Wednesday, Nov. 17

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Lincoln and Logan County Development Partnership unified on Lincoln Estates

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[NOV. 17, 2004]  The Lincoln and Logan County Development Partnership board of directors met with representatives from the departments of Human Services and Commerce and Economic Opportunity Tuesday afternoon in Mayor Beth Davis' office. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss redevelopment plans involving Lincoln Estates, formerly Lincoln Developmental Center. According to the partnership's executive director, Rob Orr, the meeting was "good communication about miscommunications."

"The partnership is united in its support for the immediate redevelopment of former LDC grounds, beginning with the construction of the four, 10-bed homes. We communicated this to DHS at yesterday's meeting and will do so again," Orr said, referring to a meeting to be scheduled with Gov. Blagojevich's staff. Orr and Davis, who is president of the partnership, will represent the economic development group at the meeting.

"The former LDC property offers us an opportunity to create much-needed jobs for this community," Orr said. "Companies looking for places to locate new operations want ready-to-build sites or existing buildings in close to move-in condition. This site is ideal in those regards." The 103-acre site with 23 buildings is already fully served with utilities, roads, rail access and several existing buildings that could be remodeled for other uses. DHS indicated to the partnership that it wants the local group to be involved in redevelopment phases of the project.

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Orr declined comment on Davis' remarks (as reported in The Courier) following Monday's city council meeting and offered no details about partnership representatives meeting with the governor's staff. "The work of this organization is too important," he said. "We may hit a few bumps in the road, but that can't cause us to veer off path. This group is committed to working together. Economic development should be apolitical."  

[News release and Jan Youngquist]

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