Logan County Board expected to
sever three economic development ties in budget cuts
Send a link to a friend
[November 20, 2017]
Thursday, November 16, at the Logan County Board Workshop, plans
were discussed that would eliminate the county’s three primary
economic development tools. The Board plans to eliminate support for
the two agencies most influential in drawing new businesses to the
area - Logan County Development Partnership and The Greater Peoria
Regional Economic Development Council; as well cut the primary
federal granting channel for large infrastructure projects.
Funds for these processes are to be chopped from the 2017-2018
budget, which is set to begin Dec. 1.
Economic development cuts
Board member Dave Blankenship said he would motion Tuesday to
eliminate the funding appropriated for the Logan County Development
Partnership in the amount of $55,000 in the budget. He said it is a
motion to eliminate funding and not suspend it. Later in the
discussion, he would cite not being able to support deficit
spending, which is what it appears to require if left in the budget
as it stands.
Board member Kevin Bateman asked Board Chairman Chuck Ruben if
another motion would be needed to put the money in another line item
if the board decided there was a new form of economic development
they wanted to fund. Bateman said he wants to have funding if
something new comes forward.
Ruben said if money would be put in a contingency fund, it could be
used for any purpose with a vote of two thirds of the board.
Finance Committee Chairman David Hepler said County Clerk and
Recorder Sally Turner told him it would take a new vote of the board
to suspend payment for economic development if the money was left in
Blankenship said State's Attorney Jonathan Wright told him the board
could budget nothing for economic development and put an amendment
in later if needed.
Ruben said the money would still need to go into a contingency fund
to have a place to get the money from.
Blankenship said he does not feel that is the wisest move while the
budget is in deficit spending.
Bateman asked whether money could come from the General Fund?
Ruben said it cannot, but can be an expenditure from some other
place, which is why they have transfer lines.
Blankenship said he would like to have a commission to explore
forming a different partnership that is not a 501c3 organization.
A board member asked about ramifications with the Great Peoria
Economic Development Council.
[to top of second column]
Ruben said the county is a member of it until the county is not
in good standing. The Greater Peoria EDC gets $10,000 worth of CEDS money each
year with $5,000 coming from the county and $5,000 coming from the city of
CEDS, Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, is a large
document, a book actually, that was created through multiple meetings held in
each community beginning in 2008 into 2009. CEDS contains lists of long-rang
needs and wants projects for Logan County and each of its municipality’s. CEDS
participation is on a five-year cycle.
Board member Gene Rohlfs said he would motion to withdraw from the budget the
$5,000 for the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Fund.
Vice Chairman Emily Davenport then asked for public comments and
two guests from Atlanta spoke.
Tommy Young said Atlanta backs up the decision to eliminate the Logan County
Partnership because they are not seeing much in development.
Amy Wertheim said Atlanta recently purchased 15 acres costing half a million
dollars and she is not sure where the money to pay for it is coming from.
This land purchase Wertheim referenced is related to work done by the Atlanta
Economic Development Commission (ADC). The Atlanta EDC has been focusing on
developing a couple of large projects in the area around the Interstate 55
Wertheim would like to see the county cut ties with the Logan County Development
All 12 board members were present: Board Chairman Chuck Ruben, Kevin Bateman,
Dave Blankenship, Janet Dahmm, Bob Farmer, David Hepler, Gloria Luster, Gene
Rohlfs, Bob Sanders, Scott Schaffenacker and Annette Welch, with Vice Chairman
Emily Davenport presiding.
The board will vote on the motions at the Regular Board meeting on Tuesday,