INDEPENDENCE – The next open house to show the progress of the downtown revitalization plan has been set for Thursday, February 25, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Heartland Acres Agribition Center.
Consultants with MSA have been working on the plan since being hired by the city council in April 2020. They formed and met with a steering committee of local stakeholders, and held a public meeting last August to solicit further input based on a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis.
At that meeting, examples of SWOT included:
- The architecture of downtown buildings as a strength to be leveraged. The river was also considered a strength.
- A weakness continues to be crossing Highway 150 as a pedestrian downtown.
- New and varied businesses were considered opportunities.
- Developing more amenities downtown such as a splash pad, living space, and coordinated business hours were also opportunities suggested.
When the project was introduced in April, the consultants stated, “The primary purpose of this project is to establish a strategic revitalization plan for downtown Independence. The resulting plan must provide the necessary resources to effectively guide future decision making to positively impact the community. Relevant information from existing plans/studies will be used when applicable throughout this process. The plan will also include the necessary resources to apply for funding assistance for downtown improvements identified in the plan over the next 10 years.”
The open house on February 25 will be a time to collect input and insights regarding the draft plan. If you are not able to attend this meeting in person but would still like to participate, there will be a Facebook Live Stream through the Independence Chamber Facebook Page.
Due to COVID-19, please follow social distancing measures. Masks are recommended and will be available, as will hand sanitizer.
For more information on this process and project updates, please visit the Independence Downtown Plan website at www.independencedowntownplan.wordpress.com or follow the Independence Area Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.