Work off old studies for master plan

As I read the story about the Tye Foundation donating $100,000 to funding a downtown master plan study, my thought was, “here we go again.” It is wonderful that we have such funding available for whatever reason, but we tend to forget. I served on the city council many years ago. It was a time when the CBD was concerned about the future, mainly because shoppers were going to shopping malls.

The city council at that time commissioned Clarence Smith Associates, a Minneapolis firm, to do a master plan. The cost was thousands of dollars. Most all agreed that it was a good plan when completed. It was a plan, like all plans, that must be reviewed and updated periodically. The plan ended up on the shelf and I assume it remains there today. Since that time, either two or three additional master plans have been commissioned. They too, are stored away someplace.

The tornado damage does require some future planning. It would be wise, however, to dust off the previous old master plans, study and review their provisions, spend the funds necessary for updating of the old plans to provide a workable current CBD Master Plan. The problem with most futuristic plans, however wise they are, is that they do not address how to finance the elements.