Logan County joined a four-county region made up of Mason, Peoria,
Woodford and Tazewell counties when it piggybacked its CEDS with the
Economic Development Council for Central Illinois. The Logan County
CEDS was approved in Washington, D.C., in October 2012.
Bergen, executive director for the Lincoln & Logan County
Development Partnership, along with Roy Bockler from Mason County
and Dennis Kief, both members of the EDCCI, elaborated on how Logan
County can get set up within the region to implement its CEDS.
"In the last few years, the federal government has put out
planning grant money for the regions," said Bockler. He told the
committee members that if they were curious to see what could be
funded, they can go to www.eda.gov to see a list of projects.
"Now, this takes work; it's (federal money) not just handed out,"
said Bockler. He added that he feels Illinois has not received its
fair share of grant money in previous years, but there also has not
really been a cohesive effort to earn it.
Kief added that when he was working for Tazewell County, he was
able to get grants for Pekin, which used the grant money to build
business park extensions.
"There's a lot of ties, especially between Logan County and
Tazewell County, Logan County and Mason County," said Kief. "We
welcome you, we want to work with you, we want to help you be the
beneficiary of these grants."
Kief said he and Bockler have been working hard lately to
re-engage the counties in the committee process of applying for new
grants. Kief also said that the region gets $191,000 for these
documents over the next three years. That amount has to be matched
by the counties.
"As part of the CEDS committee, we need other sectors. This
committee is not dominated by the public officials," said Kief.
Bockler added that there are very specific rules as to the makeup of
the committee, with representatives from all walks of life.
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Bockler also said that not every county in the United States is
part of a CEDS district. A county has to be considered "distressed"
to be part of such a district.
Bergen said that the documentation for the CEDS district is
updated every year, and projects can be added to the plan at any
time. "The document is very fluid and very open," he said.
Kief told the committee that while Tazewell is not technically a
"distressed county," they were able to prove in recent years that a
great majority of the workforce came from Mason County, and they
were provided with grant money to add streets in the Riverway
business park in Pekin.
Bockler and Kief were also present to encourage county board
members to pass a resolution supporting CEDS documents. This
resolution would then be passed on, with the documentation
eventually ending up at the federal level in Washington.
While no money would be needed along with the resolution at this
time, Logan County would have to provide money to the region in the
near future. Logan County was pro-rated at between $15,000 and
$18,000 over the course of three years.
The committee members voted to approve such a resolution from
Logan County. The full board will discuss the resolution in
Committee members present were chairman David Hepler, Robert
Farmer, Bill Martin, Gene Rohlfs and Chuck Ruben. Board member Jan
Schumacher was present as a guest. Brian Bergen, executive director
of the Lincoln & Logan County Development Partnership, and Vic
Martinek of the partnership were also present.
[By DEREK HURLEY]