The future of a partnership between The Alliance and the City of Effingham is on shaky ground.
The Alliance recently requested a $25,000 contribution from the city that would cover membership for the organization, which offers assistance with economic development within the city.
The Alliance members Claude Hudson and Dan Woods touted the benefits of the organization during Tuesday’s city council meeting.
“By joining the foundation (last year), you really stepped up and showed leadership,” said Woods. “You demonstrated a gratitude to over 50 local business that are also members.”
Hudson explained the history of the organization and its vision for the future.
“Our intent is to bring good-paying jobs into the county,” he said.
Hudson cited a recent instance in which Southeastern Container was considering relocating to Wisconsin.
“We were pleased to be able to support that effort to keep the business here in Effingham,” said Hudson.
The Alliance, which was started as the Effingham Civic Foundation in 1943, has assisted in development on projects that have shaped Effingham, said Hudson. Those have ranged from the construction of St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital after the fire in 1949, to an effort to keep a major employer, Quebecor World Color Press, in Effingham. Although results of those efforts have varied, with Quebecor eventually closing that plant, Hudson said the city benefits from efforts by the organization’s members, which comprise of local leaders in business and industry.
“We are doing this because when that opportunity comes, we have to be prepared,” he said.
Hudson reported that the organization has more than $500,000 available for use. Those funds include $129,000 from the organization’s former establishment as Effingham County Economic Development Foundation that has been invested, as well as dues from businesses and other municipalities that are members of The Alliance, including Teutopolis and Dieterich,