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CAP committees present concepts to project planner

Blair Williams, Creating Community, explains various elements supporting their theme, “Continuity of Community.” Photo courtesy of the City of New Richmond

This fall a new approach was developed to plan the future of New Richmond for the next 10 to 20 years through the Community Action Plan process. The resulting committee of New Richmond residents, businesses, commercial property owners and community organizations (known as Forward New Richmond) has been busy researching and developing fresh ideas as part of the city's comprehensive plan.

Four subcommittees recently presented their ideas to Brad Scheib, vice president of Hoisington Koegler Group, the project's planning firm, in a series of 30-minute presentations. Scheib's team of planners will be working with the committee's ideas to develop the final CAP project document and related illustrations and materials.

Presentations included maps and photos illustrating their ideas and potential locations of new amenities and improvements. Presenters offered insights as to current situations, existing and emerging issues, and potential ideas to correct or enhance various aspects of community life. Scheib shared his comments to committee members at the conclusion of the presentation.

"I just want to say, great job. You guys had a monumental task. I was skeptical of Todd's process as a planner who has worked with public engagement across many different platforms. When he is saying, 'we're asking you guys to do what we do' and it looks like some of you have been doing this for a long time...want a job?" Scheib said. "Honestly, the stuff you provided and what I listened to now ... I kind of wished I had my whole team here so it was more than just me listening to that. You've done a great job. This has been great to hear... all of you."

Forward New Richmond committee members have been sifting through city materials and community analyses, specific subcommittee Work Plans, and additional internet research to assess issues impacting New Richmond's future and potential concepts and opportunities to make New Richmond an even better place to live, work and own a business.

"This has been a real eye-opening experience. We transferred ownership of the process to the committee and they all stepped up and delivered many very thoughtful and innovative ideas we hadn't considered before," comments Beth Thompson, Community Development Director.

In addition to generating a "community ownership" perspective in the development of the CAP outcomes, the process also involves committee refinement of their ideas into Project Portfolios providing more project details. These Project Portfolios are designed to convey enough project details that will generate community support and eventual collaborative funding to turn their ideas into reality.

"The basis of the CAP approach is to create a process outcome that doesn't sit on a shelf but continues as an ongoing effort where community collaboration takes hold, community involvement and interaction grows, and the CAP recommendations are further developed into implementable projects," adds Todd Streeter, Principal, Community Collaboration, and process consultant.

For additional CAP information and potential project involvement, interested individuals, businesses and organizations are encouraged to contact Beth Thompson, phone: 715-243-0402, email: bthompson@newrichmondwi.gov.

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