The McLean County Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual State of McLean County on Wednesday morning at the Illinois Wesleyan University Hansen Student Center.
Local leaders presented their plans for the future, progress on current initiatives and strategies for improvement throughout the county. The speakers included Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner, Normal Mayor Chris Koos, McLean County Board Chairman John McIntyre, and Danvers Mayor Tom Caisley.
The speakers touched on the idea of collaboration between local governments as well as between public and private sectors. They say the local economy is not bad, but it could be better.
As local governments face tight budgets strained by flattening tax revenues, Renner said it is this collaboration that will allow McLean County to move forward.
“We’ve got the raw materials. We’ve got the talent. We just need to get our act together and to collaborate and cooperate for the future,” Renner said. “We need to have a new resolve to work together with our intergovernmental partners as well as the business community to make McLean County an even better place to live, work and play.”
In Normal, Koos said its new comprehensive plan will make the town “complete, connected and compact.”
“Complete in that it is made up of diverse and inclusive neighborhoods and destinations of every kind. Connected physically through a variety of modes of transportation. Connected socially because we recognize the vital contributions each of us makes to our community. And in the modern sense of the word, connected with residents and businesses who have access to and utilize the latest technology,” Koos said.
A plan to train first responders to handle mental health and behavioral problems is also in the works.
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