The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Editorials

October 27, 2013

Our View: Port Authority change important step for North Mankato

Why it matters Giving the council direct accountability of economic development plus a comprehensive land-use plan helps establish a clearer future for the city and the region.

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If adopted formally, this would put the council in a position to be more engaged as recommended by the UNC study. They would be the first decision makers and have firsthand information to make those decisions. They already are on the front line of accountability and just by that very nature will ensure their decisions are well grounded.

It is opening up its process for public input and review of policies and recommendations that can be found at http://www.northmankato.com/citynorthmankato/economic-development-policies.

To help in making those critical decisions, the city also is developing a comprehensive land-use plan.

The city contracted with WSB and Associates to “identify issues, opportunities, needs and organize public policy” to help describe “a desired future for the community over the next 20 years and establish goals to move toward that future.” This project can be found at its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/northmankatocomprehensiveplan?ref=hl

Armed with this plan and the direct accountability of the council on economic development decisions mark a new journey for the city.

In its summary of findings to the council, the staff noted that while “it is an undisputed fact that North Mankato plays a significant role in maintaining the metropolitan statistical area’s quality of life, employment base, continued opportunity for job growth and tax base,” there is room for improvement and growth.

Clearly the stronger structure and development of a clearly articulated plan for that growth can only be a great benefit to the city and its residents as well as the region.

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