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Last Wednesday I attended the third MCEDC Economic Development For the Future Meeting at Swan Lake. Culver was represented at this meeting by Bill Githens, Dave Schoeff and Ginny Munroe. This meeting had a “report card” kind of feel. In the previous two meetings we talked about what MCEDC needed in order to help the communities and about a list of goals for each of the communities. At this meeting we listed all of those goals along with all of the associated action steps on poster boards and asked the communities to report on their progress. All of them were able to point to some of the good things they have done and areas where work was needed. A couple even added additional goals to their list.
Culver’s list was one of the longest, but that is partly due to me being an activist, as you can see from my comp plan map The Culver list is shown at the right and you can blow it up to see what is on it (feel free to step up and accomplish anything on there you would like to!)
This meeting was the first that Ginny had attended and it was interesting to hear her comments on how it energized her. Seeing how other community representatives were stepping up and taking ownership on projects was an important goal for MCEDC in these meetings. We hope to instill some civic pride and civic competition and we seem to be achieving some success.
We have already scheduled a follow up meeting for the fourth quarter of 2013 and hope to build on the successes we have seen so far. This program is already paying back with some exciting dividends.
On Saturday, I sat in on another focus group meeting on the Culver Comprehensive Plan. This one was specific to the Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Council and Fund. It was a fairly good discussion and several achievable goals were added to the consultant’s list for the plan. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more discussion about why goals from the previous plan weren’t met and how to achieve that, but overall I thought it was positive.
As with every single Culver meeting on the Comprehensive Plan that I’ve attended, the subject of affordable housing came up. This is such a nebulous term that is thrown around with people at the table talking about houses currently available in town for $70,000, others talking about the $125,000 to $250,000 range and also the eco-friendly housing project that has been floated around which is looking at the $250,000 range. To help me get a handle on it, I asked a banker friend to break it down. (This is all in big fat round numbers, so don’t get too picky on my math, please!)
If you haven’t done so yet, check out the mapping tool at the Culver Comprehensive Plan site here. The one I did (see right) looks like it’s pretty diseased! Others have done them and only put one or two things on there that were of most importance to them.
Each dot and symbol on the map to the right has a different meaning and text associated with it. If you go to the site, you can look at any of the maps that have been created by others and read the comments they have made. Make your own map. If all you do is reiterate what someone else has said, you will add weight to that issue. If you have specific goals or comments, this is the place to get them heard. Developing a new Comprehensive Plan is a team sport. Get on the team!
If you haven’t noticed, the Culver Little League has new dugouts. Last week we donated some Butler Manufacturing Company VSR roof panels for the project. This is a commercial standing seam roof panel, though the volunteers basically installed it as a simple screw down. It still looks pretty good and it’s Easterday Green! Ha! The panels have a 70% Kynar finish so they should give them years of service. We were pleased to be able to donate this material to the little league. We have been supporters for decades.
With Lakefest almost upon us, the Culver Chamber of Commerce is already looking ahead to the Culver Fall Fest. One of the events they would really like to push is the Scarecrow Contest. The scarecrow contest has withered, so to speak, over the last few years. The Chamber believes if they can get a good turn out for this, they can draw in media for a news spot on the scarecrows and thus the rest of the events. They think critical mass on this will be a minimum of 50 scarecrows. Put your creative thinking caps on and see what you can come up with!
The entry fee for the contest is $10 and there is a $200 prize for the best scarecrow. To help support this, I am offering to reimburse the entry fee for any Easterday Construction Co., Inc. employee or employee family member. (I will ask that they credit Easterday Construction on their entry so we can keep track.) I will also offer a $100 prize to match the Chamber $200 prize if an ECC entry win! Kathy and Julie have already accepted the challenge. Any ECC entries will be highlighted and credit here.