The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

La Harpe City Council Hears About County's Economic Development Summit

The La Harpe City council met with a full house for an audience, although, 3 alderman were not present on Monday, July 8th at the La Harpe City Hall.

Members of the Hancock County Economic Development board Jerry Bartell and Andy Bastert were at the meeting to explain what the board is about and to explain the need for a paid director.

The first Economic Summit was held in 2012 with an attendance of 91 people. From the results of this meeting, three task forces were formed: Jobs, Entrepreneurship/Vo-Tech training and Shopping Locally.

Existing businesses and organizations need a person to contact, who they can call anytime to work on issues on a daily basis.

According to the HCED, this director will create and implement a proactive economic development marketing and sales strategy that will increase Hancock County's ability to recruit, retain, and expand manufacturing, retail and service sector business while creating a greater awareness of the value of Hancock County.

One of the biggest assets so far is the Hancock County Retail Warriors page on Facebook.

Shop Locally Task Force head, Rob Carson started the page for countywide businesses and city events to be posted to the page to help promote businesses and tell people what is in Hancock County.

Some of the statistics shared at the meeting:

In other news, all of the parts needed to fix the lift stations are here and they should be up to code soon.

Neighbors in the southwest corner of town came to express their concerns over a property in their neighborhood that is being over-run with weeds, junk, trailers and even an old refrigerator with the doors left on it. They also brought to the councils' attention the rotting of the shelter house at the city park and the plastic covers being torn off of the lights under the shelter house. It was also asked if a security light could be added to the shelter house so you can see under it at night. Also it was asked if signs could be put up to keep people out of the park after dark. There was also an inquiry as to why if we have an ordinance on vehicles not insured, licensed or even running, why nothing is being done about them.

The audience was assured that the city is working with the gentleman on his property in the southwest corner of town and they will keep on him until the property is cleaned up. A public property meeting was set for later this week to talk about the Senior Citizens building and the possible fixing of the park shelter house and the shelter houses at the reservoir.

An ordinance for a Special Event Class C Liquor License was passed. This would allow someone with a Class A liquor license from Hancock, McDonough or Henderson counties to be able to apply to use the Class C liquor license for use of a special event.

A question on why there were so many stop signs placed within a block section of South C street across the tracks was asked. The board directed relocation of some of the signs, and a Warning sign will be placed in a location NORTH of the tracks to warn motorists of the speed limit.

The next council meeting will be Monday, July 22 at La Harpe City Hall at 7 pm.