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Eastern Bypass Corridor Selection

Dec 4, 2012

This Thursday, December 6, the Community Advisory Group of the Easter Bypass Study will meet regarding the Eastern Bypass corridor selection.  Members of the general public are welcome to attend, as observers. 

Meeting Information:

Date:  Thursday, December 6, 2012
Time:  6:00 p.m. to approx. 9:00 p.m.
Where:  Countryside Banquet Facility
659 School Street
(School St at Illinois Route 8)
Washington, Illinois
For more information, visit the Peoria Eastern Bypass website here.
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TCRPC Regional Roundup

Nov 29, 2012

The latest edition of the TCRPC Regional Roundup is now available.  In this month's issue, learn about the regional economic development asset mapping events, and the activities of the Eastern Bypass Community Advisory Group.

Regional Roundup November 2012

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City of Peoria Warehouse District Implementation Plan

Nov 27, 2012

A year-long effort to develop an Implementation Plan for the City of Peoria's Warehouse District is nearing completion.  This Implementation Plan represents a culmination of previous planning efforts and provides a clear path forward to guide the City, property owners, and developers as they work together to revitalize the Warehouse District. 

The plan is available to be downloaded here.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the plan, please contact Chris at (309)494-8618.

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Focus Forward CI announces five-year goals; sets Discovery Forums

Oct 25, 2012

PEORIA – (October 25, 2012) Economic Development efforts underway by regional leaders could lead to a growth spurt, more jobs, better paying jobs, additional education.

The Central Illinois SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Based) Goals Setting Action Team set a population target of 386,475 by 2017, up from the 2010 U.S. Census estimate of 375,218.

Other goals:

  • Create 13,190 new jobs across the region(1,319 new jobs at $53,715/ year and 11,841 new jobs at $48,832/ year)
  • Improve the pay rate of more than 19,000 existing jobs by $5,000/ year
  • Ramp up education attainment of bachelor and graduate degrees by 2,300 from the current 2012 estimate of 68,719
  • Increase the 25-44 year-old age bracket from 25 percent of total population (94,706 in 2010) to 30 percent of total population (115,942) by 2017.

“The economic development efforts underway in our region have clearly defined the 2017 goals and add $1.75 Billion to the annual payrolls of our region.  Imagine what impact that will have while laying the foundation for a stronger economy for generations to come,” said Mike Hinrichsen, Chairperson of the Goals Setting Action Team.

“This initiative, properly implemented, will support a competitive environment that attracts and retains our vital workforce, provides for an attractive environment and supports the necessary growth on both sides of the river,” Hinrichsen said. “The impact of estimated state and local tax revenue is estimated at $33 to $34 million annually.”

Earlier this month, the “Discovery Milestone” – the second of four major milestones throughout the process –helped identify the region’s assets.

Roughly 125 individuals attended the meeting from varying levels of government, business, not-for-profit and the private and public sectors. Survey results following that meeting showed a 100 percent rating on the understanding of the sense of urgency, description of goals and why goals and benchmarks are important. Roughly 95 percent felt they were given an opportunity to voice their opinion and 97.5 percent of respondents said Focus Forward CI is making some positive or a high positive impact.

Discovery milestone initiatives in the four-county region that includes Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford and Mason counties are underway. In November, each of the counties will hold individual “Asset Mapping Forums” to discover their unique indigenous assets. These discovery forums launch a regional climate of economic opportunity.

The public is invited and encouraged to any of these events. An overall explanation of this economic development initiative also will be presented.

Tazewell County: 7 to 9 a.m. Nov. 13 at Ashland House, 201 East Ashland St., Morton

Mason County: 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 13 at 1st State Bank of Mason City, 123 Elm St, Mason City

Peoria County: 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Nov. 14 at the Gateway Building , Peoria

Woodford County: 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 15 in the Cerf Center- Terrill Room at Eureka College

An Asset Mapping Forum in Spanish also is being scheduled. The time, date and location for that meeting will be released soon.
Contact Mike Hinrichsen at 256-9196 or Jim Baumgartner at 256-7579.

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RFQ: Regional Broadband Adoption Effort

Oct 19, 2012

TCRPC is requesting Statements of Qualifications (SOQs) from qualified firms to work with TCRPC, the Regional Strategy Policy Steering Committee, and Mason, Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford Counties to carry out a regional broadband adoption effort to be integrated with the Focus Forward CI regional economic development initiative. This regional broadband adoption effort will consist of developing and presenting a customized broadband education program for strengthening regional economic development.

Note: Submitting a hard copy is no longer required. One (1) electronic copy must be submitted to nhayward@tricountyrpc.org no later than 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday November 7, 2012.

The complete RFQ can be downloaded here.

Answers to questions about the RFQ can be downloaded here.

For questions, please contact Nick Hayward at 309-673-9330 or nhayward@tricountyrpc.org.

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TCRPC recieves Illinois Broadband Grant

Oct 8, 2012

TCRPC received a grant of $29,858.16 from Broadband Illinois through the Illinois Broadband Innovation Fund. The funding will be used to provide education on how broadband can be used most effectively for economic development, work with network providers to provide access to underserved areas, and develop a strategy for how broadband access and use can be increased in the region over the next five years. This project will be integrated with the Focus Forward CI economic development initiative taking place for Mason, Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford Counties, enabling broadband use to be a central component of strengthening the regional economy.

Broadband Illinois is a non-profit organization enlisted by the State of Illinois to implement a comprehensive, statewide high-speed internet deployment strategy and demand creation initiative. The Illinois Broadband Innovation Fund was open to any private, public, or non-profit organization in Illinois. Broadband Illinois sought proposals for internet adoption projects to stimulate job creation, education, agriculture, and other key sectors. Fourteen recipients were selected, and $500,000 was awarded throughout the State.

For more information about the project, please contact TCRPC planner Nick Hayward at 673-9330.

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Rebates available for energy and/or operational improvements

Sep 5, 2012

DCEO's Illinois Energy Now program offers a portfolio of both electric and natural gas efficiency programs to achieve targeted annual energy savings goals.  Local governments, including public K-12 schools, receive financial incentives for installing energy efficient products.  Incentives can range from 15% up to 75% of your energy improvements costs. Projects may include such items as new lighting, HVAC equipment, motors and drives, gas furnaces, boiler tune-ups, and water heaters.  This program is retroactive, energy efficiency upgrades completed after June 1, 2012 may be eligible for reimbursement.  Illinois Energy Now was created under the Public Utilities Act giving Illinois among the most ambitious energy efficiency standards in the nation.  Application assistance is available free of charge from Tri-County Regional Planning Commission.  The current program period runs until May 31st, 2013, but projects completed on or before February 14th, 2013 receive an automatic 14% in additional rebates.

To learn more about Illinois Energy Now, click here.  For application assistance or to schedule a meeting, please contact Kyle Smith at your earliest convenience.  He may be reached by phone at (309)-673-9796 x223 or by email at ksmith@tricountyrpc.org.

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Job Access Mobility Institute- Accepting Applications!

Aug 8, 2012

The Community Transportation Association of America's Joblinks Employment Transportation Center is looking to support five communities in designing new and improved on-the-ground transportation services that respond to a key transportation challenge facing job seekers, trainees, and employees in their locale.

The Job Access Mobility Institute is a multi-month, team-based research, design, and implementation process in which teams will develop and test a transportation service that solves a key challenge of their constituents. This opportunity will bring together innovative thinkers from the transportation, employment and training, and business sectors to solve their community's unique mobility challenges.

Deadline:  Friday, August 24, 2012

For more information, click here.

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Mapping Tomorrow's Economic Development

Aug 3, 2012

The first Regional Strategy Policy Steering Committee meeting is set for 8 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 9 at the Workforce Network, 211 Fulton St., Suite 300. The meeting is open to the public. All meetings of this committee will operate under parameters of the Illinois Open Meetings Act. 

During the meeting, expected to last about 90 minutes, participants will begin by understanding their role in governing and driving the economic development initiatives in the four-county region that includes Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford and Mason counties. They will learn about asset-based Community Economic Development (CED) plans. The group will determine the priorities, assign action teams, work plan/timeline and accountabilities for results. Media interviews / availability will be granted after the meeting.

“This is a blue ribbon panel that will lead us on this economic development journey,” said Regional Strategy Policy Steering Committee Chairman Jim Baumgartner. “These leaders represent public and private sector interests in four counties within the Economic Development District and are committed to drafting a plan that includes meaningful involvement, disciplined processes, clear strategies and consistent measurement.”

The first Strategy phase, set to last 12-14 months, will evaluate and prioritize how the region approaches economic development. The “Foundation Milestone” – one of four major milestones throughout the process – will be completed by Oct. 1. It will identify the region’s assets and develop measurable county-level and regional-level strategies and an action plan.

The planning effort officially launched on July 26th with a meeting attended by more than 200 leaders from business, community, government and not-for-profits.

The regional economic development plan is a grass-roots initiative. Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (TCRPC) is funding ViTAL Economy, a Maryland-based consulting firm, to organize the regional economic development plan. The Regional Strategy Steering Committee, which will lead the process, consists of 28 area individuals and is being led by Jim Baumgartner, Caterpillar Inc.’s Director of Corporate Public Affairs. Working Groups also are being created to oversee implementation.

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Tri-County Regional Planning Commission

456 Fulton Street
Suite 401
Peoria, IL 61602

Phone: 309.673.9330
Fax: 309.673.9802