Economic development group updates Loda board

LODA — Two representatives of the Iroquois Economic Development Association presented an update on its activities this week to the village board.

Roger Dittrich told the board that he and Ken Barragree, executive director and only paid staff member, are making the rounds of the towns and villages in the county to let them know the organization is working on job creation and job retention in the county.

Dittrick said they are also taking a straw poll of the municipalities to determine their support of reopening the landfill in Bryce. He said Republic Services has shown interest in doing so and wants to purchase 400 acres near the old site. Dittrick said support from the towns and villages might sway the county board to look into the matter further.

Dittrick said the county's dire financial situation could be helped by some of the $1 million in tipping fees an Indiana landfill run by Republic supplies the county there. Nevertheless permitting would be a long process.

Barragree told the board that the economic development association "is not just a Watseka group," and there are 25 board members representing all areas of one of the largest counties, geographically, in the state. He said the group faces a difficult challenge because Iroquois County borders Indiana with its very "aggressive" approach to seeking new companies and more favorable business climate. He said there is little the nearly bankrupt state of Illinois can help the group with in the way of incentives.

Please read more in next week's edition of the Paxton Record.

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