The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

January 8, 2014

Hoopeston to work on economic development plan

BY CAROL HICKS
The Commercial-News

HOOPESTON — City council members Tuesday unanimously approved the Champaign Regional Plan Commission contract not to exceed $10,000.

Susan Chavarria, regional planning manager of Urbana's Planning & Community Development, brought a proposal before the council last month to help Hoopeston create an economic development strategy and steps to develop a plan of action. Local leaders would then implement the plan.

"The ecomomic development committee is willing to take the lead with council involvement," said Bill Nichols, committee member and president of Community Bank of Hoopeston. "We will develop our own plan with their guidance."

He added the economic development committee requested help from the Champaign Regional Plan Commission.

"We were stuck," he said, "and needed a tool."

Western Illinois University and the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs partnered in Mapping the Future of Hoopeston: Action Plan in 2007, however, after Western Illinois University left, nothing was ever implemented.

"It gathered dust," commented Alderman Bill Goodwine, "No one ran with it."

Alderman Randy Carter agreed the council did not stand up and take a piece of the plan in 2007's mapping of Hoopeston. He said, "Everyone knows what needs to be done but this group can jump start us."

Nichols agreed,"They can lead you to the resources but in the end, it's up to us."

In other council business, Mike Streff, Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC, reported a bid correction for Leander Construction. Originally the $12,064 contingency fund was over-estimated. However, $7,941 was underestimated in the aeriation treatment item and that amount would be moved to the aeriation treatment. Hoopeston would receive a $4,623 credit in the contract. The bid correction was approved unanimously. Streff added the council would have to approve a change order at the next council meeting.

The next Hoopeston city council meeting will be Tuesday, January 21, 7:00 p.m. at City Hall, 301 West Main Street.