Planning For The Future In Council Bluffs

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The year 2030 sounds far off, but Council Bluffs is preparing for how the city will look in 16 years. Residents and outside consultants have been drafting the “Council Bluffs 2030” plan for more than a year.

Community members want to see the town grow after years of slow development and they hope the 125-page plan can guide them in the right direction. Here are six changes they most want to see:

-A new image to show all the positive things going on in the city
-Revamping key sites like Mall of the Bluffs and the Mid-America Center
-Job creation
-Building more and improving existing homes to attract young residents
-Improving city services like youth programs and workforce development
-Better relations with government to cooperate with residents

Council Bluffs Director of Community Development Donald Gross said the city needs this guide to make those changes happen.

“How do you accomplish a vision unless you put it down on a sheet of paper? By us doing this, it gives us kind of a blueprint to go forward so that when we see a funding opportunity or the timing is right to do a particular project, we can go after it," said Gross.

Real estate developer Julie Stavneak sees a lot of potential.

“I do see a lot of opportunity. It's a small town of around 62,000 people, so in that sense there's a sense of strong community and there's also the ability because it's smaller to make some significant changes relatively quickly," said Stavneak.

The plan could help business owners make decisions about big projects by having a vision. The plan lets business owners know what the community wants and opportunities for growth.

Finding out which public/private partnerships are available will help how the sectors can work together. Helping them prioritize will see what neighborhoods need most and having developers split the jobs will keep them from competing for projects.

A community open house runs from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at 2nd and Main streets. If the plan is accepted it will go to the City Planning Department on September 9th.

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