Rolling Meadows officials plan to work with the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity in an effort to fill vacancies, such as the Dominick's location.
"This is a group that's going to help benchmark ourselves to other cities doing extremely positive economic development," said acting Mayor and Ward 7 Alderman Tim Veenbaas. "We're chasing the best in class. We want a strategy and road map to get there."
One tool Rolling Meadows plans to use is an online site selection database that presents available properties to businesses looking to relocate. Called LocationOne Information System, the database includes available properties from 360 towns in Illinois and is embedded on the state agency's website. Rolling Meadows plans to input available properties and upload the database to its website within the next month.
Bryan Gay, a senior account manager in the department's business development office, met with members of the city council Tuesday to talk about the database and brief them on state incentives available to lure companies.
Ward 2 Alderman Len Prejna, who will be sworn in as mayor May 9, said he was anxious to work with the state.
"Rolling Meadows is in a rowboat right now, and if we'd like to join your cruise ship where we can get all the passengers and everyone else, that would be really great to help us," Prejna said.
Prejna, elected earlier this month to a two-year term, has said one of his top priorities is filling the now-vacant 11-acre Dominick's site on Kirchoff Road.
Aldermen also agreed this week to authorize a new business market survey that would solicit feedback from the city's 800 companies on strengths and weaknesses of doing business in Rolling Meadows. Under a $20,000 proposal from Vicarious Productions, Inc., businesses would be asked to complete the survey online or by mail, with a final report delivered to the city within three months. The last such survey was conducted in 2003.