Published On: Thu, Apr 13th, 2017

City leaders looking at economic development strategies

RANDOLPH — Sustainable strategies are being put in place for the City of Randolph.
After 30 years of having community development at a standstill because of problems caused by being in a floodplain, the City can now take steps in anticipation of growth opportunities in the future.
A public meeting and a workshop will be held to discuss ideas and identify steps that can be taken to grow the Randolph community in a more sustainable way.
Having the floodplain building moratorium lifted will create new opportunities for the city, according to Randolph Economic Development Director Gary Van Meter.
Randolph is only one of 20 communities from across the nation that has received a Technical Assistance Sustainable Communities Grant.
Technical Assistance grants, which are a step away from monetary grants, are developed to teach communities how to work together in locally organized programs that can effectively utilize tools available from area, state and national resources.
“Up until now, Randolph has not been eligible to use many of the assistance programs because of the floodplain,” Van Meter said. “The Technical Assistance Grant will help identify programs to implement when the floodplain designation is lifted.”
On April 27, a lunch will be held at the meeting room at the Senior Center with city, school and businesses, organization leaders, the Corps of Engineers, FEMA, county commissioners and others. The lunch will be followed with a community tour that includes neighborhoods, the business district, Hwy 20, the new TIF development property and the floodplain project.
The sustainable strategy project will be introduced at a community meeting which will be held from 6-8 p.m., April 27.
Questions can be asked and public input is welcome during the evening meeting.
“We encourage area people to attend this public meeting and share their ideas,” Van Meter.
A workshop will be held the next day, April 28, to identify opportunities and put strategies in place to take action on a plan for the community. The input and voices heard at the Town Hall meeting held the prior night will be included in the workshop.
Representatives from FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Center for Rural Affairs, NE Nebraska Economic Development District, Nebraska Dept. of Economic Development, NPPD, along with city council members, the mayor, Planning Commission members. Randolph Community Foundation members will take part in the meetings and workshop Friday.
Cedar and Pierce county officials will also be invited.
The workshop Friday is designed to be by invitation, but there is room for anyone wishing to attend, according to Van Meter.
Registration must be done ahead of time by calling 402-337-0142.
The target date to sign the plan for removing the floodplain from the City of Randolph is in August.
The estimated cost for the city’s share of the project comes in at $2.4 million.