After the team exercise, individuals were allowed to use electronic voting devices to give their opinions on what makes for a great downtown. Most of the people who attended said they were over the age of 40 and had lived and worked in the city for more than 20 years. Many of the ideas provided such as having a pedestrian friendly downtown, having parking and restrooms in the area and reducing the amount of truck traffic coming through the area was considered “very important” to those there.
Having people living downtown drew mixed reactions but the creation of a downtown association or convention and visitors bureau was also thought of highly.
After looking at several visions of downtown, participants were asked what things needed to be done right away. Those included creating an action plan, reducing the impact of truck traffic through downtown and developing financial incentives for businesses to come downtown.
What was perhaps a positive sign was that 86 percent of those voting said they would be willing to stay involved with the downtown project.
Walls said she will take the information provided and provide an analysis, which should be given to the city within the next two weeks. Copies of the analysis report will then be made available by the Planning Department, Farmer said.