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WJBD - Local News - Centralia Economic Development Director Thanked For Her Work

Pam Byrd of the SAFE Organization listens as a proclamation is read by Centralia Mayor Tom Ashby as (left to right) Councilman Doug Krutsinger, Bill Jones, David Sauer, and Howard Jones listen.

Centralia Economic Development Director Thanked For Her Work

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

Centralia Economic Development Director Jeanne Gustafson has announced her resignation.  City Manager Dan Ramey and Mayor Tom Ashby both commended Gustfason's work.  Gustafson is taking the Economic Development Director's position in Salem.  Her last day with the City of Centralia will be May 3rd. Gustfason returned to Centralia in 2008 following economic development positions in Mt. Vernon, Vandalia, as well as Champaign and Coles County.  

The Centralia City Council has approved a Centralia Opportunity Fund forgivable loan to assist Sonya Gettinger in making facade improvement to a single story home that is being converted into a business at 1307 East McCord.  The new health and wellness spa will be operated by Stacey and Brock Jolliff.   The loan amount is dependent on the cost of the renovation, but is not to exceed $5,000.  The overall project is expected to cost $15,000 to complete.  The spa is expected to have four employees when it opens in July.   

Mayor Tom Ashby stated that the City will be soliciting input from other communities about how they handle the various liquor license questions that have arisen.  He stated that he will be discussing these issues with the City Attorney prior to bringing them to the Council for resolution.  Ashby wants to look at lower cost licenses for non-profit organizations.  

Mayor Tom Ashby declared April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  Pam Byrd, representing SAFE (Sexual Assault and Family Emergency) accepted the Proclamation.  She reminded everyone that help is available.  Bryd noted in 2012, SAFE worked with over 500 victims of sexual assault.  She urged anyone that is a victim of assault to contact their agency as soon as possible so the healing can begin. 

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