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Be.Beloit Strategic Doing showcases ideas

Around 30 individuals gathered in the Severance Conference Center at the North Central Kansas Technical College on Tuesday night to view and discuss items that could be placed in in the future. The meeting was referenced from the Kansas-State students who spent months evaluating ways to improve Beloit in positive ways. A showing was displayed earlier at the Porter House lobby to showcase the ideas developed from their visions.

Groups involved were split up into four topic discussions including pedestrian/biking/walking opportunities, Chautauqua Park/ Solomon River improvement; Downtown renovations and City Entrance signage.

The goal of the Strategic Doing group’s efforts are to evaluate the ideas created by the students and to decide which one’s had merit for Beloit’s future. As the student group designed their vision they were not constrained by money saying it is easier to dream about building things when funding is not a concern.

“The students left us with some very innovative ideas," said City Administrator Jason Rabe. "These ideas carry a big price tag. Our job is to evaluate their ideas and find a way to get some of it done in a way that is affordable.” Rabe went on to tell the group to decide where they want to end up and then to find a way to get there from where we are currently at. In other words, “Where do we want to go and how are we going to get there.”

Six to eight people sat at the four tables and spent about an hour and a half assessing the possibilities. Facilitators at the tables were Emily Benedick, Julia Rabe, Heather Hartman, and Jason Rabe. Spirited discussions then ensued as the group took the issues apart and then put it back together again.

The signage group ended up with three ideas of merit: Signs at the city perimeter to direct visitors, day finding signs to help people find their way around town once they enter, and signs identifying historical locations.

The Chautauqua Park/Solomon River group came up with ideas related to: A way to improve the connection between the Park and the downtown area, an event space to take advantage of the scenic beauty of the park, and a totally accessible playground area.

The downtown area group identified ideas relating to: Improving pedestrian access, sprucing up vacant building storefronts, and downtown entertainment opportunities.

The walking/biking/hiking group formulated these ideas: Share the road signs to improve vehicle awareness of bikers on the road, an improved walkway/pedestrian bridge across the river, and a multi-use walk/run/bike trail along the banks of the Solomon River.

All those in attendance realized time work spent, simply was one step in a long process. The goal now is to keep moving forward.

Beloit Call

P.O. Box 309, Concordia, Ks. 66901

Phone: 785-738-3537