- Fairbury News staff
GLCEDC membership renewed
Members of the Fairbury City Council have voted to renew annual membership with the Greater Livingston County Economic Development Council and pay dues of $7,916.
GLCEDC Chief Executive Officer Adam Dontz appeared before the Fairbury council during the regular meeting Wednesday night at Fairbury City Hall. He explained the group has given out over $200,000 in the city.
“We haven’t ever raised our dues,” Dontz explained.
The GLCEDC gets much of its money from the county through wind turbines which were built several years ago. Dontz noted Livingston County had an unemployment rate of 3.4 percent in December 2021, which is almost a full percent lower than the state average. The main obstacle Dontz is hearing from employers is the inability to find workers.
“The economic development council administers local grants,” said Dontz.
A property tax abatement program is available to businesses meeting certain expansion guidelines by creating jobs. Area businesses which have received abatements include Technical Medals in Fairbury, Selig in Forrest and Slagel Manufacturing in Strawn.
An economic stimulus grant was given to the Prairie Central School District, resulting in a stronger relationship between the business community and the school in hopes of attracting students into the local workforce. Funds were used for curriculum development and the purchase of lab equipment.
“I appreciate the city’s membership in the organization,” Dontz concluded.
In another matter Wednesday, the Fairbury City Council decided to move forward with the condemnation of property near the water tower. The court must rule the property is condemned before the city could take possession of it and tear down the house which is in poor condition.
“We’ve got to do something or it’s just going to sit there,” said Mayor David Slagel.
“I think we do a service to the citizens of the community if we approve this,” stated Alderman Bill Schmidgall.
Mayor Slagel reported the video gaming tax is up since the money was not there last year and reminded the council of the April 6 Boys and Girls Club breakfast at the Indian Creek Country Club.
Aldermen also approved the consent agenda which included minutes of the Feb. 16 meeting, voucher invoice register and overtime report.