Michael Gowin served as the moderator
for the meeting and led the group through a list of wants and needs
that had been compiled in November at the first meeting.
The talks began with how to go about
creating a single source of information for everyone in the
community. The topic of building a one-stop-shop website where
anyone could find out anything they wanted to know about Lincoln
continued to come back into the discussion throughout the evening.
Gowin moved the discussion forward,
asking if anyone had addressed the topic of job shadowing that
appeared on one of the lists. No one commented.
Gowin moved on to the list that
included downtown revitalization. It was brought up that there are
revitalization projects in the works.
Gowin built on that, saying that
there are many things happening that folks don't know about. He said
it wasn't just about what was going on in projects, but also what is
going on in area civic organizations, as well as churches and other
Patrick Doolin commented that it
might be a good first step for someone to "inventory" the local
organizations, find out what they do and offer information about
them. Andi Hake of the chamber of commerce said the job might be
easier than one would expect because the Healthy Communities
Partnership is already working on a similar directory.
Jeanette Harris is a newcomer to
the Lincoln community. She talked about her former community in
McLean County and how the United Way was working on a central
directory of all social services in the county. She thought it would
be great for the Logan County community to have something like this
as well. She said she would be happy to help work on something like
this for Logan County.
After her comments, it was noted
that the Logan County United Way is working on a 211 phone project
and recently had a meeting to inform the public on this project.
Gowin moved on to the page that
mentioned cultivating the arts. He asked if anyone had talked about
this or done anything with it.
Kathy Vinyard said there is already
a visual arts group in Lincoln. The Logan County Arts group meets at
the Lincoln Art Institute. Vinyard said they have monthly art shows,
and they want to do more in the community to promote the arts.
It was also mentioned that there is
a creative writing group in Lincoln.
Another item on the need list was
for a dog park in Lincoln. David Lanterman said that he, Brittney
McLaughlin and Angela Stoltzenburg have been discussing this. He
said, however, what it came down to was not just a discussion about
a dog park, but rather all the green spaces in Lincoln. He said the
three had discussed how the green spaces are being used and how they
could be used better.
He mentioned the APEX at City
Center, the community garden spaces and more. He said he thought
there needed to be an inventory of all the green spaces in the city
and determine how they can be better used.
Lanterman said that in addition to
the three who are currently working on this, perhaps the city and
the park district needed to be in these discussions as well.
In regard to the APEX, he noted
that while it has been started, it needs to be moving forward.
[to top of second
At the first meeting, it was mentioned that there needed to be a
curbside recycling program in Lincoln. At the meeting Wednesday
evening, Mitzi Rohlfs of the Joint Solid Waste Agency was on hand to
review this proposal. That agency is the recycling program serving
Lincoln and other locations in Logan County.
Rohlfs offered a little bit of background on why the city does
not have curbside recycling at the moment. Prior to 2010, there was
a curbside program with Area Disposal picking up recycling materials
free of charge as part of their trash collection service in the
However, in 2010 the company determined that they could no longer
offer the service for free and implemented a $5 monthly charge on
recycling pickup. Rohlfs said more than 50 percent of the households
dropped the service then, but they didn't stop recycling. The Joint
Solid Waste Agency offers recycling in a variety of venues. There
are large dumpsters on the city lot on North Kickapoo for paper and
plastic. The agency partners with the Logan County Habitat for
Humanity for electronics recycling, and glass for recycling is
collected at the Logan County Fairgrounds from spring to fall, with
the service stopping during the winter months.
Lanterman said he was the one who brought up the household
recycling at the first meeting. He said that recycling at home was
something that could be a family activity, and it would be
educational for kids to get them started in the habit of recycling.
Rohlfs said she would support the change completely. Lincoln
Mayor Keith Snyder said that one way to possibly bring this back
would be to offer a waste hauler exclusive rights in the city and in
offering that exclusivity require that recycling be a part of the
Lanterman said that another part of the problem is that homes are
not required to subscribe to a waste service. He added that if they
were required, and if the fee for recycling was included in the
monthly rate, more households would participate in curbside
It was also brought up that there was a need for electronics
recycling and glass recycling. Rohlfs explained that those programs
are already in place. The second Saturday of every month there is an
electronics recycling collection at the Habitat for Humanity
warehouse, and glass for recycling is collected at the fairgrounds
in season. She said she provides public notices to all three local
media outlets the week prior to the Saturday events.
In Part 3 of this report, Gowin leads the group through bringing
up new ideas that were not on the original list from the first
[By NILA SMITH]
Past related article