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WHAT WE KNOW: In December, Aledo aldermen eliminated the economic development coordinator position formerly held by Tarah Sipes. The 30-hour position paid $30,000 annually. Mayor Chris Hagloch said the city was exploring a contract with a downtown revitalization firm.

WHAT'S NEW: On Tuesday, aldermen approved an agreement with 353 Court LLC of Pekin, a downtown revitalization firm operated by Todd Thompson and Steve Foster. Representing the company, Erik Reader said the group will form a strategy to cultivate local entrepreneurs.

“We’re excited about it… it’s a lot of work, and it’s certainly a challenge, but there’s a lot of opportunity here,” he said.

WHAT'S NEXT: The company will begin Feb. 1. The contract can last up to four years, and will cost $103,125 the first year paid with TIF funding on a monthly basis. In 2020 the cost will be $112,500, and $56,250 in 2021 and 2022.

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Mayor Chris Hagloch said the firm had proven itself through its work revitalizing Havana, Ill., a town similar in population to Aledo.

“They’re passionate about what they do. ... They just seem like a good fit.”

— CALA SMOLDT/mercerconews@gmail.com

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