• Lindsborg is creating a stormwater utility to address existing and future stormwater runoff problems citywide. This utility will be funded with a proposed flat fee of $7 a month or $84 a year for each residential unit. Commercial, industrial and institutional properties will participate according to a formula factoring in the amount of "impervious" areas such as roofs and concrete-covered areas. In other words, everyone creates stormwater runoff; everyone pays to help manage it. Much effort, including by an advisory group of stakeholders, has gone into this plan. If you'd like to browse the details in an informal setting, please drop by the Sundstrom Conference Center from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 27. Your public servants will be there to visit with you.
• Lindsborg continues to field inquiries from other communities who are interested in the ad hoc spirit. Delegations from Kechi and Eureka are planning trips to Lindsborg soon. It's an honor for our community, and each and every person on the Ad Hoc network shares in it. This means you.
• The Kiplinger forecast for executives and investors highlighted rural areas in a recent newsletter. While the article outlined the challenges that we all know, editors also had this:
"... some regions are poised to pick up, either because
companies are starting to catch on to the economic advantages of moving away from expensive and crowded urban areas, or because local officials are getting proactive at marketing those positive factors.
"Abundant land and low energy prices are major draws for many rural spots. It’s no coincidence that Google has located eight massive server farms in remote areas across the country. In eastern Kentucky, where the once-dominant coal industry is hurting, there is a move afoot to develop a huge drone testing facility. Why? Scant jet traffic to avoid, and laid-off miners who are used to operating equipment by remote control.
"Geographic advantages are reviving some regions that can play a key role in supply chains because they’re situated between big markets and connected by road or rail. Retailer Gap’s upgraded 2.8 million-square-foot warehouse in Gallatin, Tennessee, is one response to the growing need for distribution centers as online shopping grows.
"Some places are playing up their natural beauty or unique regional culture. Sprucing up Main Street or building new campgrounds can bring out-of-towners seeking outdoor experiences or local color. Annual music festivals in southwestern Virginia helped boost tourism-related employment by 30 percent in 15 years, for instance. One town in North Carolina near a major bird sanctuary is drawing more visitors and new businesses after it asked its residents for small donations to refurbish downtown building facades.
"Perhaps the biggest economic challenge facing rural America is demographics. The overall population of rural regions is barely growing. Many places are shrinking. That means fewer workers available to would-be employers and fewer customers for would-be businesses to serve...stubborn problems that show no signs of easing."
Let's keep thinking about what we take for granted that makes Lindsborg great to others. Let's welcome young people and ideas to our table. Let's not take our collective foot off the gas in marketing Lindsborg as a place to live and visit. Thanks for sharing this piece, Jim Prugh.
• Here's a fascinating interactive map about arts in the US, compliments of Gary Shogren, our community development director. You can see McPherson County as compared to others:
• In recent interviews, emerging tech business execs shared some of their most inspiring reads. One oft-cited book: Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles. For these execs, the book addresses the risks of creating *anything* -- an atmosphere, a team, business or product, whatever it is that presents the next obstacle. Here's an anecdote from the book that one exec cited as most meaningful:
A teacher split a ceramics class into two. Half the class was tasked with making the single best piece of pottery. The other half of the class was tasked with producing the most pieces of pottery. Then they were judged. All the best individual pieces of pottery came from the half of the class tasked with producing the most pottery, not the best pottery.
• Thought you'd enjoy seeing how Lindsborg and our valley is portrayed in the latest AAA Midwest Magazine. Give thanks for local businesses that provided complimentary meals and overnights to help make this article possible. AAA advertising and editorial content usually gets good response, the Lindsborg Convention and Visitors Bureau reports.