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Economic Development Belvidere - Boone County, IL



This Issue

Up Close With Congressman A. Kinzinger, May 27th Pg. 2

Growth Dimensions works to promote the area effectively to potential investors, and bring together cooperative efforts to address concerns of the communities within the region. The organization also works with state, city, village, and county officials regarding development codes, standards and incentives.

You could say that I’m back where I started. A student of Belvidere High School, I went on to earn a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. I then spent 10 years working in the Chicago suburbs, mostly as a construction manager for a mid-size homebuilder. Nearly four years ago, I returned home to Belvidere when I accepted a position as field representative with Congressman Adam Kinzinger. Working in the congressman’s office gave me the opportunity to interact with several economic development councils, chambers of commerce and development groups in the territory that I covered. These invaluable contacts have led to a smooth transition in my new role with Growth Dimensions. I’m excited about the potential within the city of Belvidere and Boone County to create a stronger economy for all of our municipalities. One of my goals, so far, has been to reach out to as many people as I can. I’ve created a solution-based group the Business Development committee aimed at creating ways to move our communities forward through marketing and communications. Many of the people I’ve met so far have a strong desire to get involved in the process. If you’re interested, please don’t hesitate to contact me. No one can do it alone, however. I’m fortunate to work with a tremendous board of directors who are supportive of a shared vision for the future. It’s also a pleasure to work with Stephanie Henninger, our new economic development manager. With only two of us on staff, Stephanie wears many hats in her role and she’s great at what she does.


How Fares The Fair City Pg. 2

Executive Director Jarid Funderburg

I was thrilled to join Growth Dimensions last October as executive director, following in the footsteps of previous directors, Mark Williams and Kelly Galluzzo, who did a wonderful job moving economic development down the field, so to speak.


Poplar Grove Airport 2015 Private Airport Of The Year Award Pg. 2 Spring Reception Pg. 3 Sam Overton, Rock Valley College Pg. 3 Rockford Health System’s New Belvidere Clinic Pg. 3 Belvidere/Boone County Enterprise Zone Pg. 4 News & Notes Pg. 4

OSF HEALTHCARE: PROVIDING QUALITY CARE TO BOONE COUNTY Plenty has changed since Saint Anthony Hospital was founded by the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis at the corner of East State and Summit Streets in Rockford in 1899. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the system’s commitment to providing quality care to patients throughout the northern Illinois area. OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, a 254-bed tertiary care facility located in Rockford, is a member of OSF HealthCare, an affiliate corporation of The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis. OSF’s primary service area is Boone and Winnebago counties. Last year, OSF opened the Center for Health in Belvidere, 1954 Gateway Center Dr. The clinic offers PromptCare, walk-in 3D mammography, bone density testing, CT scan, labs, MRI, physical therapy, ultrasound and X-ray, along with three family practice physicians. Recently, the clinic expanded to make room for physical therapy services at the Belvidere location. In addition, OSF’s Lifeline Ambulance provides service throughout Boone County and the system has a primary care physician in Poplar Grove. In the year since it opened, the Center for HealthBelvidere has treated 5,848 patients. “We’re pleased with the support we’ve received in Belvidere” says Paula Carynski, president of OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center. “We’re committed to keeping a presence in Boone County and are always looking at ways to meet the needs of the community.” OSF’s commitment to Belvidere and Boone County extends beyond the medical facilities. Many employees actively engage in various organizations throughout the community. For instance, OSF has representation on both the Growth Dimensions and Belvidere Chamber of Commerce boards of directors, and OSF has hosted a number of health-related events through the chamber. In 2013, OSF Healthcare became a member of Mayo Clinic Care Network, which allows physicians access to Mayo’s evidence-based practice and gives local patients further peace of mind. OSF physicians can submit patient data or ask questions to Mayo experts, at no cost to the patient. “In a short amount of time, the expert can respond in the appropriate manner” says Carynski. “That’s a built-in second opinion without the expense, time and effort to travel to Rochester, Minn.”

Another recent development is an expanded partnership with Rock Valley College, who is building a Health Science Center on campus to help meet the growing demand for nurses and other health care workers in the region. The new 117,000 square-foot, four-story building will provide learning facilities for students in the nursing and allied health fields. To provide opportunities to nursing students beyond the associate’s degree, Saint Anthony College of Nursing will occupy almost two floors of the building and offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in nursing. The partnership will pave the way for students to earn a four-year nursing degree on the RVC campus. “It really gives our students a campus life” says Carynski. “They’ll be able to enjoy the arts, theater, sporting events – things they don’t have here in a hospital setting.” Construction is also on the main campus. OSF Saint recently received approval Facilities and Review Board new bed pavilion.

horizon for the system’s Anthony Medical center from the Illinois Health for the construction of a

The $85 million project will include the construction of a 144,247 square-foot, four-story bed pavilion attached to the existing hospital building. It will house 78 private rooms for medical and surgical beds. In the existing hospital, semi-private rooms will be converted to private rooms, for a total of 190 private rooms. There will be no change in the number of licensed beds. “Times have changed where patients now need private rooms for many reasons” says Carynski. “Along with privacy, the biggest needs are more infection control and incorporating the family into the care of each patient. Private rooms will go a long way to meeting those needs.” “We’re excited about all of the projects going on here at OSF” Carynski says. “It’s going to be a busy two years around here, but, ultimately, it’s going to provide a better experience for the patients and the communities we serve.”

HOW FARES THE FAIR CITY? Summer 2015 is seeing a lot of progress in Belvidere. The Irene Road Interchange goes live soon, and the Genoa Interchange ramps will be completed by Fall. A new Taco Bell is opening on State Street. We have added Lucky Poker, Slick Nickels, and Molly’s to the gaming parlor mix. Manley Ford’s new location will also be completed this year. An upscale Brewpub and restaurant is expected soon. Heritage Day’s 2015 was a bang-up affair. We expanded the Festival to three days, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, June 26th through the 28th. Many new events, including a Taste of Belvidere, a Gladiator Run, Maxwell Days Sidewalk Sale, a truck show, and Paint on State. A battle of local fire departments hose and barrel contest, and a Family Fun Frolic at the fairgrounds after the parade were enjoyed until the fireworks began and thrilled the crowds. Our sponsors continue to step up and wow us with their generosity. On the Regional front, the Mayor remains a constant activist and advocate for joint economic development efforts, focused on marketing the significant assets we share. Our partnerships with EDDNI and the CEDS group, now including McHenry County, offer new collaboration in information sharing and the building of a joint strategic vision. It is a privilege to work with young, inventive, and energetic minds. Jarid, Stephanie, Justin, Dana, Thomas, Sandra, Jimsi, Carrie, and Michael Dunn’s RMAP team are all contributing herculean efforts to move our region forward, from many perspectives. These folks are not 9 to 5’ers, they are whenever, whatever, let’s do it people. The list of organizations and relationships that these professionals contribute to, at work, and on their own time is remarkable. I am grateful for our investors and board members. Your continued support allows Growth Dimensions to move into a new day and work toward increased economic prosperity for all.

My humble thanks,

Mayor Mike

UP CLOSE WITH CONGRESSMAN A. KINZINGER, MAY 27TH Executive Director, Jarid Funderburg was able to coordinate a manufacturer’s forum in May 2015. Congressmen Kinzinger meet with several area manufacturers, local public officials and Rock Valley College to listen and discuss various needs of Belvidere-Boone County. Attendees were able to discuss manufacturing strategies, career and technical education training, work force development and current federal legislation to support the manufacturing industry. This event provided area businesses and local officials a chance to connect intimately with the Congressman and network with each other to continually improve our local community.

POPLAR GROVE AIRPORT IS THE RECIPIENT OF THE 2015 PRIVATE AIRPORT OF THE YEAR AWARD What else is new in Poplar Grove? 2015 will mark an exciting year for the residents of the Village of Poplar Grove. We have established a five (5) year Capital Improvement Plan for infrastructure improvements, established goals and objectives for our departments, began updating our Comprehensive Plan, and showcasing our lowest village tax rate in Boone County. We have been busy making contact with agencies, and business owners showing we are “Open for Business.” Commercial Corridor We are in the process of welcoming a new business along I76 in the Commercial Corridor of the Village. As we break ground for new development, it will showcase the Countryside Mall business location as a strong presence for our residents. There are still a few open sites in various sizes for any business needs. Downtown We continue to foster growth in the downtown area of Poplar Grove at the intersection of Poplar Grove Road and State Street. We welcome expansions to the popular destination Arturo’s Restaurant. This family restaurant has been a staple in the community for years. This expansion will add on roughly 2,000 square feet and provide room for banquets as well. Additionally, the Village is planning the development of an open shelter at Veteran’s Park which will be a focal point for the multi-use Long Prairie Trail. Industrial Growth The Village has invested in the engineering of the 173/ I76 intersection development. This investment will be the first step in laying the ground work for future growth. Additionally, the Village is working with Forrest Pallet on the creation of multiple light industrial lots to house business growth while creating future available lots.

Poplar Grove doesn’t just offer the great countryside living environment, we are anxious to diversify ourselves and create opportunity for our residents. Strategically located along 173 and 76, the Village is just minutes from I90, and just south of I43 in Wisconsin. This safe countryside environment is exactly what makes Poplar Grove the perfect home for your industry!



A spirited crowd of more than 160 turned out for the annual Growth Dimensions dinner, held April 23, at the Community Building Complex of Boone County. The 2015 Spring Reception highlighted the past year’s accomplishment of Growth Dimension, including the successes in job growth, capital investments and expansion projects by major employers in Boone County. “It was a very successful evening” says Jarid Funderburg, executive director of Growth Dimensions. “For the past 36 years, Growth Dimensions has been a part of many wonderful accomplishments in Boone County. We’re fortunate to be able to celebrate those accomplishments with the community. The number of people in attendance is another example of how our communities really support economic development in our area.” The keynote speaker was Jason Anderson, economic development director for the City of Rochelle. Anderson joined the City of Rochelle in 2005 as both economic development director and executive director of the Greater Rochelle Economic Development Corporation (GREDC). Since then, Rochelle has welcomed 15 new industries and facilitated 17 plant expansions. The industrial capital investment in land, buildings and equipment over this time exceeds $1.2 billion, $50 million in infrastructure, 4.5 million square feet of industrial space and more than 2,200 new industrial related jobs which have been created in the immediate Rochelle region. “Jason did an excellent job demonstrating how a small town like Rochelle can create an economic boom” Funderburg says. “It takes teamwork, cooperation and tenacity. There are plenty of lessons we can take away from the success on display in Rochelle.”

After serving the community since 2007, Rockford Health Physicians – Belvidere is proud to offer expanded services at its new facility at 1747 Henry Luckow Lane. The new clinic symbolizes the organization’s commitment to maintaining and growing its services in the Belvidere community. The new facility contains 30 percent more space than the previous clinic location, with more exam rooms, more office space, along with room for added expansion in the future. The clinic offers family practice, treating both adults and children; convenient care hours; and lab and x-ray services.

The Spring Reception was sponsored by OSF Healthcare, Gallano Trucking, Nicor Gas, Northwestern Illinois Building Trades Unions, International Union of Operating Engineers, ComEd, Williams-Manny Insurance Group, Fehr Graham, Winnebago County, Rock Valley College, General Mills, Alpine Bank, SwedishAmerican Medical Center/Belvidere, Rockford Health System, City of Belvidere, Boone County, and Belvidere CUSD #100.

GROWTH DIMENSIONS BOARD MEMBER PROFILE Sam Overton, Vice President of Administrative Services and College Treasurer, Rock Valley College

In 2003, Sam Overton joined the Growth Dimensions board of directors, continuing the long tradition of Rock Valley College representation on the local economic organization’s board. A native of Hume, Ill., Overton came to Rockford for a position with McGladrey, LLP and never left. Over the years, he’s served as the chief financial officer for various local companies before joining Rock Valley College 12 years ago. He and his wife, Deb, the dean of literacy support for Rockford Public Schools, have two daughters, Samantha and Suzanne, and a grandson, Jace. In a recent interview, Overton talks about the work of Growth Dimensions, the role Rock Valley College plays in the region, and the importance of collaboration in economic development. Why is the work of important to our region?




Growth Dimensions provides consistency in economic and residential development. It works with major employers, education institutions in both K-12 and higher education, banks and municipalities. Growth Dimensions is an organization that’s very long-term oriented. It has assisted in many positive things in Boone County with the tollway, Chrysler, and General Mills, to name a few. When I joined Growth Dimensions, I developed a rapport with other members of the organization and soon figured out ways Rock Valley College could assist companies in the region. For example, we’ve been involved in welding and safety training with Chrysler over the past couple of years, and we’ve provided supervisor training for General Mills. Transportation has seen a big improvement thanks to the expansion at the Chicago Rockford International Airport, the work on I-90 and the Irene Road interchange. In the future, having access to Chicago by rail will be helpful to Belvidere and if the passenger rail is extended to downtown Rockford that will be a huge plus for the region. This area has become much more commuter oriented. What does your work entail and how does Growth Dimensions play a role, if at all? My role at Rock Valley College includes overseeing

finance, facilities, police operations, information technology, and business operations. Because of the financial role, I know a lot of what goes on at Rock Valley College, what each department specializes in and what their growth areas are. That is extremely helpful when talking about Growth Dimensions and the needs of Boone County. That’s how the Dual Credit program, for example, expanded into Belvidere High School, which has been extremely successful. Through Growth Dimensions we’ve created many partnerships – Northern Illinois University, City of Belvidere, and Chrysler – to name a few. We’ve co-sponsored dinners or provided keynote speakers. Some of our employees live in Boone County and are involved with the community. We believe strongly in collaboration. What makes Rock Valley tremendous asset for our area?




We provide quality education at a reasonable price. Not all students are ready to go off to a four-year school; RVC can be a great first step. Students can continue to live at home or get an apartment and work a part-time job. We also have a tremendous adult education program; we offer GED courses and English as a second language. We have a beautiful campus. And our athletes are successful both on and off the field. Our volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball teams and softball teams have all won national championships. I think the community is proud of what’s taking place here at Rock Valley College. What do you like to do in your free time? My wife and I love to travel. We’ve vacationed with family and friends throughout the United States. Disney world is always a favorite because there’s so much activity. We like Arizona and the Blue Ridge Mountains. I’d like to take some driving tours like U.S. Route 66 and the Lewis and Clark Trail.

The team of physicians at the clinic includes: • Meredith Ulmer, M.D., a family practice physician who lives in Boone County with her husband and will be raising her family there. • James Phoenix, M.D., a family practice physician who is a new member of the Rockford Health Physicians team and long-standing Boone County resident. • Abbas Al-Saraf, M.D., a longtime Rockford Health Physicians convenient care doctor who will spend part of his time in Belvidere. • William Sandoval, M.D., a family practice physician, who will join the clinic as a new Rockford Health Physicians team member this summer. Sandoval is bilingual in both Spanish and English. To make an appointment, call (815) 971-3030. Convenient Care walk-in services are available Monday through Friday from 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

NEWS & NOTES ComEd has announced that its power system reliability in 2014 was the company’s second best on record, second only to the company’s 2013 performance, which was the best in company history. ComEd is among the top 10 percent nationally for electric reliability for commercial and industrial, based on benchmarking with peer utilities. Dawna Menke, administrator, SwedishAmerican Medical Center/Belvidere, has been named president of the Belvidere Chamber of Commerce. Make plans to attend the Neighbors Night Festival, Saturday, July 25, at Poplar Grove Lions’ Park in Poplar Grove. The day kicks off with a 5K run starting at Village Hall at 8 a.m. Other activities include Poplar Grove’s Got Talent contest at the NB3 Fire Station from 9 a.m. to noon; Vendor Tents/Taste of Poplar Grove from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Battle of the Bands contest at 5 p.m.; Lions Club pulled pork dinner at the NB3 Fire Station from 5 to 7 p.m.; music from 7 to 9 p.m. and fireworks starting at dusk. For more information, visit More than 200,000 people are expected to turnout for the annual Boone County Fair, August 11-16, on the Boone County Fairgrounds. The fair features a variety of activities, including food booths, carnival rides, animals, musical entertainment, beauty pageant and more. This year’s headliner is country singer Josh Turner. Daily admission is $6. For a full schedule of events, visit

BELVIDERE/BOONE COUNTY ENTERPRISE ZONE The Illinois Enterprise Zone Program is designed to stimulate economic growth and neighborhood revitalization in economically depressed areas of the state. This is accomplished through state and local tax incentives, regulatory relief, and improved governmental services. Enterprise Zones came about with the signing of the Illinois Enterprise Zone Act of 1982. The Belvidere/ Boone County Enterprise Zone was created in 1985, and has successfully assisted businesses in creating and retaining thousands of jobs and making millions of dollars in capital investment. Since 2005 alone, the Belvidere/Boone County Enterprise Zone has assisted businesses in creating more than 3,400 jobs and retaining more than 2,000 jobs. The Illinois General Assembly has amended the Illinois Enterprise Act. Because of that, all Enterprise Zones are being eliminated and communities must reapply. The Belvidere/Boone County Enterprise Zone will expire in 2016. Boone County, Belvidere, Poplar Grove and Capron are partnering to apply for a new, larger Enterprise Zone. It will include much of the current zone, removing residential areas and adding key commercial and industrial areas of the County. The Enterprise Zone Act provides businesses with several local and state incentives. Local incentives

Property tax abatements: Any taxing body may abate any portion of its taxes on improvements to commercial or industrial properties in the Enterprise Zone. The Belvidere/Boone County Enterprise Zone offers the following abatement schedule: 80% for the first year, 60% the second year, 40% the third year and 20% the fourth year. These abatements only apply to the increase in assessed value attributable to the new construction, renovation or rehabilitation. Taxes based on land and the existing structures will continue to be collected. Building Permit Fee Reduction: One-half of any building permit fee will be waived with certain information related to development activity within the Zone. State incentives:

Investment Tax Credit: Allows for a 0.5 % credit against the state income tax for investments in qualified property within an Enterprise Zone. Building Materials Sales Tax Deduction: Each retailer in Illinois who makes a qualified sale of building materials to be incorporated into real estate in an Enterprise Zone established may deduct receipts for such sales when calculating the tax imposed. E. Z. Machinery and Equipment Sales Tax Exemption: Allows businesses that create or retain certain numbers of jobs in an Enterprise Zone the ability to exempt sales taxes on tangible property for wholesale, retail sale, or lease. Utility Tax Exemption: Allows a business within an Enterprise Zone that meet certain requirements the ability to utilize a 0.5% exemption to state natural gas and electricity charges. Growth Dimensions is the local Enterprise Zone administrator. If you have further questions on whether or not your business is located within the Zone please reach out to them at or 815-547-4252. 401 Whitney Blvd. Belvidere, IL 61008 815-547-4252

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2015 Summer