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Economic Development Committee - Minutes
July 10, 2013
7 p.m.

PRINTABLE DOCUMENT (.pdf)

Note: These minutes are not official until approved by the Economic
Development Committee at a subsequent meeting. Please refer to the meeting
minutes when these minutes are approved to obtain any changes to these minutes.

 

 

The DeKalb County Economic Development Committee met on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 7:00 p.m., in the Legislative Center's Liberty Room. Chairman Whelan called the meeting to order. Members present were Bob Brown, Russ Deverell, Jeff Metzger, Riley Oncken, Mark Pietrowski and Stephen Reid. Others present were Jerry Smith.

 

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
It was moved by Mr. Metzger, seconded by Mr. Reid, and it was carried unanimously to approve the minutes from April 10, 2013.

 

APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
Moved by Mr. Oncken, seconded by Mr. Pietrowski and it was carried unanimously to approve the agenda.

 

CHAIRMAN'S COMMENTS
Chairman Whelan had announced since the Economic Development Committee had not met in the past two months, in that time he had read through a lot of his past notes and paperwork, including, the review of the July 2012 Economic Development Committee Meeting. Also discussed was the Arts Council which had been a topic of the last meeting, and that the Sandwich Opera House is now being used.


The Chairman also explained that next month Christine Johnson, DeKalb County Treasure, will be giving her Treasurer's Report to the committee. He will also have available the Cost Savings Report for the county for the past year to have ready for the review before this year's budget. The county has saved around $239,000 through recycling and other energy efficient upgrades.


SUPPORT OF THE IHSA FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME AT NIU
Chairman Whelan introduced Mr. Jerry Smith to talk on behalf of the Illinois High School Association's Football Championship Games at Northern Illinois University. Mr. Smith explained the game would be held on November 29th and 30th this year and 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021. These championship games in past years were held solely at the University of Illinois. The key support of this function is from the IHSA coaches which 12 out of the 16 teams that participate are North of I80, which makes NIU a good secondary location to have. The goal is to raise $225,000 by November. There have already been $25,000 contributions made by key supporters including, The City of DeKalb, Monsanto and Kishwaukee Health Systems. Presentations have also been made to Economic Development Corporation, City of Sycamore and Kishwaukee Collage Board.


Mr. Smith explained that if DeKalb County would make a contribution it would be a great opportunity not only for the Cities of DeKalb and Sycamore but for the whole county. There are also great possibilities of widely viewed sponsorship and advertisement on Comcast networks as well as local and statewide radio programs. Jerry also explained that all funds were being run through the DeKalb County Community Foundation IHSA Destination Fund and that all contributions and gifts to the fund are tax deductible.
Mary Supple asked if there were signs and awareness throughout the county for public awareness and possibilities of person contributions from citizens. Mr. Smith answered that was something that was in the works.


Mr. Metzger expressed that being a very long member of the Economic Development Committee, this event is the golden opportunity that DeKalb County has been waiting for. He explained there are so many possibilities of advertisement and great potential profits for local businesses and agreed that supporting this event and being a key supporter (contributing $25,000) would be very beneficial for the county.


Mr. Oncken agreed that it would be a great idea to be a key supporter and the county may not see the direct benefits right away like City of DeKalb but indirectly there could be a substantial amount.


Mr. Pietrowski questioned the state of the Opportunity Fund, which is where the contribution would be made from. Mr. Metzger explained there was a little over 3 million dollars in that fund. Mr. Metzger also gave a brief overview of what funds have been taken out of the Opportunity Fund since 2007.


Mr. Cvek expressed his concern with the fact that although he was not opposed to the possibility of contributing to the IHSA Championship Games he would like to sit back and stake out from a private stand point first and when time gets closer to the games possibly contribute a smaller amount. He felt like this was the best suggestion for the county considering the DeKalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau are already front and center of the whole event.


Mr. Metzger expressed that he did see where Mr. Cvek was coming from although he felt that it would make a great statement to contribute and show our support as DeKalb County and it may lead other organizations to contribute as well. Mary Supple and Mr. Pietrowski also agreed and both expressed that this is a huge opportunity and that all surrounding communities would see the impact.
It was moved by Mr. Metzger, seconded by Mr. Oncken, and it was carried unanimously to forward this recommendation to the full board for approval.

 

ASSESSOR'S REPORT
Robin Brunschon, DeKalb County Supervisor of Assessments, gave a presentation on assessments and her office. She indicated there was a decrease in the overall assessment base and the Department of Revenue will be raising senior exemptions. Also short sales and foreclosures are tapering off level of assessments. Robin also discussed farmland and that her office is constantly monitoring duplicate exemptions and removing any that they find.


Robin also complimented her staff to the committee. She expressed how her staff and all the surrounding departments are great with customer curacy. Robin also indicated what a great mapping department that she has and believes they are one of the top in the state.


Lastly discussed was Township Assessors and publishing of the township assessments. Robin explained how most of the books for the townships were turned in earlier this year and that they are trying to get everyone on board electronically for more efficiency between the offices.

 

ADJOURNMENT
It was moved by Mr. Oncken, seconded by Mr. Reid, and it was carried unanimously to adjourn the meeting.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

________________________________
Chairman Jeff Whelan

 

 

_______________________________
Tasha Stogsdill, Recording Secretary