Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

July 24, 2013

Task force to examine Effingham city growth

Nicole Dominique
Daily News

---- — Effingham will get its once-a-decade in-depth look in the coming months as a planning task force puts together an update to the city’s goals and objectives.

Businesses and organizations from every sector of the city have been asked to join a planning task force following a review of the 2010 Census.

“We’ll look at goals and objectives the city had in place, look at what we did, what we did well and what to do differently,” said City Administrator Jim Arndt. “We’re making sure we’re on target and doing what the community wants us to do.”

About 20 people from industry, entertainment, housing, restaurant, retail, public services, the Chamber of Commerce and the health sector have been contacted to join the group. The first meeting is scheduled to take place toward the end of September.

After that, the group will meet without a city representative present, probably in October. A consultant will then come back to the city to share what was discussed during the meetings.

“It’s all designed to make sure we’re going in the right direction, as far as housing development, city growth,” Arndt said.

Other areas to be assessed include fire and police departments, parks and recreation, and commercial and transportation growth.

“We want to make sure we have a growth management plan and make sure how we want to grow is the way we should grow,” said Arndt. “It’s good to reach out to get input from the community. There’s a lot of value in that. … You know that old saying, ‘You can’t see the forest because of the trees.’ This snapshot gives us a better view of the forest.”

The task force will review its findings with city administration in late 2013 to early 2014, at which time commissioners will adopt a plan to reach those goals.

“It’s about where we’ve grown, where we’ve been, where we want to go and how we get there,” Arndt said.