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Crestwood hosts Jan. 21, 2016 dinner meeting at Midlothian Country Club

SSMMA President and Olympia Fields Mayor Debbie Meyers Martin and Crestwood Mayor Lou Presta

SSMMA President and Olympia Fields Mayor Debbie Meyers Martin and Crestwood Mayor Lou Presta at the Jan. 21, 2016 dinner meeting at the Midlothian Country Club

Congressman Bobby Rush discussed the potential benefits the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation” (FAST) Act five-year transportation bill can bring to the region at the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association’s dinner meeting. The event was held on Jan. 21, 2016 at the Midlothian Country Club, and hosted by Crestwood.

The FAST Act is a fully paid-for reauthorization of federal highway, transit, highway safety, motor carrier safety, hazardous materials, and passenger rail programs. Rush invited municipalities to a February federal transportation overview seminar to learn how to get projects funded. Details will be shared as they become available.

During the meeting, the association also corrected and approved a 2016 legislative policy statement to be presented to lawmakers in February and May. In addition, updates were provided on the Water Supply Task Force, Enterprise Zones, transportation projects, housing initiatives, economic development activities and Diversity, Inc.

Highlights include: • A new contract has been signed between Ardagh in Dolton and the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation/SSMMA to recruit and train manufacturing employees. • The Housing Collaborative seeks input on the needs of all SSMMA communities. • The Collaborative’s meeting on February 11 will focus on the real estate market, and in March there will be a transit-oriented development coordination meeting to match projects with loan funds. • Cal Sag and Will/Cook County Enterprise Zones have been certified and the Calumet Region Enterprise Zone application was submitted Dec. 31. Amendment applications to add communities to the Calumet Region and Lincoln & 394 Enterprise zones are under way.

A CMAP representative invited association members to a “Next Plan Launch” to help develop Chicago’s next comprehensive regional plan Feb. 24, 2016, 9:30 – noon at 233 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606. Visit to register for the event.

Finally, Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau President Jim Garrett announced that Richton Park Mayor Rick Reinbold had been appointed a seat on the CSCVB’s Board of Directors, representing SSMMA.

More photos are here.

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