- Associated Press - Friday, July 15, 2016

RIVERDALE, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed an executive order he says will help communities south of Chicago create jobs and improve natural areas such as parks and waterways.

The Millennium Reserve was formed as a public-private partnership in 2012 to develop a 15,000-acre area in Illinois and northwest Indiana. It’s made up of 37 south suburban communities and includes the Pullman Historic site, the Cal-Sag Trail, a barge channel and major railroads.

Rauner’s order signed Thursday makes the entity a nonprofit entity organization. He says that structure will allow it to more easily raise private money and apply for public and private grants.

Bill Steers is chairman of the Millennium Reserve Steering Committee. He says the organization will bring business and government together to solve problems and improve the region.

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