Vision 2020 moving forward

Members of the Vision 2020 committee are expecting preliminary recommendations from the Community 360 planning group by the end of the month.

Ken Paxton, Greene County Development Corporation director, reported to the county supervisors Monday that the Vision 2020 project team has focused on the smaller towns in the county. The team has met with more than 100 community leaders, businesses, city council members, young employees and residents and others.

In the last several weeks the team has visited Scranton, Paton, Rippey and Grand Junction to learn of the needs and future plans in those towns.

A housing committee has met with developers, lenders and realtors to gather information. The housing meetings were coordinated by RDG, part of the Community 360 group.

The committee has also met with J-Corp, the development company that two years ago purchased property near the water tower in Jefferson with the goal of building a rental housing complex. That project stalled when financing proved too difficult to obtain. According to Paxton, J-Corp is still interested and is now looking to build units that will require lower rental payments.

Paxton said the housing committee will meet with Laborers Home Development Corporation of Denison on Thursday. That company recently built a complex of 40-plus rental units in Denison.

Paxton also reported that the owners of Peace Tree Brewery and the owner of several Jethro’s Barbecue restaurants have met with the local project team to explore possibilities for a restaurant/brew pub in Jefferson. The group toured five available buildings – the former Homestead Coffee and Bakery, Higgins’ building on N. Wilson, the former Pizza Ranch, the former Bee & Herald building, and the former Hy-Vee Drugstore. Paxton said the consensus of the project team is that a business class restaurant should be the focal point.

Meetings have also been held about child care, school construction requiring a bond issue, and a youth sports complex.

Paxton repeated in his report that Community 360 will continue to work with Greene County even after the final report is made. Community 360 will manage, develop and implement all projects suggested until completion, he said. The group will handle funding sources, fundraising, business plans, organization, staffing and development for each project.

Updates on Vision 2020 will be available on GCDC’s new Facebook page and on the GCDC website.


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