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Discovering Emmetsburg

June 23, 2010 - Jane Whitmore

Often we are so familiar with our surroundings that we fail to see what’s there. This week, June 22 and June 23, we will be taking another look at our community as we “Blueprint Emmetsburg.”
Through the years we’ve been a part of several community plans. We saw downtown transformed with sidewalk renovation. Emmetsburg Visioning involved numerous community committee groups. But perhaps the most participation by community residents was The Storm.
Each of these processes served its purpose, yielding great results. Each time we witnessed growth through community awareness and community projects.
Now we move on to:?Blueprint Emmetsburg. Two goals are answers to the questions: What do people see? How do people look at the community?
A lot of background work on Blueprint Emmetsburg has already been completed. Certified community planners Debi Flanders and Catherine Bergman have studied information about Emmetsburg and are ready to tour the town and meet the people.
Today and tomorrow, Debi and Catherine will interview residents and business owners. Your impression of our community is very important as the picture of Emmetsburg develops.
This two-day assessment is a tool which will focus on downtown development: physical, the design of downtown; social, how downtown is promoted; economic, downtown business improvement; and political, the organizational structure of downtown.
Here’s the agenda: today (Tuesday) tour the downtown community and visit local businesses. In addition to a walking tour of downtown, the team will drive around Emmetsburg to see an overall view of the community.
Today and tomorrow, interviews will be held with city officials, development groups, members of the community and representatives of community groups.
Time has been set aside for a work session for the team to begin outlining its observations and recommendations.
We need you Wednesday evening. A community meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Iowa Lakes Community College. Team members will share their observations and make recommendations for the community. The downtown development professionals will finalize their visit with a written report, a comprehensive plan for Emmetsburg.
Blueprint Emmetsburg is our journey to set the path for our community. We will receive recommendations on the direction Emmetsburg should take, the strengths and the weaknesses of the community.
Do your part in the blueprint process by attending the community meeting Wednesday night. Embrace this opportunity to learn about your community.
See you at the college.                           --Jane Whitmore


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