FEATURES customers , and increased private investment . The jobs and additional investment mean more money for the community . And these improvements and expansions are completed without tapping into general funds or raising taxes because TIF enables municipalities to self-finance their redevelopment programs . In a TIF district , money for improvements are generated by businesses that are attracted by the TIF benefits . Money for infrastructure improvements comes from the growth in property tax revenues – the tax increment . President Dittmar not only thinks outside the box in creating an environment that is conducive to economic growth , but he approaches challenges as opportunities . He believes that it doesn ’ t hurt to fail . His mantra is “ I don ’ t say ‘ no .’ I say ‘ let ’ s see how we can do this . How can we make it happen ?’” President Dittmar has made “ it ” happen in Elizabeth . From the Grand Antique Mall to Dollar General , Midwest Medical Center , Northwest Academy , Three Sisters Sweet Shop , E-town , Hoskins Building Center , and Illinois Bank & Trust , businesses throughout the Village have succeeded as a result of the commitment to economic development . He
is quick to credit the Village Board and the Chamber of Commerce with Elizabeth ’ s success . In addition to TIF , there is also a strong commitment to “ pursue any and all grant opportunities .” The Village was awarded a grant in the amount of $ 2,056,000 in 2008 to address sewer problems . Although the grant was submitted prior to President Dittmar ’ s election , he managed it when he became president the following year .
It should come as no surprise that Elizabeth is a recipient of the Governor ’ s Hometown Award .
Since that time , the Village Board has worked tirelessly with Sharon Pepin of Community Funding & Planning Services in Stockton , IL . Two to three grant proposals are submitted annually . As one might expect , some are awarded , others are denied . According to records maintained by the State of Illinois ’ s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity , since 2010 , the Village of Elizabeth has received $ 726,790 to improve the town ’ s infrastructure and develop Terrapin Park . The Downtown Sidewalk Project was made possible as a result of a USDA grant in combination with TIF funds . While TIFs and grants have allowed President Dittmar and the Village Board to make significant improvements throughout Elizabeth , the Administrative United States Penitentiary ( formerly Thomson Correctional Center ) may contribute to the area ’ s economic development as well . Built between May 1999 and November 2001 , the prison is located just 30 miles from Elizabeth . After a decade of neglect , the Federal Bureau of Prisons ( BOP ) purchased Thomson Correctional Center from the State of Illinois in 2012 for $ 165 million . Two years later , in August of 2014 , Donald Hudson was named the first warden of the prison . And the following June , the first minimum security inmates arrived at the
Mike and Jonna Dittmar , Cora , Ella , Anna and Damon . Photographer : Olivia Redfern , StudiOlivia , Shullsburg , WI .