HARRISBURG -- Fifty years is a long time.
Recently, an organization that has served as an economic engine for a variety of projects throughout southeastern Illinois celebrated its golden anniversary.
The Southeastern Illinois Regional Planning and Development Commission Board recently held its 50th annual meeting in Harrisburg on Wednesday, March 21, 2018.
During the meeting, the board elected new officers. The 2018 officers elected were Chairman Phyllis Ferrell of Saline County; first vice chairman Charles Soward of Hardin County; second vice chairman, Ron Woods of Gallatin County; secretary Chad May of Hamilton County; and treasurer Neil Wagner of Pope County.
During the meeting, Executive Director Alene Carr addressed the commission and guests and congratulated the members on 50 years of service to the five-county region.
Carr recalled the past 10 years' worth of projects totaling $22 million in projects and grants that have been brought to the Southeastern Regional Planning counties of Pope, Hardin, Gallatin, Saline and Hamilton. Along with the $22 nillion, the commission has provided 208 small business loans, adding and retaining 1,377 jobs to the district.
The guest speaker for the event was Jeannette Tamayo, Regional Director for the Economic Development Administration Chicago Regional Office.
Tamayo presented a signed letter from the Department of Commerce congratulating the commission on its 50th year. The Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration provides SIRP&DC a Partnership Planning Award every three years to continue its service to the region.
The mission of the Southeastern Illinois Regional Planning and Development Commission is to provide professional quality service to the people, businesses and local governments of our five-county region and to promote and foster growth, economic diversification and prosperity within the region by securing and administering grants for public works, housing rehabilitation, economic development projects and operation of its revolving loan fund. SIRP&DC will also research, develop and implement strategies that will fulfill the needs of sustainable development.