By Natalie Conrad
Herald Staff Writer
FULTON, Ill. —
City officials are preparing to position the community for growth and economic development as the federal prison near Thomson, Ill., comes to fruition.
Aldermen approved an economic development consulting agreement with Terry Rumery of Rumery & Associates to measure the growth for the community as the new facility opens.
“Something like this puts us in a better position,” City Administrator Randy Balk said. “You want to be as prepared as possible for an opportunity like this.”
The goal of the assessment is to determine how the city is situated to best position itself for the opening of the prison in Thomson. City officials agreed to pay the company $1,500 when the agreement was made effective Jan. 22 and $2,000 upon completion for a total of $3,500.
Located out of Chillicothe, Mo., Rumery has firsthand experience living in an area that already has a federal prison. He also has a proven track record in similar prospects through his work at the Governor’s office and previous experience working with smaller communities, like Fulton, experiencing economic growth, according to Balk.
“We’re hoping this assessment gives our businesses more assurance and keeps us on track,” Balk said. “This will give us the momentum we need to move forward.”
Rumery will present the results of the assessment at a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall.