Rantoul Tomorrow Objectives

  1. Producing a clear vision for Rantoul’s future through community wide engagement
  2. Overseeing the development of strategic plans for the five identified investment areas – housing, development, transportation and village infrastructure, coordinating with the school districts to assure completion of the personalized mastery learning strategic plan,
  3. Developing specific strategies to reduce poverty in the community,
  4. Creating a communications program for the Village,
  5. Increasing civic engagement in community activities, and
  6. Devising a community wide budgeting framework that involves all publicly funded entities within Rantoul.

Village staff contact:  Rebecca Motley, Economic Development, econdev@village.rantoul.il.us

Next Public Meeting

Each Advisory Task Force will meet once to twice a month and members of the public are welcome to visit. Posts on the Rantoul Tomorrow blogs recount proceedings from public meetings and are written solely by Advisory Task Force member volunteers.

Commenting Guidelines

The Rantoul Tomorrow blogs will provide the framework for many deep discussions about the future of our community.

Concerns often guide good critical thinking—don't be afraid to be negative but try not to hurt people in the process. Please note that your comment may require approval by our moderator.

Your voice matters!

Q & A from 7.25.15 Task Force meeting

1.       Can we attract white-collar businesses?  IN THE COURSE OF THIS PROCESS, THE DEVELOPMENT TASK FORCE IS CHARGED WITH EXAMINING THE AVAILABLE WORKFORCE AND TARGETING CERTAIN TYPES OF JOBS BASED ON A NUMBER OF FACTORS.

2.       What assets do we already have that could be developed and marketed?  THIS PROCESS WILL DRAW OUT THESE ASSETS SO THAT A VILLAGE BRAND CAN BE DEVELOPED.

3.       Can we be progressive and not simple recreate what we already have?  THAT IS A GOAL OF THIS PROCESS.

4.       Where is money coming from to move forward? Are we as a village staying within budget?  THE VILLAGE HAS BEEN VERY CONSERVATIVE, PRODUCING A BALANCE BUDGET FOR MANY YEARS AND REACHING THAT GOAL CONSISTENTLY.  PART OF THIS PLANNING EFFORT WILL BE TO FOCUS THE BUDGET ON AREAS OF GROWTH, AS WELL AS TO WORK ON ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF REVENUE IF NECESSARY.

5.       What action is being done? What is budgeted on this?  SEE #4

6.       Is the CEP being implemented?  THE VILLAGE WILL WORK WITH TAYLOR STUDIOS TO REVIEW THE CEP AS NEEDED AND IMPLEMENT SOME ELEMENTS OF IT.

7.       Are the Whitehall doorways being saved?  YES

8.       What actions are being to build reputation of schools? When? Who? How? What’s the cost?  THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS ARE WORKING IN THIS PROCESS ALONGSIDE THE VILLAGE AS WELL AS WITH THEIR OWN STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS TO ADDRESS THE CONCERNS OF POOR PERFORMANCE AND PERCEPTION.

9.       How many and what business are slated to come here?  THE VILLAGE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT CONTINUES TO WORK TO ATTRACT BUSINESS, CONCENTRATING PRIMARILY ON RETAIL TYPES CURRENTLY, I.E. RESTAURANTS, HOTELS AND CONSUMER GOODS STORES.

10.   Why is there so much movement within schools? THE MOBILITY OF THE SCHOOL-AGE POPULATION, PARTICULARLY IN THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS, HAS BECOME MORE OF AN ISSUE IN THE PAST DECADE, DUE PARTIALLY TO THE DECLINING AVERAGE INCOME OF THE RESIDENTS AND THE ACCOMPANYING SOCIAL ISSUES THIS BRINGS.  STABILITY IN RESIDENCE IS ONE OF THOSE ISSUES.

11.   Media? How treat Rantoul?  IN THE PAST 6 MONTHS, VILLAGE OFFICIALS HAVE SEEN MORE AND BETTER PUBLICITY FROM LOCAL MEDIA OUTLETS, DUE LARGELY TO MORE CONCERTED EFFORTS FROM THE VILLAGE TO INVOLVE THEM, INCLUDING ISSUING INVITATIONS TO MEETINGS AND PRESS RELEASES, AND DEVELOPING RELATIONSHIPS WITH INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF THE PRESS.  THE LOCAL TV STATIONS HAVE BEEN COVERING MORE STORIES AS WELL, PICKING UP INFORMATION FROM THE RANTOUL PRESS.

12.   When are we going to have a movie theater?  IN THE ANALYSIS OF WHAT TYPES OF BUSINESSES MIGHT SUCCEED IN RANTOUL BASED ON DEMOGRAPHICS (AN IMPORTANT INDICATOR TO PROSPECTIVE BUSINESSES), A DETERMINATION WAS MADE TO FOCUS ON OTHER, MORE LIKELY, TARGETS.  CERTAINLY, A MOVIE THEATER WOULD BE A WELCOME ADDITION TO THE COMMUNITY.

13.   Where will the new Rantoul Historical Society be housed? What can we do to bring this about?  THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY CONTINUES TO SEARCH FOR A LOCATION.  YOU MAY CONTACT THEIR BOARD MEMBERS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

14.   What will happen to our Theater Group?  THEIR BOARD WOULD LIKELY WELCOME ASSISTANCE IN ANSWERING THAT QUESTION.

15.   Can we create a Theater in the Park Yr. round? (@schools)  PERHAPS THE THEATER GROUP CAN CONSIDER THAT PROJECT.

16.   How do we create educational/employment opportunities?  BOTH THE DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSPORTATION TASK FORCES ARE WORKING ON THIS ISSUE.  SPECIFICALLY, THERE IS WORK BEGINNING BETWEEN INDUSTRIAL EMPLOYERS AND RTHS TO COLLABORATE MORE FULLY ON POSSIBLE INTERNSHIPS AND CURRICULUM AND SKILL SETS BEING TAUGHT.

17.   What is the state of Rantoul housing opportunities including long and short term rentals? Range of income of residents? Standards for temporary housing? (ex-migrant workers)  SEE HOUSING TASK FORCE PRESENTATION FOR THESE DETAILS

18.   What makes people leave town for entertainment?  LIMITED OPTIONS LOCALLY.

19.   Why do businesses turnover so frequently (e.g. restaurants)? THESE BUSINESS OWNERS ARE MAKING INDIVIDUAL DECISIONS BASED ON THEIR OWN SITUATIONS; HOWEVER, WE CAN AND SHOULD ENCOURAGE LOCAL RESIDENTS TO PATRONIZE LOCAL ESTABLISHMENTS.

20.   How many local industries offer living wages and benefits any way to make sure promised jobs materialize and stay?  THE DEVELOPMENT TASK FORCE IS WORKING TO ASSEMBLE SPECIFIC JOB AND WAGE DATA AND WILL BE REPORTING BACK ON THIS ANSWER.

21.   How many people in Rantoul would like the community to change?  THIS MAY BE ANSWERED MORE FULLY BY THE UPCOMING COMMUNITY SURVEY.

22.   What are the changes people, outside our select group would see as valuable for their family or themselves?  SEE ANSWER TO #21

23.   What properties are owned by the village and how big are they? Could they be used as a central gathering place for community events such as high school band concerts, choir festivals etc. Ice Cream socials?  THE VILLAGE PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT HAS PARKS AND FIELDS AVAILABLE FOR THIS ACTIVITY.  OTHER THAN THOSE FACILITIES, THE VILLAGE OWNS PROPERTY ON THE FORMER CHANUTE AIR FORCE BASE AS WELL AS SINGLE-FAMILY LOTS THROUGHOUT THE VILLAGE.  MOST OF THESE ARE FOR SALE OR LEASE AND MAY NOT BE SUITABLE.  CONTACT THE VILLAGE DIRECTLY FOR SPECIFIC PROPERTY QUESTIONS.

First Meeting of Rantoul Tomorrow Task Force on July 25, 2015

Approximately 40 people met on Saturday, July 25 in a group facilitated by Concord Netwerks at The Linden.  We got to know each other and proceeded to discuss dreams and hopes for the community.  Notes from the meeting will be available by Thursday, July 30 on this site.

The next meeting will be held in late September.  Between now and then, the Investment Advisory Teams (Development, Infrastructure, Housing, Transportation, Schools) will meet to formulate reports regarding existing conditions in Rantoul so we can work from data rather than perception and assumptions.