By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The Madison County Chamber of Commerce will soon hire a director for its economic development arm, the Madison County Future Community Improvement Corp. (CIC). The Madison County commissioners are investing $200,000 in county funds over the next three years in support of the new position.
The commissioners recently started planning for a new water tower at I-70 and U.S. Route 42 to serve existing businesses in the area and attract new ones. They said they like the idea of having a point person in the county who can help promote and carry out such economic development.
“The next three years will be exciting. It’s going to be a period of growth,” said Commissioner David Dhume.
The new economic development director will be a full-time employee of the CIC and report to Bill Blazer, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce. When the commissioners first talked about providing financial assistance for the hire, there was a possibility the person would work as a county employee. Due to their “enormous confidence” in Blazer leading the initiative, the commissioners said they were happy to leave it in the Chamber’s hands.
Previously, the Chamber director also served as the county’s economic development director.
“We decided we needed two people instead of one, to share the work load. It’s just a lot for one person to handle,” Blazer said.
Blazer screened three applicants for the economic development director position and called two in for interviews on Oct. 9. One applicant hails from Springfield and the other from Columbus. Both have master’s degrees in public administration.
“I’m confident we’re going to get a good person,” he said, stating that the CIC hiring committee likely will name the new director by the end of October.
The Madison County Future Inc. CIC is made up private and public partners who invest time and money into promoting the economic development of Madison County and its communities. The CIC is governed by a 10-member board of directors. Dusty Parker is board president.