Wednesday, Feb. 18


New economic development director revving up     Send a link to a friend

[FEB. 18, 2004]  Rob Orr, new executive director of the Lincoln and Logan County Development Partnership, NFP, has been out rallying the troops. Orr has been in repeat attendance at numerous city and county meetings. His enthusiasm and early planning have gotten the attention of both boards.

A review of the partnership structure and bylaws will be the focus at the first organizational meeting. The new organization replaces the Economic Development Committee that was under the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce. It is fitting into a foundation that was set up two years ago but has not been in use yet. The foundation was written as a not-for-profit organization.

Orr told the Logan County Board that he expects this first meeting to be intense. He said he wants to get the business of setting up the new organization, get these organizational and clerical matters out of the way, so that we can actually get on with economic development.

The current board incorporates two representatives from each partner. Orr would like to see that increased to five members representing each partner: city, county and chamber of commerce. It is not necessary for the city, county or chamber to appoint only aldermen or board members. They may choose anyone who fits to be involved in economic development. For example the county board could have two board members and the mayors from three cities in the county, or any combination they choose.

Orr points out that the $25,000-per-year funding requested of each partner is a suggested amount for getting the organization off the ground. The city, county and chamber each agreed to contribute at this level in the next year. The chamber will be transferring funds from the old EDC to the new organization.


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Orr emphasized that any changes to the bylaws require a two-thirds vote by the board of directors.

The board is currently made up of two representatives from each partner, two at-large and one from a utility. For the city of Lincoln are Mayor Davis and Alderman Steve Fuhrer; from the county board, David Hepler and board chair Dale Voyles; from the chamber of commerce, executive director Bobbi Abbott and Todd Lowman; at-large, Jerry Johnson (an Atlanta businessman) and Jim White (Heartland College); and John Dreusicke of AmerenCILCO.

The purpose of the partnership is to work together for one common mission:

1. Retain existing businesses

2. Create new employment opportunities

3. Increase the tax base in Lincoln and Logan County

The new Lincoln and Logan County Development Partnership will meet on Monday, Feb. 23, in the Lincoln Downtown Business Suites, in the Integrity Data building on North Kickapoo Street.

Rob Orr can be contacted at 303 S. Kickapoo, Second Floor, Lincoln, IL 62656; (217) 732-8739 or toll-free (866) 564-2626; and at

[Jan Youngquist]

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