Smiley is scheduling meetings to gather information from all corners
of the county. Four meetings are planned, which the public will be
encouraged to attend. He explained that Tom Akers from Heartland
Community College would be facilitating the meetings, which would
involve exercises that would take about an hour. The meetings would
be scheduled for two hours but might take less, he said.
members asked questions
David Hepler -- What is the necessity for this board to meet?
Smiley responded -- This would be the most crucial meeting for
brainstorming ideas about what projects might happen here in the
next 10 years. "It's important for community leaders, including the
business community, to really look hard at what their vision is," he
said. The projects that get accepted into the CEDS would be eligible
for federal funding.
Each of the meetings would be open to the public and would
include community leaders, business leaders and elected officials.
Everyone who comes in will get a lot out of the meeting. The more
participation, the more effective it is going to be.
John Stewart -- Stewart asked if the whole board would be needed
or if maybe it could just be the planning and zoning committee. He
pointed out that it is $420 every time the board meets, and with
travel expenses almost $500.
Smiley responded -- The more participation there is, the better
it's going to be.
Jan Schumacher commented -- I recognize the concern. The concept
is that we're all here together to throw out ideas and then
brainstorm with community leaders. I think that's a key role for the
board; looking for the future is part of what we're charged to do. I
think that would be money well-spent.
Bill Martin has been involved with the CEDS process while it was
still under the Logan County Regional Planning Commission and has
continued working on it with Smiley through the development
Martin recapped -- Through the meeting we're going to be
formulating plans. Everything we come up with might not go into the
document, but we're going to try to come up with what we'd like to
see done in the county in the next 10 years. That can involve every
committee we've got (on the Logan County Board). We may want to see
some addition at the airport, rebuild roads, any number of county
projects that would need federal funding.
At the other communities' meetings, they will present projects
that they want to see done.
He emphasized that if a project is not in the CEDS document that
is created now, you've got to wait for five years before you can put
it in. CEDS is reviewed every five years and resubmitted to the
Economic Development Administration in Chicago for approval.
Pat O'Neill, board vice chairman, commented -- There are many
different personalities and opinions on the board, but all are
joined in the interest to see the community grow. Having the input
of as many as possible is important.
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Smiley said that originally the CEDS was going to cost $50,000-plus,
but now the county would be saving substantially in this process.
Several years ago the regional planning commission began planning
to develop the CEDS once the comprehensive plan was finished. Some
federal funding made it within reach at $30,000, but those funds
dried up right at the time the project could have been started.
A new opportunity was recognized a couple of years ago, and that
was to piggyback with the Peoria Economic Development Council's CEDS.
This option not only realizes a substantial savings that makes the
project affordable, but it also puts Lincoln and Logan County in a
regional effort, which is viewed more favorably when asking for
funding from state and federal authorities.
By going through the Peoria EDC it would now only cost $5,000 to
complete the CEDS. There is also an annual administration fee of
$5,000. Both fees would be paid the first year, and then only the
administration fee would be paid each year after. The city and
county each committed $5,000 for this project in their budgets this
The partnership's leading the process with in-kind service is an
"I realize, every dollar you have to account to your voters and
constituents, "Smiley said. "You're already making a major
investment towards the CEDS process. I think going that one extra
step would be very valuable and beneficial for everyone involved."
It is up to the board chairman to call a special meeting. Terry
Carlton was not present to approve that last night. The tentative
date is April 27, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Logan County
The city of Lincoln has scheduled to meet April 15, 6:30-8:30
Meetings would be scheduled in Atlanta, to represent the northern
communities, and in Mount Pulaski, to represent the southern
communities. An announcement will be made once all the meeting dates