An estimated 100 area leaders from businesses and government offices came together Thursday afternoon at 11 South in Columbia for the inaugural annual meeting of the Monroe County Economic Development Corporation.
The MCEDC, incorporated last April, is a not-for-profit group seeking to encourage, promote and assist economic development in the region. The group’s goals include growing a more diversified economy, broadening the tax base and enhancing quality of life through a region that includes all of Monroe County and cooperating areas in nearby St. Clair and Randolph counties. It is supported by area business investors and leaders who share this vision.
The meeting gave many a first opportunity to visit the new 11 South building on Sand Bank Road, and all were thrilled by the expansive view offered from the top floor reception area some 100 feet above Route 3 and I-255. In addition to formal presentations, all took advantage of opportunities to share ideas for encourage positive economic growth in the area.
During the meeting, former Monroe County Board member Terry Liefer was named MCEDC board chairman and Joe Hardin was named vice chairman, replacing Jim Hill and Chuck Pittman, respectively.
The event concluded with recognition by the MCEDC of the Monroe County members of the Southwestern Illinois Flood Protection District Council Board of Directors: Bruce Brinkman, Ron Polka, John Conrad and David Baxmeyer. Liefer praised them for their hard work that contributed to reestablishing FEMA accreditation for the region’s Mississippi River levees, without which, the economics of the bottoms area of the county and Dupo area would have suffered a devastating blow due to much higher flood insurance premiums.
For more information on the annual meeting, see next week’s Republic-Times newspaper.