Monona part of community visioning program

Error message

  • Warning: array_merge(): Expected parameter 1 to be an array, bool given in _simpleads_render_ajax_template() (line 133 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/
  • Notice: Trying to get property 'settings' of non-object in _simpleads_adgroup_settings() (line 343 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/
  • Warning: array_merge(): Expected parameter 1 to be an array, bool given in _simpleads_render_ajax_template() (line 157 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in include() (line 24 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/templates/simpleads_ajax_call.tpl.php).

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Monona is one of 10 Iowa communities selected to participate in the Iowa’s Living Roadways 2016 Community Visioning Program.

Sponsored by the Iowa Department of Transportation in partnership with Iowa State University Landscape Architecture and Extension and the non-profit Trees Forever, the program integrates technical landscape planning and design techniques with sustainable community action to assist community leaders and volunteers in making sound and meaningful decisions about the local landscape.

Beautification will be a large aspect of the program, said Monona Chamber and Economic Development (MCED) Executive Director Rogeta Halvorson, who applied for the grant for Monona to be part of the program. Monona can also expect to receive advice on developing safe trails and routes through the community.

The vision, she said, will be up to the city’s steering committee and the community as a whole. The steering committee is made up of Halvorson and 14 other current and former community members of all ages and backgrounds. They’ve all agreed to devote their time and talents to the visioning process.

“We really wanted a mix of young and old, male and female,” Halvorson said.

The 2016 program will kick off Friday, Nov. 20, in Ames. Halvorson and at least eight other members of the steering committee plan to attend.

“People who got the 2015 award will share their experiences and projects,” Halvorson said of the event. Those groups will also listen to the needs of Monona and the other 2016 communities and offer feedback. 

Beginning in February and March, Monona will begin holding a series of meetings, where the public is invited to share ideas to enhance the community. Halvorson said a survey may also be done to determine the city’s needs.

“It’s not just what the committee wants, but the whole community,” she said.

Program facilitators will then take those ideas and draft plans, which they will bring back and present to the community. The process will be completed by October.

“Monona can then use that as a plan and sit down with the chamber, the public and the council to decide what to work on,” Halvorson stated. “The city can set aside funds and we’ll know how much to fundraise for.”

She said the program facilitators can also help Monona identify grant opportunities.

Receiving the grant is huge, Halvorson said, because Monona receives thousands of dollars worth of technical advice. The city committed $2,000 toward it, through already budgeted funds.

“It’s a huge effort in a short amount of time,” she said.

Monona has experience with the program, though, having participated in 2007. Most of the plans developed then, including work downtown and at Gateway Park, have been completed. Halvorson also has experience with the program, as she helped McGregor several years ago. Since 1996, 225 communities have taken part in the visioning program.

Halvorson said she hopes community members will get behind the program.

“We want to reach out to family, friends and businesses because what’s good for Monona is good for everyone,” she said. “I know this is going to be a great experience. I’m so excited for Monona.”

Rate this article: 
No votes yet