Coon Rapids to host community meetings

by Peter Bodley
Managing Editor

Coon Rapids residents are being asked to give their ideas on community goals, values and plans at a series of three community meetings that the city of Coon Rapids is hosting.

One of the meetings takes place in February and two in March, each at a different locations, but all three from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

• Monday, Feb. 27, Coon Rapids Civic Center, 11155 Robinson Drive.

• Thursday, March 15, The Harvest Grill at Bunker Hills, 12800 Bunker Prairie Drive.

• Wednesday, March 21, Coon Rapids Ice Center, 11000 Crooked Lake Blvd.

According to City Manager Matt Fulton, the meetings are an opportunity for residents to provide valuable input to city leaders about the future direction of Coon Rapids.

They will be to talk about a variety of issues ranging from transportation to future building projects, Fulton said.

Two of the meetings will take place at the city’s two most recent building projects – the golf course clubhouse (Harvest Grill) and the ice arena.

“City leaders want to understand how residents feel about their community and the goals they have for the future,” he said.

Fulton is hoping at least 100 residents will attend each meeting.

These community meetings are an outgrowth of a strategic planning process on the city’s future that the Coon Rapids City Council set in motion last fall, according to Fulton.

The council had previously put in place a 2030 vision plan and this process is an effort to update that plan, Fulton said.

Fulton has been meeting individually with the council’s advisory boards and commissions as part of the strategic planning process to get their vision for the city’s future.

And this spring there will be a community survey undertaken; the questions are now being developed, Fulton said.

“Citizen engagement is a very important part of the strategic planning process,” he said.

And in developing performance measures for the operation of city government, accountability is really important, Fulton said.

“How do we demonstrate success in specific areas, for example, transportation and public safety,” he said.

“We want to know if residents feel safe, for example.”

The council won’t be conducting the community meetings, although some may be in attendance, Fulton said.

Dave Unmacht, a consultant with Springsted Inc., will be facilitating the meetings, he said.

Prior to joining Springsted, where he is director of the organizational management/human resources group, Unmacht was county administrator in Scott County for 11 years and has also worked as deputy county administrator in Dakota County, city manager in Prior Lake and city administrator in Belle Plaine.

His current role with Springsted is to help cities and counties achieve their goals through strategic planning.

Information about the community meetings is being disseminated through the media, e-mail blasts from the city and via the city’s website.

Reservations are not required to attend the meetings. For more information contact City Clerk Cathy Sorensen at 763-767-6493 or e-mail [email protected].

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]