Planning commission members present were director Will D'Andrea,
chairman Bill Graff, Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder, Bill Martin, Dave
Evans and Derrick Crane. While this was not enough members to vote
on issues or take action, those present still used the opportunity
Before the group began discussing the
comprehensive plan, Martin made a comment about the bicycle plan
meeting the night before. He praised the efforts undertaken by the
Farnsworth Group, saying that Jeff Martin, the employee who is
working with the county on the bicycle trail, has "really taken an
interest in this county."
"He has driven down here multiple times just to drive around,
even by himself. He'll drive down or take somebody with him, and I
kinda appreciate that," Bill Martin said. "He's really taken an
interest in it."
Crane mentioned that he had heard that the Illinois Department of
Transportation is also looking into a bicycle trail plan for the
state as a whole. Graff said he believes the state would likely
attempt to connect Logan County with Sangamon and McLean County via
trails splitting off from Route 66.
D'Andrea, the GIS director, reported that the Farnsworth Group is
going to compile the results of the bicycle trail meeting, and they
will be in touch with the county when they are ready to proceed with
the next step.
Moving on to the comprehensive plan, most of the changes that
will be made to the plan concern updating statistics to better
reflect Logan County. Examples of these updates include:
Whether or not
certain businesses are still operating in Logan County. One
example brought up by the planning commission members was FedEx,
as a couple of the members were not sure if it was still
unemployment rate. The most recent figures the planning
commission has access to revealed that the unemployment rate in
Logan County is 8.9 percent.
figures to reflect the 2010 census. As of 2010, the population
is 30,305 people, a decrease from 2000.
an interest in creating a statistic for the age of homes
available in Logan County.
A possible update
to county maps to show more of the smaller towns.
whether or not the planning commission could ask the National
Weather Service for updated information on the Logan County
The loss in jobs. From 2005 to 2010,
the county lost 544 jobs, which is a 5.8 percent downturn.
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commission was conflicted on whether or not to include the
increase in property tax receipts. This statistic could keep
people and businesses from moving into the county.
An update to
reflect current income and poverty levels in Logan County.
that he would like to see examples of crop receipts put into the
comprehensive plan, to reflect the quality of farmland. In 2010,
Logan County had the 12th-largest number in the nation for
incoming receipts for crops.
The change in demographics of the
county as of the 2010 census. While the changes are only slight,
the numbers should still be updated.
One of the larger concerns of the planning commission is the
state of the older population of Logan County. Bill Martin explained
that a loss in the elderly population in Atlanta (as an example) is
likely to stem from retirees moving to either Lincoln or
"We've just lost a very, very valuable asset," said Martin,
referring to when these retirees move away.
On the topic of the older population, Snyder added that Castle
Manor in Lincoln filled up very fast, and many of the residents were
rural residents. Graff said that a second Castle Manor would likely
have the same effect. An influx of elderly people is still an
increase in population, however.
"That's population," said Graff. "Those are people that are
shopping; those are services, people employed to take care of those
The question becomes: Should the county try to attract more
elderly people to move here?
"Do we want to become a destination?" asked D'Andrea. "Do we
purposefully as a community want to attract that demographic?"
"I think we want to retain our elderly," said Martin.
The group did not come to a complete answer to this question, and
they will likely return to it as they update the comprehensive plan.
[By DEREK HURLEY]
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