Four months of planning and design work has produced a road map for the future of Valley County. Prepared, designed and delivered by landscape architecture graduate students from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Vision Valley County 2020 is a vision for our shared future.
Yesterday, the students delivered the results of their hard work. The recommendations were taken in part from community listening sessions with area residents and local leadership. They are also the product of what young people (our college students) find valuable in small towns like Ord, Arcadia, North Loup and Elyria. These recommendations serve as possible idea points from the very people we’re trying to recruit back to our communities.
Five final proposed outcomes were given to community leadership. Those outcomes included in the effort were:
– Downtown Revitalization Phase 2
– Riverfront Development along the North Loup River
– Green Seams Linear Paths
– Anderson Island Improvement
– Countywide tourism development along the N. Loup River
These proposed investments are not important for today, but potentially important investments for the future of Valley County. Is it important for us to increase the tax base with additional investment in housing stock and commercial property space? Does it matter if Ord is a walkable community? Does downtown Ord warrant a phase 2 revitalization effort?
Where do we go from here? The recommendations are beefy in nature and yes, some could potentially cost a lot of money to execute. What is important for us, however, is to determine which ideas are solid, fundable and feasible. Local leadership, including members of the Valley County Economic Development Board, Ord City Council and Valley County Board of Supervisors now have some work to do. The first question we must ask ourselves is: which of these plans developed from community visioning sessions, public input and creative design work are feasible? Are they worth the effort? If so, how are we going to develop an implementation strategy to tackle bold opportunities?
Local leadership will be meeting in early 2012 to begin that effort. Until then and in the meantime, the story boards for each major investment area will be available for public viewing through this week. Stop by the Chamber office (1514 K Street) and let us know what you think.
Are these proposals sound concepts for the future? Tell us what you think!
Editor’s note: A very special thank you to the students hard work in this effort. Nebraska is lucky to have the talents of such enthusiastic young people directed toward rural communities. I appreciate your efforts greatly! ~ Caleb