Legislation Allowing Transfer of West Frankfort Armory Property to City Clears Illinois House and Senate

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Southern Illinois’ Republican legislative delegation to the Illinois House and Senate have once again teamed up to usher successful legislation through the General Assembly.
State Representative Patrick Windhorst joined with State Senator Dale Fowler and fellow Republican Southern Illinois legislators Senator Terri Bryant and State Representative Dave Severin to earn unanimous support for House Bill 1672, legislation that will allow the Department of Military Affairs to transfer the property and building that is known as the Armory Building in West Frankfort when it is vacated and moves to Marion.

“We have seen many of these kinds of bills be signed into law throughout the years, as the Department of Defense and the Department of Military Affairs have consolidated local armories, leaving behind abandoned properties that cities have to contend with,” Windhorst said. “With this legislation, the City of West Frankfort will acquire the armory and be able to make the best use of the property, potentially as a civic center. I am happy to have worked together with my fellow Southern Illinois legislators to earn unanimous support for this initiative, and I look forward to continuing to represent the best interests of West Frankfort and all of the cities and villages in my district.”

State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) had previously worked on this issue when he was the 117th district State Representative. Severin joined Windhorst as a chief co-sponsor on the measure.

“I want to thank Rep. Windhorst and all of my House and Senate colleagues for recognizing the need for this legislation, and I want to congratulate the city of West Frankfort for their efforts to lobby their lawmakers and achieve this transfer,” Severin said. “This bill gives control back to the local government entity and reflects a collaborative effort to assist Franklin County, a county that is represented by two state representatives and two state senators.”

State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) was the Chief Sponsor of the legislation in the Illinois Senate. Fowler says he’s happy to help secure a better future for the city of West Frankfort.

“Working together with my colleagues in both the House and Senate, we’ve secured a promising future for the Armory Building in West Frankfort,” Senator Fowler said. “Our hope was that by bringing this legislation before lawmakers, we could help breathe new life into this facility and empower the city of West Frankfort to make great use of the property and land. Together, we ensured that the Armory Building is repurposed to be a benefit to the community and the citizens of West Frankfort.”

State Senator Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro), who represents northern portions of Franklin County was a supporter of the measure in the Senate.

“The unanimous passage of this legislation marks a significant step forward for the City of West Frankfort,” said State Senator Terri Bryant. “Now, the city will have the power to utilize this valuable infrastructure for the residents in the area. I applaud my colleagues in both the Senate and House and look forward to the positive impact this transfer will have on West Frankfort’s future.”

West Frankfort Mayor Tim Arview worked with legislators to get the legislation moving and says he is pleased with the bill’s passage.

“The acquisition of the National Guard Armory presents a unique opportunity to enhance our city’s infrastructure and bolster our capabilities in serving the needs of our residents,” Mayor Arview said. “We express our heartfelt gratitude to Representative Windhorst and Senator Fowler for their unwavering advocacy and dedication to our community’s growth and prosperity.”

House Bill 1672 passed the House unanimously back on April 15th and passed the Senate unanimously one month later on May 15th. The bill now heads to Governor JB Pritzker’s desk for consideration.