City council members and department heads met with new city administrator Stacy Barnes to discuss Greensburg's future.
Looking ahead was the them of a round table discussion with city council and department heads Monday Jan 14 at the Greensburg City Hall. The casual, open conversational meeting was set up to help determine future goals and for council members to express to city administrator Stacy Barnes what their desires for the city were moving ahead.
Barnes opened the discussion with a question about the city’s “Green and Sustainable” identity. Although is something that the city has been known for and received a lot of media attention and visitors about, Barnes said she feels like there is a disconnect between what the city is doing and what the actual people in the community feel.
Barnes asked for feedback from a personal perspective and from city council representation perspectives.
“I don’t know if we are that any more,” said city council member Hailey Kern. “ I don’t know if we have now what we had right after the tornado that made us green and sustainable.”
City council member said she thought it was to for the city to expand on what has been built up in the past.
“What we have has gotten us from point A to point B, and where do we want it to take us to C? I am always open to new ideas.”
Mayor Matt Christenson said that some things worked, and some things didn’t work out as well as the city emphasized green development after the tornado.
“What we have been, is a living laboratory and that is what a laboratory is, an experiment. Sometimes those experiments work out and sometimes they don’t,” he said.
Looking ahead Christenson said priorities will have to be made according to finances.
“We have limited resources so our money will depend on how much further we go with this,” he said.
Council members agreed that they wanted to look at what has worked over the last 10 years and build on that. No one wanted to dwell on past mistakes but instead it was time to look to the future. In an effort to do that, the council discussed having round table meetings with leaders and business owners in the community and then expanding to include everyone over time as needs and desires were assessed.
“We should be able to sit down with our friends and neighbors and have these type of conversations,” Barnes said.
The council will be looking for people in the community who are invested in it and willing to come along side by side and make a difference looking ahead to what is yet to come.
The group also worked to develop 2019 departmental goals and projects at the meeting. Items discussed included maintenance on buildings and city properties, potential projects and purchases and park development.
At the swimming pool park a picnic shelter has been purchased and will be delivered in March. There is a plan in place to put it up once concrete bids have been received and confirmed. City workers will be putting the shelter up. The council will be going back and looking at the park committee’s recommendations to finish out that park as planned.
Economic development, business park and existing business support was also discussed by the city council. A goal is to continue to be out and promote the Greensburg community to entice new businesses but at the same time support the local present businesses. The city is looking for local business owners feedback on how they can support them.
The rent on the Incubator Building was also discussed with council members continuing to work on the incubator budget so it will be sustainable. Over the last few years it has lost money. The council is also looking at trying to get more tenants in the building as there are still several vacancies.
The first phase of the city airport will be completed and it will be open this spring. The city is waiting on a few grants to finish it but it will be open with a turf runway by then. The paperwork will soon be filed with the FFA and it will be ready to go in the spring. Small private jets, recreational planes as well as medical planes will be able to land at the new airport. Phase 2 will be adding a terminal building and paved runway in the future.
City job descriptions were reviewed and none were changed. The city’s 5-10 year goals were discussed for infrastructure and maintenance plan development.