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Time is now to provide input in Grander Vision

July 22, 2014

It only takes about 10 minutes to have a voice in Grand Island’s next 10 years — but that input is needed by the end of July.

Grand Island Mayor Jay Vavricek declared July 31 as “Grander Vision Day,” the final day that residents of Grand Island, Alda, Wood River, Cairo, Doniphan and Hall County can provide answers to 21 questions that will shape the area’s future.

“A spark or vision is so important,” Vavricek told the Grand Island City Council and audience Tuesday night.

The Grander Vision plan is being touted as “Your Voice, Your Plan, Our Future” and will formulate suggested improvement projects for the area on the responses to the 21 questions.

Those questions can be found at the Grander Vision web site at or through a paper copy of the survey obtained at Grand Island City Hall, 100 E. First St.

The 21 questions include listing three reasons why residents stay in the area, rating the quality of life, suggesting changes to improve the quality of life, as well as providing feedback on local education, health care, retail, restaurants, housing, parks, entertainment and economic development efforts.

The survey also has questions on cultural harmony, including the collaboration between Hall County cities and villages.

Those survey results will be followed by an Aug. 6 open house in which additional input can be shared, Vavricek said.

“Now is the time to act,” he said. “There is no predetermined destination.”

The mayor issued a public challenge for everyone living in Hall County to complete the survey.

Hall County Supervisor Pam Lancaster echoed that challenge, saying that public input is vital.

“As one of ours prospers, so we all prosper,” she told the mayor last week when he spoke to the Hall County board about the visioning project.

The visioning process started with focus groups in June and is expected to conclude with an action plan this fall. The $100,000 project is privately funded by the Nebraska State Fair.

“Take the Grander Vision challenge and say, ‘Yes, I will set aside seven minutes today to help shape a decade worth of good,” Vavricek said.

For the record

In other action Tuesday, the city council:

— Gave first round approval of using up to $40 million of Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loan program loans to pay for local sewer improvements.

— Approved the elimination of a vacant equipment operator position at the wastewater treatment plant and creation of a new, lower-salary wastewater plant operator position.

— Met in closed session regarding labor negotiations with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union.

— Approved the final plat for 12 additional housing lots in the Woodland Park 15th Subdivision along Michigan Avenue west of Idaho Avenue. Hastings Ventures is the developer.

— Reappointed Melissa Girard and Bob Loewenstein to the Animal Advisory Board; reappointed Anita Lewandowski-Brown and Jacinto Corona to the Community Development Advisory Board; and reappointed Mike Spilinek, Donald Skeen and Steve Grubbs to the Building Code Advisory Board.

— Proclaimed Aug. 3-9 as “Blue Ribbon Roll Out Week” for the Nebraska State Fair 1868 Foundation, with Aug. 9 as the 10th annual Blue Ribbon celebration event, which raises funds for State Fair improvements; Aug. 2 as “You Auto Love It Downtown,” which is the ninth annual custom and classic car show downtown hosted by the Grand Theatre Foundation, which provides free hot dogs to participants and the public; and presented a certificate of appreciation to Tom Dinsdale as sponsor and organizer of the 11th annual Thunder on the Loup air boat races Aug. 2 and 3 near Palmer. The event last year brought in 180 airboats from Florida to Texas to Oregon. Dinsdale called the event the “Sturgis of air boating.” This year’s event will include open courses, as well as drag race courses.

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