Friday, Jan. 12

County coordinator Dewey Colter leaves post          Send a link to a friend

[JAN. 12, 2007]  The Logan County Board has received a letter of resignation from Logan County coordinator Dewey Colter. In the letter Colter said that he would be returning to work in the private sector. He also stated that he would remain available to the county to help establish a transition of his duties.

Colter, the successful candidate from 70 applicants, officially assumed the county coordinator position in September 2004.

For the first months in the newly created position Colter was like a locomotive picking up steam, and there has been little letup since. In addition to getting to know how the various departments in the county functioned, he also tackled a number of significant projects as directed by the board.

One of the first and immediate needs was to seek funding for and to coordinate the implementation of the new computer system the county had just selected.

Following that, Colter worked closely with Rob Orr, director of the Lincoln and Logan County Development Partnership, on the now famous Robert's Sysco project. "Rob and I put in a lot of hours during the early stages," Colter said. "For someone who had limited prior economic development training, you could not have asked for a better learning experience. You could not have asked for a better individual to work with, nor could you have asked for a better outcome. It was one of the better unified team efforts put forth by all of the entities in local history."

Next was the campaign to get the much-needed public safety tax passed. He gathered statistics and spoke to groups to help get that measure passed. Based on current data, the county will receive an estimated $750,000 of much-needed funds to cover the increased costs.

In between the above projects, Colter started working with Mayor Bill Glaze, chairman of the Logan County Regional Planning Commission, on updating the county's comprehensive plan. "This was another very satisfying effort," Colter said. "Mayor Glaze and Mayor Bill Martin did an excellent job of moving the initiative forward. The county and the participating communities now have a plan that they can build on. My thanks to those who participated and made it a success. Teamwork and leadership came through again."

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Another issue he was asked to address was how to clean up junk properties. His research on how other Illinois counties were handling this problem led to the development of an administrative adjudication ordinance. The process can resolve most of the problem-property issues, as well as some other types of low-priority legal matters that governments face. It is more expedient and gets better results. The program can be implemented once funds are available to start it. It would be financially self-sustaining.

Colter was soon assigned the position of zoning and code enforcement officer. He was responsible for building permits as well as flood plain management. He kept the board's planning and zoning committee updated on a variety of legislative and regulatory issues that do or could affect the county and property owners. He was also deeply involved with the Zoning Board of Appeals.

He recently structured a new fee schedule for building permits, bringing Logan County more in line with other counties. The new funds will help pay for some of the changes and support that are needed in the zoning office.

His most recent effort has been working on an upgrade to the county telephone system, which could save the county an estimated $12,000 per year while improving the communications capabilities between the public safety complex and the courthouse.

Colter has also been involved with the county geographic information system, Logan County Airport grant funding, the comprehensive economic development strategy and the transition of the balloon festival to the airport.

"Most challenging has been wearing so many hats, but it has been rewarding," he said. "I hope the county maintains the momentum that has developed and takes advantage of every opportunity to grow and prosper. My thanks to those leaders who have made it possible and enjoyable. My most sincere thanks to JoAnne (Marlin) for her support and friendship."

[News release; LDN]

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