City services and infrastructure were discussed at East Central Intergovernmental Association stakeholder meetings on Thursday at the Ericksen Community Center.
Currently the city of Clinton is working with ECIA on updating its Comprehensive Plan.
As part of the comprehensive planning process the following areas have been identified to hold stakeholder meetings: governmental services (transit, sewer, schools, etc.), housing, parks and recreation, economic development and downtown.
The goal of these stakeholder meetings is to identify goals and objectives in each area as well as solutions to achieve the goals and objectives identified.
“As we look at development, water and sewer are a vital component,” City Planner Mike Reynolds said.
The group discussed water and sewer changes with expansion.
“All our development is on the west end,” Transportation Director Dennis Hart said. “Getting utilities out there is expensive.”
Transportation and creating a bike-friendly community dominated the city services discussion.
“Our main transport is here in Clinton, but we would like to bring a route into Camanche and Fulton,” Hart said. “Our goal is to link the three communities together, but money is an issue.”
The problem arises with how to pay for the cost of expanding routes to the two surrounding communities, according to Hart. This expansion may require Clinton residents to pay more.
“We do some services in both communities at a higher rate,” Hart said. “We don’t want Clinton residents to pay for it.”
Citizens and city officials discussed development in the area, determining that the city should focus more on improving what they already have instead of developing outward.
Rehabing old buildings like the Roosevelt building to find new uses instead of putting in new buildings was discussed.
“I haven’t seen a plan for the new middle school, but it should be located in the existing network of the city, instead of land on the outskirts as far as workability and student access to biking and walking,” Reynolds said.
Completing a bike path and sidewalk system with the road and bus system remains crucial, according to the participants.
“The city does not have a safe bike path,” Reynolds said. “We should have a safe way to bike throughout the city.”
Tom Determann, who is running for Board of Supervisors, recommended adding bike rental at the riverfront. Reynolds said the city should communicate with Ashford and Clinton Community College, as they could benefit greatly from a bike system. Passenger rail was also discussed as an additional transportation form, connecting the city to Chicago and major Iowa colleges.
“Clinton was a mass transit community in the past,” Reynolds said. “The materials are there. It’s just a matter of making it happen.”
The old post office building and library were major concerns for the group as well. The post office continues to deteriorate and something needs to be done soon, according to Reynolds. The library continues to struggle with their budget being cut.
The stakeholder meetings continue Tuesday with parks and recreation from 9 to 11 a.m., economic development from 1 to 3 p.m. and downtown from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Ericksen Center. On May 3 there will be a community wide visioning event where the results from the meetings will be presented from 4 to 6 p.m. at Eagle Point Park. City officials, business owners and community leaders are encouraged to attend along with concerned citizens.
Currently the city of Clinton is seeking public comment through a community survey. Paper surveys are available at City Hall, the Ericksen Community Center, main library and the Lyons library branch as well as online at www.ecia.org/clintonsurvey.cfm.