Mayor’s Notes – Keeping downtown Waconia vibrant

By Jim Nash, Mayor of Waconia

One of my favorite parts of living here in Waconia is the charm of our downtown area.
When we moved here 10 years ago, it was one of the things that nudged us over the edge to locate our family here. As you may know, it is one of the more vibrant and “alive” downtowns in the region, and in my opinion in Minnesota. As our community grows and changes, so too does our downtown. We want to insure that it stays vibrant, charming, and will continue to be a draw for new residents and new businesses.
Because the City Council feels this way, we are formulating a Downtown Redevelopment Plan starting in early 2013. This plan is both a physical plan looking at streetscape, traffic flow, way finding signage, and utilities, as well as an economic development plan reviewing our current programs and opportunities. Our concept is to develop a three to five year plan that guides implementation of various future redevelopment opportunities for downtown.
To make the Redevelopment Plan truly representative of our community we are forming a task force made up of business owners and residents to help us craft the plan. We anticipate that the task force would start meeting in early February 2013 and likely finish in February 2014.
The task force will work with a City Council liaison; City Staff, consultants, and your fellow citizens to take the plan from ideas shared on a white board and carry it all the way to an executable plan that will coincide with some of our road reconstruction project initiatives, and serve as a guide for years to come.
If you are excited by the prospect of this type of work, if you have a vision for downtown or a passion for making Waconia even better then I invite you to reach out to either Susan Arntz (952-442-3100) or myself (952-807-6416). We will be happy to fill you in on more detail.
We are excited to start work on this, and look forward to talking to the many interested people who will potentially make up this task force. Please reach out to us if you have questions, I’m eager to talk to you about this.