NDDC Board Members drank coffee and ate cookies at the Archer House this morning in order to gather stakeholder input. There were a number of potential projects that were mentioned during the discussion, including: the Public Library, the Liquor Store, the Post Office, the Safety Center, City Hall, the Q Block., the YMCA, the Arts and Culture Center, a New Hockey Rink, Way Park, Recreational Trails, Streetscape Concepts, a Pedestrian Bridge over Highway 3, Indoor Tennis Courts, Downtown Parking, River Edge Enhancements and NDDC Resources.
The stakeholders thought that perhaps more important than prioritizing projects was identifying methods of evaluating these potential projects. Their ideas included: Long-Term Financial Stability, Potential Profits vs. Collateral Benefits, Timing and Collaborative Opportunities, Identifying Potential Economies through Combining Projects, Contributions to Reinforcing Identity, Building Community and Attracting Regionally, Prioritizing to Most Effectively Focus Resources, Focusing at Points of Greatest (Realistic) Leverage, and Reaching Unconnected Residents.
It was classic Northfield. Council Member Dixon Bond urged avoiding focusing on individual projects and keeping everything in the context of the big picture. NDDC Board Member Amy Gage advocated focusing on priority projects to maximize the leverage of existing resources. Downtown Stakeholder Anne-Marie Boyle summarized the feelings of many when she urged the NDDC to put their weight behind projects that bring people downtown. She shared that in her opinion, it was the Public Library and the Arts and Cultural Center.
The NDDC Board was greatly appreciative of the dozens of people that turned out for the event. The input will be extremely useful in guiding the allocation of the organization’s resources in 2007.