"Things typically take longer than people want them to," he said.
"We are such an instant-gratification society today, and this kind
of stuff just doesn’t happen instantly. "
Creating a strategic
plan for Lincoln and Logan County is going to take time and effort.
The group needs to start working toward that end now, and as the
mayor spoke, he let them know that he is prepared to forge ahead.
Mayor Keith Snyder began by saying: "I just want to touch base
with you real briefly on several different things. Dolan (Dalpoas)
had a comment up there about ‘action without vision is simply
passing the time.’ I want to share with you some things I’ve been
passing my time with."
The mayor said that he has seen a recent influx of interest in
the former Lincoln Developmental Center campus.
He told the group that the property is now in the hands of the
state’s Central Management Services. The campus had been the
property of the Department of Human Services. Now it is the
responsibility of CMS to dispose of it, and the agency is currently
exploring a wide range of opportunities, including other state
agencies and private entities.
He moved on to a quick report on Fifth Street.
He said that all the engineering is nearing completion for the
project. The city is ready to move on to the stage of getting
property, right of way acquisitions and utility relocation. He noted
that there is indeed funding for all of that.
He said that the bad news is the city is still about $3,000,000
short of what it needs for actual construction, but if federal
dollars would become available, they will be ready to move on and
get it done.
The next topic was the downtown area. Snyder said that Main
Street Lincoln was working on some beautification projects that
might be accomplished in increments of one block at a time.
As he spoke, county board member Kevin Bateman spoke out, asking
what was going to happen with Broadway. He spoke of the dire
condition that one of the city’s main arteries into the downtown
area is in.
"This may be the only time in my mayoral career I’ll be able to
say this," Snyder laughed. "We’re going to fix that!" The Broadway
Street project resurfacing is slated for later this year.
It had originally been on the schedule for last fall, and the
cost would have been covered through revenues from motor fuel tax.
However, the city decided to explore grant opportunities for a bike
path along the side of the road. In order to have time to apply for
those grants, they switched the funding of the Broadway repairs from
motor fuel tax to stimulus funds and adjusted the schedule to 2010.
There are also some commercial projects on the horizon for the
city of Lincoln.
The Kroger on the west side of the city will be putting in a fuel
station. In that same vicinity, in the parking lot in front of the
old Walmart store, there will be what the mayor termed as an
"out-lot" coming in.
Down the road to the east, Little Caesar’s Pizza will be going in
with Family Video on Keokuk, and the former Graue Pharmacy on that
same street is going to be repurposed into the Millwrights Union
[to top of second column]
Snyder also recounted state infrastructure projects slated for Limit
Street, for Fifth Street from Evans to Keokuk, and Salt Creek bridge
is slated for replacement this year.
Two grants have been applied for, and the city has yet to hear
whether or not they will be awarded $4,000,000 for the construction
of a new firehouse and 1.9 million for the fiber-optic broadband
In September, at the first summit meeting, Alderwoman Marty
Neitzel spoke about the various organizations within the city being
disjointed and uncommunicative. Snyder said he did take action on
that, and now there is a group that meets monthly.
The "Gang of Five" consists of Wanda Lee Rohlfs of Main Street
Lincoln, Andi Hake of the chamber, Geoff Ladd of the Abraham Lincoln
Tourism Bureau of Lincoln and Logan County, Joel Smiley of the
Lincoln & Logan County Development Partnership, and Snyder.
Snyder said they communicate to each other what their
organizations are doing, and they work to resolve any joint problems
that they are facing.
One of the projects going on in the development partnership right
now is the selection of a consultant for the Economic Development
Snyder said that the group at the summit needed to move in tandem
with the master plan.
The Economic Master Plan will be a study designed specifically to
determine what direction Lincoln and Logan County should go in
The consultant, who will be hired within the next few days, will
have the task of taking a hard look at Lincoln and Logan County and
what potential is in this area. As a portion of that, our town and
county will be compared with others, both locally and regionally. As
the consultants do this, they will establish attainable goals for
economic growth in this area.
Strategic plans, on the other hand, are written according to a
vision statement that aims to improve the quality of life in the
community. Such visions may or may not talk about historical
restoration and preservation, enhancing education opportunities,
affordable housing opportunities, and any number of other things,
along with economic development.
Working in tandem then, the strategic planning group will use
what they can gain from the master plan to assist them in setting
goals and establishing their measures.
Next, the mayor summarized what has been done,
what needs doing next and a structure for future actions. See
tomorrow's LDN for Part 6: Mayor outlines future summits.
[By NILA SMITH]
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