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Grand Island Vision Task Force holds first meeting
Much of this week, Grand Island Mayor Jay Vavricek has been working to restore his image after his appearance in court. Friday he was back meeting with fellow employees on how to improve the city of Grand Island. He met with members of his Vision Task Force.
The 25 community members met for an hour and a half Friday afternoon. Friday's meeting was less about specific options and more about how the city can get feedback from residents.
"When you look about visioning, what the needs are and what people's aspirations are," said Vavricek.
A board behind Mayor Vavricek outlines the major interest groups of this project. Businesses, education, entertainment, recreation, youth, seniors and diversity are just the tip of the iceberg.
Many of those interest groups are represented within the task force.
Hall County Board of Supervisors chair, Pam Lancaster made a heavy pitch to include the input of surrounding communities, as well.
"I'm concerned about the Alda and the Doniphan and the Cairo and the Wood River. I feel that that's all part of this larger area and all part of our concern and our responsibility," Lancaster said.
Grand Island has seen a lot of growth and development over the past 15 years. Members of the task force want to make sure the city can remain a hub for central Nebraskans.
"We affect their lives, they affect our lives. You know, they certainly come here and do their shopping, many of their medical contacts are here, their doctors," said Lancaster.
Now that the city has been declared a metro, there's even greater responsibility to serve the community.
"We're still a farm community. We're basically an overgrown small town, but yet now we have a designation and also special needs," said Vavricek.
City Administrator, Mary Lou Brown is researching how other cities are developing. She'll bring specific options to the table at future meetings.
"Communities approach it in some different ways. We need to look and see what all of those are and how we can maybe bring those forward for consideration for the group, so that we find the best way to move forward," said Brown.
What the future holds for the city is yet to be decided.
"I am a great believer in the fact that if you are not moving forward, you fall back," said Lancaster.
Ideas like better public transportation and even another high school were tossed around at Friday's meeting.
But, the focus was really on including a greater portion of the community and representing the diverse population.
The next meeting is yet to be determined.
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