On Tuesday Night, Chief of Staff Don Marr presented the results from Fayetteville Forward to the City Council. Marr outlined 38 action items that will be led by the City of Fayetteville. He asked the council to choose 15 out of 38 proposed to help prioritize the items and decide which items should be worked on first.
In addition to the 38 action items below, there are numerous other items that have been identified, and will be lead by private individuals, organizations, and other key stakeholders in the community.
What we want to know is, out of the list below, which of these items are most important to you. What should the city start on first?
It’s a long list, so if you’re short on time, scan the headlines and tell us which of these you care about.
Fayetteville Forward Economic Accountability Council
- Establish an overarching Fayetteville Forward Economic Accountability Council (FFEAC)
Form a group to oversee and report on progress toward the goals established at Fayetteville Forward and make sure the things that we decided need to happen in Fayetteville get done. The group will have representatives from the city, the U of A, the Chamber, the school district, and members of each action team from Fayetteville Forward.
- Create “Wiki – Fayetteville”
Create a centralized site to allow document sharing, communicating with interested citizen volunteers, list goals, milestones and monitor timelines, track progress, and to make sure we’re all on the same page.
- Develop a Fayetteville Forward Vision Center
Create a physical place that citizens can come to for information on the city, how to get involved, track progress, and share their ideas.
- Establish a $5 million quick action closing fund:
HP ended up setting up shop in Conway because Conway had an incentive package that made it a no brainer for them. That cost money, but the jobs created and the economic benefit to the city made it worth it. To make sure we don’t miss the next opportunity, we need a plan for the next time someone is looking to set up shop in Fayetteville, the money in the bank to get them here, and a good understanding of the economic benefit for the city. We also need some protection in place for the taxpayers to make sure the prospective company does what they say they’ll do.
- Develop additional city incentives that can be utilized to attract prospective businesses to Fayetteville
We need to understand what else can we do to be ready to bring new business to town. Do we need job training programs? Would infrastructure cost sharing help? Public private partnerships? Can we get grants for this? If we waive some of our fees, will that help?
- Establish “smart” form-based codes
What red tape can we get rid of, and how can we make it easier to do business in Fayetteville.
- Contract with External Economic Development Entity
Partner with the Chamber, Green Valley, or somebody to get a plan in place to target prospective businesses that we want to go after. We want to attract Green businesses, Health Care & Medical businesses, and we want more events, festivals, and reasons to come to Fayetteville for tourists. We also want some place like the John Q. Hammons Center to hold events. We’d also like to have a Jones center-type place for our Non-Profits.
- Establish a Citizen Ambassador Committee
Duh, we need some people to serve as ambassadors for Fayetteville to help bring in new businesses.
- Promote a ‘Buy-Fayetteville’ Campaign
This one’s also pretty self-explanatory. An educational campaign on why it’s important shop locally.
- Develop a Geographical Model for prospective companies.
We need a map or a model so it’s easy to see at a glance what places are available for development, what places are off limits, etc.
Land Use & Green Infrastructure (Smart Growth Principles)
- Establish a Low Impact Development Ordinance
Yeah, we want to attract businesses, but we also want to minimize the impact on our environment.
- Establish a Stormwater Utility
Establish a utility to manage drainage, water quality, and environmental management of storm water.
- Establish a Riparian Zone Ordinance
Yeah, I had to Google this one. A Riparian Zone is the place between land and a stream. Preserving our Riparian Zones means less soil erosion, better water quality (through biofiltration), less flood damage, less turbid water, better soil. We need an ordinance to protect the ones here in Fayetteville.
- Improve the Current Hillside Ordinance.
Our hillside ordinance needs improvement. Let’s improve it.
- Transfer of Development Rights – State Enabling Legislation
I don’t know about this one. Do you?
- Underground Utility policy for public construction projects
We’re going to bury more power lines.
- Habitat or Conservation Zoning
We’re going to find out what habitats we need to protect, and protect them.
- Increase funding for bus routes focused on employment locations.
This one is pretty self explanatory.
- Implement land use planning to support future light rail.
We’ve got to start somewhere if light rail is something we want in Northwest Arkansas. First, we need some land to build it on.
- Pass a City Council Resolution that the Mayor of Fayetteville can take to the Regional Mobility Authority/NWARPC supporting Regional Transportation Light Rail Feasibility Study.
Fayetteville can’t do this by itself. In order to build a light rail system, we’ll need cooperation from our neighbors.
- Continue multi-modal transportation annual funding with an emphasis on pedestrian (connected sidewalks and trails)
Continue the trail system. Got it.
- Provide resources (space, land, staff time for research, etc.) to assist in the creation of a Green Collar Workforce Training Center to train displaced workers in new Green Economy skill sets
The city will assist in creating a Green Collar Workforce training Center, in an effort to attract the Green Jobs that we want here in Fayetteville.
- Research a Community Energy Alliance and identify grant funding to assist in the implementation of such an Alliance.
Pretty self-explanatory. Right?
- City Commitment to improve information infrastructure expansion
Through implementing Wi-Fi capabilities in high traffic public areas, and establishing High Tech office park for the recruitment of knowledge based businesses.
- Work to partner with medical and health community to establish health promotion and Wellness Programs for employers, and neighborhood associations representatives.
Self explanatory. Next.
- Approve a City Council resolution supporting Youth taking on Tobacco, and public health policies related to Tobacco Use
- Develop a central voluntary registry database for facilities and/or persons with Special needs in Case of Emergency or Disaster.
This one’s self-explanatory. Got it?
- Work with the Fayetteville Public School Board to establish a millage team by end of May 2009 focused on authorizing a millage election by September 2009 to build a new Fayetteville High School.
We already know we need a new high school. Now, we need a millage to pay for it.
- Provide a funding source for Public Art throughout Fayetteville Parks, Trails and Public Spaces.
Easy. More sculpture and art in Fayetteville.
- Work to develop an Incentive Package to encourage expansion and/or redevelopment of the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville.
- Work to identify a Non-Profit/Private Business to Promote and encourage a monthly downtown event that promotes Visual, Performing, Film-Making etc. events and identify alternative methods (street closures, etc.
In other words, we want more art events in town. We need someone to step up and organize them.
- Establish branding collateral that promotes the arts community in way finding signage, transit shelters, parks, etc.
Ok. Hold on a second. I was at Fayetteville Forward, and I think this one has been misinterpreted by the city. In fact, this one doesn’t even make sense. More on this later.
Citizen Empowerment & Volunteers
- Initiate a city-wide Volunteer program and approve required FTE and funding.
This one could mean a lot of things, but I believe it means that we need a coordinated Volunteer program that lists volunteer opportunies for the city, and ways citizens can get involved, along with a Full Time Employee (FTE) to maintain it.
- Develop Citizen’s Guides to Government and How Government Works
A lot of people have no idea how our city government is structured. Let’s fix that.
Questioning Assumptions on Growth
- Establish a checklist by which economic proposals could be measured to ensure high quality of life impact.
This means that before any development or growth opportunity can even be considered, it would have to meet a certain quality of life criteria that the city will develop.
Preserving the Soul of Fayetteville
- Adopt a Fayetteville Historic Master Plan.
Self Explanatory. Next.
- Restoration of Historic Fayetteville Properties
Like Woolsey Farmstead, Lafayette & Maple Street Historic Bridges (Bond Issue)
- Work with Private Property Owners to promote the historic status (and historic district designation for those interested in this classification) for the Old Post Office Building, Gregg House, and the Dickson Street Train Depot.