Friday, January 29, 2010
sponsored by

Mayor hosts economic summit, round 2

Part 5: Where are we, where do we want to go, and how do we get there?

Send a link to a friend

[January 29, 2010]  Last Saturday as Round 2 of the Economic Development Summit was winding down, Patrick Doolin made a very relevant statement in the last words spoken in relation to strategic planning.

"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 Hall.

[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 network.

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 Master Plan.

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 economic development.

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.


Previous articles in series:
Mayor hosts economic summit, round 2

< Top Stories index

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching and Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law and Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health and Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor