The OCEDC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, private-public partnership that works to “coordinate economic development policies, programs and services for Ogle County, its communities, employers and residents,” according to the organization’s page on OgleCountyIL.gov.
Before the vote, OCEDC board Vice President Darin DeHaan spoke about the organization’s request for funds.
“There have been multiple efforts to try and create a cohesive countywide economic development entity that can kind of be a clearinghouse and a leader for economic development throughout the county,” said DeHaan, who also is Oregon’s city manager.
Since 2017, representatives of various Ogle County communities, utility companies and state and regional economic agencies have worked on and off to create what ultimately became the OCEDC, according to the OCEDC’s business plan published in September.
The OCEDC’s articles of incorporation were filed with the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office on April 21, and the Internal Revenue Service granted it 501(c)(3) nonprofit status effective the same date.
“What we’re asking for is your ultimate financial commitment, and your commitment as elected officials, to start driving Ogle County forward with economic development,” DeHaan told County Board members.
Oregon, Polo, Mount Morris and Byron all have committed to providing at least two years of financial support to the OCEDC.
Its board of directors currently includes President Randy Schoon of Polo, DeHaan, Secretary Paula Diehl of Mount Morris, Treasurer John Rickard of Byron, Ogle County Board Chairman John Finfrock, Ogle County Board Vice Chairwoman Patricia Nordman and Karen Halstead of ComEd.
The OCEDC is in the process of finalizing a contract with an executive director, whom DeHaan declined to name; however, he said, “He was in the top 50 economic development developers.”
“We’re seeing cohesiveness and cooperation,” DeHaan said. “We’ve kind of torn down the barriers [between communities] – those borders that seemed to exist in the past – and are all working together.”