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New Economic Development Plan for Clinton Area

The Clinton Regional Development Corporation is well on its way to raising the money it needs for the next five years. Thursday leaders announced donations from the private sector exceed one million dollars, and the public phase of the campaign will begin in December. The overall goal is 2.5 million dollars.

President and CEO Erin Cole says the focus of their new five year plan will be business attraction and retention, and workforce development. And one way to attract new workers is their student loan payback program. 

"For example of you're a person living in Clinton County and Clitnon, it's residency based, you can now receive up to 2 dollars a day for 365 days, up to 5 years, to pay back your student loan."

Several school districts in Clinton County have also joined this program.

Cole says the development corporation also adds 1,000 dollars to a state program that gives veterans 5,000 dollars to buy a home.

"So if you're a military veteran moving into Clinton County or purchasing your first home here, you could receive up to 6,500 dollars towards doing that."

And that’s encouraged some of the new staff at the Thomson prison in northwestern Illinois to live in Clinton County. 

She says since it was founded in 1953, the CRDC has created a new strategic plan every five years, and then raised the money to implement it. 

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.