Friday, May 30, 2014
sponsored by

Four community organizations announce collaborative effort to better serve community

Send a link to a friend  Share

[May 30, 2014]  LINCOLN/LOGAN COUNTY - To more effectively serve local residents and businesses, four local organizations have been working since December 2013 on a plan that will move toward consolidating into one organization.

The Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Lincoln, the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County and the Lincoln/Logan Development Partnership are making strides toward that major step. Their goal is to make Logan County a place that is alive and thriving, with residents having employment and visitors traveling here to boost the local economy. These goals are based on feedback from community focus groups that were held in February.

Representatives from the four organizations, and community leaders, feel, based on feedback from community members, that it is important to reduce redundancies, maximize the limited resources available, while making sure there are results that positively impact the community and that the services remain strong and relevant to our community.

Community members also shared that they wanted to see the following:

Logan County have a clear, common brand for the community:

  • More job opportunities that can support families ($45K- $60K income level)
  • Local colleges thriving and growing
  • Education systems collaborating and leveraging each other’s resources
  • A sense of community
  • More medium-income and accessible housing available
  • A vibrant downtown Lincoln
  • Less bureaucracy/more collaboration
  • A better working relationship between County/City of Lincoln
  • Leveraging Logan County’s assets (such as the convenient location and new Lincoln Heritage Museum)
  • Logan County events well-advertised outside the community.

The organizations, along with the City of Lincoln and the county, hired a consultant to assist with the process. Marit Peters of Albuquerque, NM, came to Lincoln in February after spending several weeks working with each group to learn about Logan County and each organization.

In the two-day session with Peters, representatives from the four organizations and the city and county participated in a planning process to improve the community. They determined opportunities for alignment, and identified potential redundancy in programs and services. They also explored ideas for streamlining resources and identified ways to include many points of view in the collaboration.

After that session, Peters sent a recommendation for a new organizational design for the four organizations.

“It is my recommendation that Tourism, the Partnership and Main Street all fold into the Chamber of Commerce,” she wrote. “The Chamber is the most staffed and resource-rich organization and could accommodate the orchestration of all the functions with very little disruption to their operations. This would also have the least disruptive impact to the organizations as a whole.”

[to top of second column]

Peters further recommended that the new Chamber of Commerce be led by a smaller, newly-designed board which would represent the voice of residents and businesses throughout Logan County.

The groups have made great strides since Peter’s recommendation was released in March. The City of Lincoln passed a 2014-2015 budget that allows them to fund the “new Chamber” while funding the Partnership and Main Street Lincoln in a “ramp-down period”. Main Street has signed a contract with the City that will give them funding through December 2014 to allow them to meet all their obligations.

The Development Partnership and the City of Lincoln are still in talks about the Partnership’s “ramp-down period.” The Tourism Bureau and the Chamber are currently working together to make their merger seamless and streamlined as not to disrupt chamber and tourism services during this particularly busy time of the year for both organizations. They are in the process of hiring a shared employee as a first step. The Chamber board also has voted to move forward with the process.

Peters has been retained to come back to Lincoln in mid-June to help the organizations move into “Phase II” of the consolidation. With Peters’ help a process will be created to streamline the merger, including adoption of a mission and vision statement. A major component will be determining how to identify natural leaders to fill seats on the new board of directors. The participating organizations felt very strongly that Peters needed to pay close attention to helping create a way that communities throughout Logan County have a voice in the newly-created Chamber. The new organization will be a Logan County based organization and everyone involved wants to make sure the whole community is well represented.


As progress is made on phase II, the organizations involved want to make certain the community is kept abreast of the progress the group is making. The organizations plan to send out updates to the media and post information on the Chamber’s website as they continue to move forward in this process.


< Top Stories index

Back to top