This was the fourth and last major meeting conducted by the Lincoln
& Logan County Development Partnership. Once the CEDS has been
developed, it will be maintained by the Logan County Regional
Planning Commission. The development partnership voluntarily stepped
forward to assist with the CEDS, as it is a critical component in
development and progress for our communities. The CEDS is
particularly important to have in place when federal funding is
needed for big projects.
Previous meetings accumulated input from
the city of Lincoln, the county of Logan and northern Logan County
Tom Akers from Heartland Community College once again facilitated
the brainstorming session. He told participants that each of their
contributions was important.
Akers fully believes that it is important to adopt a position
like the Boy Scout motto in the 1960s: "Be prepared." He had a
number of examples of how other communities had prepared, and it was
only because of that preparation that when the money became
available, they were able to act.
Having many ideas listed and ranked by priority in the CEDS is
good, Akers said. "Reality: Money comes out for something like a
water project; we're going to go after that," he said. "That's how
it shakes out."
On the opposite foot, he said that for areas that aren't in the
CEDS, nobody gives them the time of day. "We want to be beyond
ready, more than shovel-ready," he said.
Mount Pulaski's top choices:
6 -- Wind energy
5 -- Water system
5 -- Walking and
4 -- Wine
4 -- Increase
retail stores that are compatible with current businesses
4 -- Increase the
size of the medical center
4 -- Renovate
Spring Street, the primary street into town; connects to Route
3 -- Improve the
consistency and quality of the power supply; decrease the number
2 -- Add TIF or enterprise zones that
would entice businesses to expand or bring new business
Other additional ideas are to increase recreational activities
for youth; expand community services, such as transportation for
senior citizens; create a ready-to-inhabit industrial park; or to
furbish the historic courthouse.
Emden was most concerned with getting its sewer system renovated.
At the conclusion of the gathering, development partnership
director Joel Smiley thanked Akers for his help, which was mostly
volunteer. Smiley also acknowledged Bill Martin, whose work over
many years has gotten the CEDS process to where it is today.
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For more information, contact:
Logan County Development Partnership, NFP
Executive Director Joel Smiley
1555 Fifth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656
U.S. Department of
Commerce, Economic Development Administration
Economic Development Council for Central
CEDS is defined by the Economic
Development Council for Central Illinois as "the result of a local
planning process designed to guide the economic growth of an area."
"A CEDS process will help create
jobs, foster more stable and diversified economies and improve
living conditions. It provides a mechanism for coordinating the
efforts of individuals, organizations, local governments and private
industry concerned with economic development. In order for projects
to qualify for Economic Development Administration assistance under
its public works, economic adjustment and most planning programs,
the project must be consistent with the goals and objectives set out
in the CEDS."
To read the current CEDS document for
the Economic Development Council for Central Illinois,
click here (PDF).