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Hancock County Surveys Residents

Photo courtesy of Infobahn Outfitter, Inc.

Residents in Hancock County are being solicited for their opinion in a regional survey.

Western Illinois Regional Council’s Planning Coordinator Shannon Duncan says this is an opportunity for locals to weigh in on several hot button issues including education, economic development, land use and transportation.

Feedback from the community will be included in the development of a comprehensive plan for the county. That document acts as a guidebook for current elected officials and last between 5-10 years.

“It is a document that is often used in court to ensure that there isn’t someone on a county board who is just arbitrarily making decisions,” Duncan says. “That’s not how local elected officials are supposed to function. It actually has a legal standing in that it’s the basis in how they are supposed to be making some of their decisions.”

A few thousand questionnaires have been mailed to residents. Those not randomly selected can still participate by filling one out online or picking up a hard copy at the Hancock County Courthouse or at local libraries in Augusta, Bowen, Carthage, Hamilton, La Harpe, Nauvoo, Plymouth and Warsaw.

Survey responses are due back to WIRC by Friday, March 14th, 2014.

As we previously reported, a $125,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is paying for the surveys, development of the comprehensive plan and WIRC’s work in addition to county mapping and hazard modeling.

The Western Illinois Regional Council wrote the grant application for Hancock County at no cost.

Emily Boyer is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.