lake crystal

LAKE CRYSTAL — City leaders are looking for residents to guide them in creating a detailed strategic economic development plan.

"It helps ensure you're doing things that are supported by the community," said City Administrator Taylor Gronau. "And it gives you a plan. When businesses and people are looking at Lake Crystal, it gives them a sense that the city has a plan and they can see where they can fit in."

Region Nine Development Commission is assisting the city of 2,500 people with the plan. A public open house will be Wednesday to get input from residents and flyers have been sent out seeking comments.

"We've gotten a great response from the flyer already. We have 161 responses," said Corree Stamschror of Region Nine.

She said they often help communities develop comprehensive plans, but the one Lake Crystal is seeking goes further. "This is unique. A strategic economic development plan is a step further than a comprehensive plan."

She said Region Nine uses a variety of data available to help the process.

"We like to look at what the public is really looking for in their community and see if our different analyses are fitting what the residents are saying. If it doesn't, are we missing something in our data or is public missing something."

The project is expected to take seven months with a final five-year plan ready in October.

Gronau said he went through a similar project when he was economic coordinator in Cuba City, Wisconsin. "We did an economic strategic plan and it was very helpful to them."

The Lake Crystal EDA looked at that plan and decided it would be useful for them to do one.

"It helps you coordinate your efforts and helps build consensus from the community on what's important to them and what stakeholders and the city should invest in," Gronau said.

Follow Tim Krohn on Twitter @TimKrohn

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