WIUM Tristates Public Radio

New Director to Draw on Vast Experience

Jan 31, 2012

Carthage's new Community Development Director brings a lifetime of experience to the job.

Bob Livingston spent over five decades in the plumbing business in his home state of Pennsylvania. Since moving to Illinois, the 91 year-old has helped bring rural water service to Henderson County. He was a VISTA volunteer with that county's Economic Development Corporation for three years.

He said between his business experience and his work on the water district, he feels well-prepared for the new job.

Livingston said job creation is always a priority. Carthage is ready for development.

He said, “The industrial development corporation has ground. We have other facilities We've got water. We've got sewer. We have electricity. We have the basic things, including natural gas, that we need to attract industry.”

While he wants to see more business activity, he would also like to see tourism give the local economy a boost by encouraging drivers to exit Route 110 at Carthage.

He said,  “We need the bucks in here. We need the sales tax. We need all the things that come with it.”

He said networking will allow him to connect businesses with resources they might need but not know exist.

Livingston spent his first weeks on the job reviewing files to prepare himself for the task. He said the lines between community development and economic development are blurred and he will have a role to play in both.

He already has a big job-organizing the celebration of the 175th anniversary of the town's founding.

Livingston replaced Charles Bair, who retired in December.