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St. Charles mulling options for economic development department

Published: Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – The city of St. Charles has not yet chosen a new economic development director, a post Chris Aiston left July 31.

City Administrator Mark Koenen said staff members are determining the best structure for the city, as well as its needs.

Short term, he said, those in other departments, such as Community Development Director Rita Tungare, can cover the economic development department responsibilities.

Mayor Ray Rogina echoed Koenen’s statements. He said the city is evaluating its options and is asking such questions as, “Can we do this more efficiently?”

Rogina expects staff will present options to the St. Charles City Council by the end of the year. He said that doesn’t mean the council will take action by then.

Another position in the economic development department – the coordinator post – has been open since Michael Mertes left in early July for a job in another suburb. Koenen said the city will address the director position first.

Since Mertes’ and Aiston’s departures, aldermen have reviewed concept plans for the First Street Redevelopment project and have been presented with a vision for Charlestowne Mall by its pending new owner.

Rogina noted some properties have been purchased as well.

“We have not missed a beat,” Rogina said. “I’m very proud of our current staff and how they’ve been able to provide information and meet with all the individuals involved in these transactions.”

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