Champaign council to vote on updating city's economic development plan

Champaign council to vote on updating city's economic development plan

CHAMPAIGN — The city council will vote Tuesday on updating Champaign's economic-development strategic plan after five years.

T.J. Blakeman, the city's senior planner for economic development, said the idea for this vote is "just a matter of taking a fresher look" at the plan. If council does approve going forward with the update, city staff will propose ideas and a timeline in 2018.

Some ideas being considered, according to a city staff report, are better integrating council goals and policy directions, being more open to public input and laying out a better understanding of Champaign's economic strengths.

In September, the city council brainstormed its goals for the next two years and will vote on finalizing them in the coming months.

Blakeman noted that the current strategic plan was made before City Manager Dorothy David was appointed. She moved the economic development department from the city manager's office to the planning and development department.

"The organization and how we handle economic development has changed," Blakeman said about the restructuring.

If the update is approved, according to the report, it's slated to last around 12 to 18 months.

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