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City Council Supports Economic Development Changes

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 247

galesburgPlans for the City’s role in economic development projects took another step last night.

The Galesburg City Council directed the City’s Administration to use the recommendations in a recently issued report.  The City of Galesburg received a federal grant totaling $1.2 million to be used for economic development, but the grant period will be ending this month.  To combat the effects of reduced funding, a task force was developed last fall that found a poor public perception of the City’s economic development efforts.

A report assembled on the matter recommended dissolving the City’s Economic Development department as well as the Galesburg Regional Economic Development Association.  In it’s place would be a new public-private partnership.

Seventh Ward Alderman Jeremy Karlin says its a great leap forward.  “Seemingly, we’ve kind of had this Byzantine operation over the last couple of years,” Karlin said.  “No one knew who did what.  And it seemed that actually very little got done.  I know I’ve heard from business owners and people coming to our community who have consistently said, ‘It could be easier.'”

The task force also found that the two economic development parties lack communication.

Aldermen were curious whether GREDA even supports the agreement but, at least according to the Mayor, officials with the organization have expressed interest in simply re-writing their by-laws.

The City Council largely said the suggestions were a step in the right direction with aldermen providing unanimous direction in favor of the report.