Archive for Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Baldwin City 2020 visioning exercise

September 25, 2012

The Baldwin City Council’s summer-long visioning study identified three primary areas in which to improve the city by 2020. Those were make the city a destination city, stimulate job growth in the community and put in place staff and infrastructure that can support the effort.

The council also agreed to strategic goals and short-term action plans needed to realize its vision. Those are:

Destination City

Baldwin City should become a destination city that provides the amenities that people want and need in a premier bedroom community. We want Baldwin City to be a place where people want to live and visit which means a commitment to amenities and the revitalization of downtown.

Strategic Goals

• Baldwin City should have ne event each month to draw people downtown and attract visitors.

• The city should upport and develop a vibrant arts culture by partnering with Baker University and the Lumberyard Arts Center.

• Invest in public art and landscaping.

• Start façade grant program

Action steps in next 12-18 months

• Commercial Development agreement with Kansas Dinner Train, which will increase tourism and sales tax.

• $50,000 budgeted for gateway entrance or way-finding signs with a request for proposals sought in 2013.

• $10,000 for a grant program for façade upgrades downtown. City administrator is to present policy for awarding grants to the by February 2013.

• Increased funds for planting materials including planters for downtown and park beautification starting in spring 2013.

• Consider Kansas Sculptor’s Association stonework in City park

• Increase support for downtown events including Festival of Lights Parade.

Job Growth

The completion of the Intermodal project will change development patterns in and around Baldwin City. The council wants to position the community to attract new businesses and provide growth for existing businesses that provide jobs as well as attract residential growth.

Strategic Goals

• Develop community planning and infrastructure strategies to accommodate commercial development

• Develop and support economic development strategies to insure competitiveness

• Increase commercial and retail opportunities for business

• Maximize economic development opportunities with the Lawrence and Douglas County Chambers of Commerce.

Action steps in next 12-18 months

• Increase networking activities with regional economic development entities and organizations .

• Budget $30,000 in 2013 for economic development initiatives intended to attract new businesses with the potential for job creation.

• Establish relationship with economic development representatives in commercial development firms.

• Have a request for proposal on the street in the spring of 2012 for an economic feasibility study on a new business or industrial park.

Invest in city employees and Municipal Infrastructure

As the tax base increases and widens, the demand for city services will increase. The council recognizes that the city must have staffing capable of making the vision happen as well as investing in the necessary infrastructure to provide those expanded services.

Strategic Goals

• Maintain competitive employee wage and benefit structure to help attract and retain a talented and professional staff.

• Provide infrastructure improvements and amenities that attract people to visit and live in Baldwin City/

• Capitalize on technology to more efficiently provide city services.

Action steps in next 12-18 months

• Develop a five-year comprehensive improvement plan for infrastructure and equipment replacement.

• Conduct a streets inventory.

• Budget a wage and benefit review for 2014.

• Start online bill payments (started this month).

• Increase resources and strategies for staff development to enhance current employees and aid in vision plan development.

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