County committee hears reports on master plan, incubator business
and wind farm progress, and considers social media policy
Send a link to a friend
[January 28, 2013]
Last Tuesday, the Logan County
Executive/Economic Development Committee met to discuss issues that
affect the county. Committee members present were committee chairman
David Hepler, board chairman Robert Farmer, road and bridge chairman
Bill Martin, airport and farm chairman Gene Rohlfs, and finance
chair Chuck Ruben. Absent for the evening was Rick Aylesworth.
Board member Jan Schumacher was also present with business as
insurance and legislative chairman.
Present as guests were Brian Bergen, executive director of the
Lincoln & Logan County Development Partnership, and members of the
Central Illinois Economic Development District.
Bergen told the committee members that part of the master plan
for the county economy is the retention of businesses. "I think
business retention is the most important part of economic
development," he said.
Bergen also reported that he is working with several people in
the county on the possible expansion of three businesses. He could
not specify which businesses he is working with.
Bergen also said he is continuing to work on revising the master
plan for the county, and in the near future, he may have some
suggestions to bring forward to the county board.
Bergen reported that he had three incubator projects that could
come to fruition in the near future. Incubator businesses are
mechanisms used to create jobs by providing a subsidized environment
for starting a new business.
While Bergen left the specifics of
who would be running these incubators vague (as no formal
documentation has been completed), he did mention the following
details as to what the incubator businesses might entail:
incubator for medical students
incubator for starting restaurants
A possible incubator for those
interested in technology
Bergen also said that with potential business incubators, Logan
County will hopefully be able to retain more of the younger
population who wish to start their own businesses.
"I think everyone came up with good ideas that fit what people
have asked for in the county," said Bergen.
Wind farm status
Bergen provided a brief update on the Sugar Creek Wind Farm. Due
to new legislation, wind farm companies that wish to qualify for a
tax credit have to begin construction in 2013. As a result, the
definition of "starting construction" is falling under scrutiny,
with Sugar Creek attempting to figure out the details.
"Letís keep our fingers crossed that construction can begin in
2013," said Bergen.
He also said the development partnership is attempting to track
down a second company that previously wanted to build another wind
farm in southern Logan County. The company has since fallen off the
Schumacher was present as a county board member out of interest
in a specific item: use of social media. There has been an increase
in stories of people who have expressed themselves negatively on
Facebook and other social media in relation to their jobs.
Schumacher wished to discuss if there need to be changes in the
policy and procedure manuals for county employees and county board
Schumacher said that this issue should be revisited in personnel
policies as well. David Hepler said that while social media can be a
useful tool, there is still a need for regulation, as with anything
else the county would use.
[to top of second column]
However, this was not the only business up for discussion that
night. The involvement of Logan County with the Comprehensive
Economic Development Strategy consumed the greater portion of the
meeting. With its CEDS, Logan County has joined four other counties
-- Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford and Mason -- in the makeup the Central
Illinois Economic Development District. The regional membership
increases strength and opportunities. Regional representatives
present explained how to get Logan County integrated and going in
the district, as well as providing types of projects that might be
Details of the CEDS discussion will be presented in LDN later
[By DEREK HURLEY]
Lincoln & Logan County Development
Director Brian Bergen
1555 Fifth St.
What is CEDS
and what went into the Logan County CEDS?
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."
County Regional Planning Commission FAQ sheet
(Explains interrelatedness of the comprehensive plan, GIS, CEDS and
Past articles related to CEDS
To read the
current CEDS document for the Economic Development Council for