Barnes toured Meta’s DeKalb Data Center where 1,200 workers are constructing five data halls representing a $1 billion investment in DeKalb and Illinois.

“What Meta is doing here in DeKalb is amazing,” said Durbin following his tour. “This is a massive investment. It’s a gamechanger for a lot of lives.”

Traveling to the Meta site, Durbin saw other recent developments in the Chicago West Business Park on the City’s south side. The Ferrara Candy Company’s distribution and packing facilities opened last year, and construction continues on the Amazon Sortation Facility.

“At a time when some people are questioning the future of Illinois, I say come to DeKalb, see what’s happening here where major companies are making the decision, Meta in this case, to endorse who we are and the work ethic of the middle west.”

Mayor Cohen Barnes agrees that it is the people of DeKalb and Illinois who make this the right place for businesses to invest.

“Right now, the State of Illinois is the place to be,” said Barnes. “We’ve got a great workforce, we’ve got hard working people, and we’ve got the commitment of our legislature.”

Barnes thanked Senator Durbin for partnering with DeKalb in spurring investment and job growth.

“A project like this, that’s a local effort, that’s a county effort, that’s a state effort and it’s a federal effort to make that happen,” said Barnes. “I think it’s a perfect example of one of the reasons why DeKalb right now has so much economic development.”

Durbin said transportation is one area where he will continue to work with DeKalb to promote economic growth.

Senator Dick Durbin and Mayor Cohen Barnes outside DeKalb City Hall

Senator Dick Durbin visited with Mayor Cohen Barnes at DeKalb City Hall on July 7 before touring Meta’s DeKalb Data Center.

Senator Dick Durbin, Mayor Cohen Barnes and partners in the Meta project at the DeKalb Data Center

Senator Dick Durbin and Mayor Cohen Barnes were joined on the tour of the DeKalb Data Center by many of the partners in the project. This included Meta and Mortenson Construction representatives, Meta Community Development Manager Matt Sexton, City Manager Bill Nicklas, DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Paul Borek, DeKalb Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Matt Duffy and Northern Illinois University Chief of Staff Matt Streb.

Senator Dick Durban and Mayor Cohen Barnes talk with reporters at Meta's DeKalb Data Center

DeKalb Mayor Cohen Barnes and Senator Dick Durbin talked with reporters about the recent economic development successes in DeKalb.

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