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Monday, November 18, 2019

City of Dekalb Economic Development Commission met May 3

By Kristine Gonzales-Abella | Jul 13, 2019


City of Dekalb Economic Development Commission met May 3.

Here is the agenda provided by the commission:

The Economic Development Commission (EDC) of the City of DeKalb, Illinois held a regular meeting in the Executive Conference Room of the DeKalb Municipal Building, 200 South Fourth Street, DeKalb, Illinois.

The meeting was called to order at 8:32 a.m.


Roll was recorded by Executive Assistant Ruth Scott, and the following members of the Economic Development Commission were present: Chair Trixy O’Flaherty, Vernese Edghill-Walden, Mohammed Labadi, Jeff Richardson, Mark Sawyer, and Sam Walt.

Also present were: Mayor Jerry Smith, Council Liaison/Alderman Pat Fagan, City Manager Bill Nicklas, Ex-Officio Members Paul Borek and Matt Duffy, and Transit Manager Marcus Cox, and Melanie Magara of Northern Illinois University.



Sam Walt moved to approve the agenda; seconded by Jeff Richardson. 


Motion carried by a voice vote of the majority of members present.


1. April 5, 2019.


Mark Sawyer moved to approve the agenda; seconded by Sam Walt. 


Motion carried by a voice vote of the majority of members present.


There was none.


Mayor Smith informed the EDC that the appointment of Grant Goltz would be brought before City Council on May 13, 2019 for review and approval.


1. DeKalb Economic Development Issues and Focus Efforts.

City Manager Nicklas provided a report regarding available parcels in Park 88, noting that one of the reasons the parcels have remained undeveloped is due to some easement issues with ComEd. However, it seems that those issues are being worked through. He also noted that there’s a developer who may be interested in one or more of the parcels.

City Manager Nicklas also provided a brief report on the redevelopment of the Mooney property, stating more information would be available on an upcoming City Council agenda.

2. Economic Development Commission Vacancies.

As noted by Mayor Smith, the appointment of Grant Goltz to the EDC will be reviewed by the City Council on May 13, 2019.

Mayor Smith also noted that member Mohammed Labadi intends to resign from the commission at the end of this year and asked for replacement suggestions.

Citizen Joel French was present at the meeting and expressed an interest in being appointed to the EDC at the end of the year.

3. Marketing Grant.

There was discussion regarding the creation of a resource guide for DeKalb residents that would include information on accessing services throughout the City with public transportation, including childcare and employment. Discussion surrounding this topic also included:

• An upcoming meeting with some of the employers within Park 88 would take place the week of May 20, 2019 in order to continue discussions regarding additional routes and the possibility of providing financial assistance to do so.

• How the resource guide would be provided to residents, i.e. in paper form and/or digital form. Consensus of members was to provide in a paper form in the beginning, followed by a digital format being added later.

• The possibility of a navigator program to assist those who aren’t familiar with riding a bus. It was noted that there are bus trackers on all buses except for those going to and from Sycamore and Kishwaukee College.

• Focusing on the Annie Glidden North area with input from the AGN Workgroup.

• The possibility of sending postcards to residents to bring attention to the resource guide.

• The timeline for creating and rolling out the resource guide, both in paper and digital form.

• The inclusion of the Countywide 211 service, which is a product of the United Way.

Concluding the discussion, there was consensus to provide a first draft of the resource guide at the next EDC meeting.

Mr. Labadi requested a copy of the TIF report to see how invested in properties are doing. He also requested a list of vacant properties throughout DeKalb. City Manager Nicklas stated he would provide both documents.

Mayor Smith stated that information from Mr. Borek and Mr. Duffy should be utilized for vacant properties within the city, adding that perhaps they could provide a report to the EDC on a monthly or quarterly basis. There was consensus that reports would be provided at every other EDC meeting.

Discussion ensued.

Ms. Edghill-Walden stated that the EDC had discussed earlier in the year the possibility of there being outdated City ordinances and policies that might be prohibiting businesses from coming to DeKalb. She added that it’s important to know what those things are so that the EDC can make recommendations for revisions.

City Manager Nicklas commented that the City Council would be conducting a workshop this summer, which would be open to the public, to discuss where the City is, where do we want to be, what are the issues and challenges that keep us from attracting and retaining business. He suggested that perhaps someone from the EDC should be present.

Discussion ensued.

Mayor Smith noted that the EDC is making much better strides that it was two years ago.

4. Park88BusRouteProject. See comments above.



Jeff Richardson moved to approve the agenda; seconded by Vernese Edghill-Walden. 


Motion carried by a voice vote of the majority of members present.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:39 a.m.

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City of DeKalb Economic Development Committee