Economic development team to elicit input from Peoria County leaders

Journal Star
By Scott Hilyard
Feb. 25, 2013

PEORIA — A four-county initiative to develop a regional strategic economic development plan is reaching into Peoria County communities for ideas and insights.

“We are trying to reach out one step down to individual communities to try to bring them up to speed about economic development and listen to what they have to say about economic development in their communities,” said John Hamann, the rural economic development director for Peoria County.

Peoria County has joined with Tazewell, Woodford and Mason counties to form a regional strategic economic development plan group. The Peoria County part of the group is hosting three local focus groups in the coming week to meet with local governmental officials, and anyone else interested in economic development.

The first meeting is from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall in West Peoria, 2506 W. Rohman Ave. The second meeting, also from 6 to 7 p.m., is Thursday at the Princeville Heritage Museum, 325 N. Ostrom St. The final meeting is from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. March 5 at Chillicothe City Hall, 908 N. Second St.

Strategic planning is a systematic process for drawing a vision and guiding the county’s future, according to Hamann.

“We’ve been working for over a year now with the four counties to put together a huge regional plan,” Hamann said.

While the meetings are open to the public, Hamann thought the focus groups would interest a more targeted audience.

“I would say that mainly government leaders, mayors, members of boards and councils would be our main audience for these meetings,” Hamann said.

Scott Hilyard can be reached at 686-3244 or Follow him on Twitter @scotthilyard.