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Bi-State Celebrates 50th Anniversary

One of the early efforts at cooperation among local governments is now celebrating a milestone. And helping the Bi-State Regional Commission mark its 50th anniversary Wednesday will be top officials from both Iowa and Illinois. 

Executive director, Denise Bulat, says Bi-State was formed to meet the need for regional planning among local governments, and across state lines. 

Some of its major accomplishments include planning the West Rock River Bridge, coordinating and planning the Great River Trail and other recreation trails in the area, and coming up after years of planning, the new I-74 bridge.

"It's important that our elected officials have stayed focused on what the long-term priorities are and didn't change those priorities. Taking up the banner when you're the next elected official and saying "yes," those priorities that were set ahead of me, I will continue to honor. It's those kinds of leadership movements that cause big projects like the I-74 Bridge to happen."

In addition to transportation, Bulat says Bi-State has assisted local governments with land use and recreation planning, data processing, and grant writing.

Guest speakers at the anniversary luncheon in Milan on Wednesday will be the Illinois and Iowa secretaries of transportation, plus the first two executive directors of the commission, Bill Luhman and Glenn Erickson. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.