City officials are asking residents for input in the creation of a new, five-year economic development plan called Fayetteville First.
It’s a project that was approved in November 2015 when aldermen signed off on an $89,000 contract with Boyette Strategic Advisors to facilitate and prepare an update to the city’s economic development strategy.
According to city staff, Fayetteville’s current economic development goals are in need of an overhaul because they’re based on objectives identified nearly eight years ago in the midst of an economic recession.
In 2008, Eva Klein & Associates produced a strategic framework commissioned as a joint project between the city and the University of Arkansas. In 2009, Mayor Lioneld Jordan led a collaborative visioning process facilitated by Bliss Browne of Imagine Chicago called Fayetteville Forward. The Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce was later hired to perform economic development consulting services in response to the findings of both initiatives.
With the chamber contract set to expire in April 2016, aldermen said it was important to have an updated plan in place.
The process will kick off with the collection of data from several sources, including residents, business leaders, developers, and officials from other sectors of the community.
Residents are asked to complete an online survey at www.fayettevillefirst-ar.com. Additionally, a public input session is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 21 at 5:30 p.m. inside the Mockingbird Room at the Fayetteville Town Center, 15 W. Mountain Street. According to a news release, the input session will include a discussion where participants will have an opportunity to share their thoughts and vision for the future of economic development in Fayetteville.