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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

City officials see housing as priority

Thursday, April 12, 2012

McCOOK, Nebraska -- Housing emerged as a top priority as McCook City Council members and city department heads participated in their first pre-budget Strategic Planning Session, Tuesday evening, at Heritage Senior Center.

The meeting was coordinated by City Manager Jeff Hancock to provide useful budgeting information to department heads, in addition to providing an opportunity for councilors and city staff to share ideas and concerns pertaining to the future of the area.

Michele Gill, Interim Vice President of McCook Community College, assisted Hancock in facilitating the meeting. Attendees provided Gill with their greatest concerns and highest priority goals for the area which were then posted on the wall and ultimately ranked via a voting system.

City Councilors and department heads rank projects during a strategy session at Heritage Senior Center Tuesday evening. From left, Councilor Janet Hepp, Councilor Bruce McDowell, Chief of Police Isaac Brown, Public Works Director Kyle Potthoff, Councilor Mike Gonzales and Mayor Dennis Berry study the choices.
(Bruce Baker/McCook Daily Gazette)
The exercise provided councilors and city staff both with insight pertaining to differing perspectives on fiscal issues and strategies, as well as a platform for open conversation.

Hancock and city staff plan to take the information gathered and use it to develop a City Strategic Plan for councilors to discuss at the upcoming city council meeting.

The highest priority project, collectively ranked by the group, was the implementation of a housing development plan to alleviate the city's shortage of affordable housing. Several ideas were discussed, with Mayor Dennis Berry suggesting that vacant city-owned property be used to entice home builders and Councilman Jerry Calvin calling for a larger scale multiple unit housing project.

Replacement of the water department's 16 inch water main and landscaping the east corner of the Norris Avenue and B Street intersection were tied as the second highest priority projects on the city's 1-2 year plan.

Developing a process for the renewal of sales tax was the highest ranked item on the group's 3-5 year plan.

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