Editorial: Design Team puts town dreams into a formal plan

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 7, 2004

Community leaders in Albert Lea have taken a proactive approach to change for our city and we hope you don’t miss the opportunity to voice your vision.

Back in the early spring, a decision was made to apply to the MN Design Team, asking them to bring their unique concept to Albert Lea. It is the next step, the bridge as one person put it, to implementing positive change in our town.

The process was started with the Albert Lea Listens sessions, in which meetings were conducted to learn what people living here thought &045; good and bad &045; about their town.

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rom those sessions, several concerns and numerous strengths surfaced. The question of the day from many people was &uot;now what?&uot; Hence application to the MN Design Team.

The group of professionals, all volunteering their time to visit Albert Lea through Sunday, will also spend many hours collecting information through informal conversations with people eating lunch, shopping, taking a walk; essentially, where people are, members of the Design Team will be chatting with you. A community dinner is also planned at 6:30 Friday night to catch anyone they didn’t talk to earlier. Don’t miss this chance to voice your opinion.

Take a few moments to share your concerns, but more importantly, share your dreams of what you believe Albert Lea could become.

The team will take these ideas, along with a mountain of information already collected in previous visits and put those dreams into drawings which they will present Saturday night to anyone interested in the future of the community.

ith a plan in hand, the city, with a lot of community assistance, can begin working to make the drawings a reality.

It’s easy to be skeptical &045; we’ve been down similar roads and it seems nothing has changed. This is the first time we’ve seen such an approach in which a plan is created that brings all the ideas together and puts everyone on the same page. We believe the likelihood of implementation is greater because any group looking for a cause may take their pick and work the plan. Now, individual groups work independently with no overall vision. Though what they do is so appreciated, it would be far better for the community if everyone was working a plan toward the same goal &045; making Albert Lea a better place to live.

We ask you to put aside your skepticism and participate.