Mayor Tom Ashby
On behalf of the City Council and our municipal department services, I would like to welcome you to the City of Centralia’s web site. This site serves as a valuable tool in fulfilling our mission of providing residents, visitors and businesses alike with direct connection, information and resources. The City’s upgraded website can serve as a direct avenue for timely information and communication between our residents, businesses, and guests to our elected officials and City staff.
Apart from a community that holds a lot of historical significance, there are many great things currently happening in Centralia and our area has much to offer. On this site you will be able to obtain information on many of the community’s amenities as well as access information on City services, meetings, and events.
Centralia was established as a municipality in 1853 and has a city manager form of government, with a mayor and four Council members who are elected at large.
From our site’s home page, one can view headlines of recent happenings in Centralia as well as choose from a list of city departments and services. Of special note are the areas of Economic Development, where we provide a comprehensive look at how the City is moving forward with economic improvement, community development, and working hard to improve the quality of life for its residents. As you’ll see, the City provides a great deal of services to the community, but we also have a long tradition of community involvement from numerous groups, organizations and businesses who all work daily to make Centralia a great place to live. This site will provide a link to many of the important, groups, organizations, and institutions.
The Chamber is the area’s premier business organization, providing progressive, value-added services to its members, serving as the area’s business advocate, and working collaboratively with other organizations to make the greater Centralia area a great place to live and do business.
Providing educational quality and availability to our residents is a major priority for Centralia. Centralia City Schools, Centralia High School and Kaskaskia College afford each student the opportunity to acquire a well-rounded education. We also offer the Arts to all ages through the Centralia Cultural Society, which has been serving children and adults alike for over 30 years.
As it prepares to enter its seventh decade, Kaskaskia College (KC) has gone from a regional college to a "world-class" institution of higher education, meeting the needs of its residents in providing the education and skills to enhance their quality of life. Located west of Centralia (27210 College Road), Kaskaskia College’s main campus is near Centralia, with a new branch campus in Vandalia and Education Centers in the communities of Nashville, Salem, Greenville and Trenton, as well as the Kaskaskia College Crisp Technology Center and a business incubator in Centralia, fulfilling KC’s mission of providing education to residents at times and places convenient for them.
As an example of the resources available to our community development effort, the University Entrepreneurship Center (UEC) provides free consulting services to Illinois businesses and an opportunity for them to participate in the Challenge Grant Awards. The UEC serves as an umbrella organization to facilitate the interaction between entrepreneurs and existing resources. In addition, UEC manages the Regional Technology Center, which has state-of-the-art technology and meeting rooms. This technology includes video-conferencing and teleconferencing capability, a computer lab with Internet access, and much more.
Our rich history is molded from the Illinois Central Railroad, which is what our city was named after. Centralia is one of the select and grateful communities with a Carnegie Library, a downtown area steeped in historical buildings, and the Centralia Area Historical Museum, which takes you back in time to remember and relive our local history.
Three major rail lines serve Centralia: Norfolk Southern Rail, Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Canadian National Rail. The downtown passenger depot allows for Amtrak passenger service six times daily. Combined with easy access to the interstates, rail service makes Centralia an ideal distribution point.
Air access is important, and Centralia offers a municipal airport with a 5,000-foot paved and lighted north–south runway, an additional 3,000-foot east–west runway (2,600-foot hard surface), a small modern terminal, charter flights, and jet fuel, providing corporate and other business operations with excellent service.
Moreover, our community’s parks and recreation facilities are among the best in Southern Illinois. Fairview Park has baseball and softball fields as well as swimming, tennis, basketball and a skate park. Rotary Field, just south of town, offers soccer fields as well as softball fields. Sprehe Field is a beautiful asset to our community and features the two finest baseball diamonds in southern Illinois. Foundation Park is a scenic beauty that hosts our annual Balloon Fest.
Centralia Recreation Complex, which offers a fitness center, suspended indoor walking track, two gymnasiums and water aerobics. Centralia truly has a wonderful place that is the center of family and community activity. The $6.5 million Centralia Recreation Complex (115 E. Second St.), opened in 1995, is a physical reminder of the spirit of cooperation that exists in the city.
I hope you can see how much Centralia has to offer and I hope you come back to this site again and use it as a conduit of dialogue and information on the City’s services and amenities.
Thanks again for visiting our site. I hope you come back soon and I hope to see you in Centralia.
Mayor, City of Centralia
Memorial Day Ceremony 2012
Rotary Cup Ticket Sale
Mayor Ashby purchases the first ticket for the 41st annual Rotary Cup Games.