New committee hopes to bring economic growth to Central Illinois

By Mark Bullion

New committee hopes to bring economic growth to Central Illinois

November 13, 2012 Updated Nov 13, 2012 at 4:37 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- During these tough economic times, the newly developed Peoria regional committee is hoping to turn the regional economy around, but the questions is how?

The Focus Forward Central Illinois Policy Steering Committee met Tuesday morning to discuss an economic strategy to make Central Illinois a viable and robust place for economic growth over the long term.

The plan would involve a five-year budget of public, private, and foundation dollars of around three million dollars.

One main concern is how that money will be used, which is why all funds will be put in the Community Foundation until a plan is set in stone.

"To take that question off the table, we're going to have the Community Foundation, an entity everyone understands, everyone respects, for the foreseeable future, probably for the next 6-12 months, while we're building a new EDC and while were setting a new financial structure for the EDC," said Chairman Jim Baumgartner.

The plan would include funds from Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford and Mason Counties; however, it is still in its infancy.

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