Vision 2020 takes small-project approach toward the larger goalPublished 4:59am Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Vision 2020 laid the foundation for future projects in its first year by researching and tackling smaller projects through each of its 10 committees, as seen by the organization’s 2013 annual report.
—Sponsored “Plunging for Pink,” which raised more than $16,000 for cancer research at The Hormel Institute. Working with the city of Austin and the state Department of Natural Resources to add a canoe/kayak portage at the Fourth Avenue Dam in fall of 2013.
—Plans to build a stage at the North Main Street plaza for downtown events, with labor donated by Riverland Community College students. A stage dedication with live music is set for May 31. Working with the Austin Area Commission for the Arts.
Community recreation center
—Decided to pursue a shared-governance, shared-ownership project with the YMCA of Austin, the city of Austin, and other potential partners. Currently conducting a study to gauge public interest in various features and programs at the center.
Gateway to Austin
—Planning landscaping improvements along the Interstate 90 corridor for 2013. Pursuing overpass bridge enhancements, a bike/ pedestrian bridge over the interstate and a visitor’s center immediately off I-90.
Austin Utilities downtown plant
—Considering a residential focus for the building. Studying historical ‘era of significance,’ environmental implications of remodeling and demand for housing. Data gathered will inform business plan.
—Pursuing a collective impact project, modeled after the STRIVE program in Cincinnati, Ohio. Program would unite educational partners in measuring common outcomes and produce better results with limited additional costs.
Business friendly environment
—Launching a club to support entrepreneurs, inventors and business owners. Developing a suite of workforce development services to boost employee retention.
Community pride and spirit
—Creating a new mentoring program at Holton Intermediate School called “Peer Power Partners.” Working with Habitat for Humanity and the HRA on a neighborhood fix-up program for summer 2013.
—Pursuing an infrastructure project to install high-capacity fiber to each home, business, school and health care facility in Austin. Exploring the possibility of becoming Minnesota’s first “Gig City.”
Bike/walk trail system
—Added bike symbols to local trails to enhance navigation.
Additional trail will be built this fall by the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center. Planning a bike safety day on May 4 at the YMCA.
Launching a planning and assessment project this fall to make elementary and middle schools safely accessible by bike to encourage student and staff bike commuting, funded by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
—Source: Vision 2020.