This chapter focuses on the practical steps necessary to accomplish the mission and strategies presented in Chapter 1. Through the use of brief descriptions and tables, implementation recommendations regarding "Who, what, when, where and how" are provided. These recommendations offer a starting point. Leaders and residents should be creative in accomplishing each action in a manner that:
* Reduces cost
* Builds momentum (creates base hits)
* Engages volunteers to build sense of ownership in the entire campaign
* Accomplishes work as quickly as possible
* Provides a sense of fulfillment and fun for everyone involved
* Enhances sense of community
* Demonstrates to outside funding agencies that this is a collaborative, community-based process
Eight action programs are proposed:
A. Organizational Development
B. Industrial Development
C. Tourism Development
D. Downtown Business Development
E. Downtown Design
G. South Hill Improvement
H. Cultural Center
I. Town & Regional Promotion
Each is discussed in an appropriate level of detail in the following
sections or by clicking on the links above.
Most of these are straightforward and can be expressed in brief terms. However, Downtown Business Development and Downtown Design include a variety of details that require additional clarification.
Organizational Development Program
Nine actions will provide the organization needed to guide Connection Plan elements (see chart below). The first and most important is to create a formal agreement among the Partnership (County, City and Tribe) to commit to and collaborate on the Plan. With this as a foundation, the Partnership will be in a much stronger position to attract grants and investments. The Partnership should also commit to a permanent public-private collaboration in community development, with the three governments guiding efforts wherever needed.
As soon as possible, the Partnership should facilitate a meeting of all entities that will be involved in implementation. The meeting will focus on what needs to be done, who needs to do it, team-building and resources. The primary purposes are to establish commitment to and understanding of the action program. Wherever possible, team members should be encouraged to create collaborations.
An ideal funding source is available ($50,000 per year for three years) from the state (Idaho Department of Commerce) to support hiring of a professional manager to guide implementation of the Plan. The Partnership is aware of these funds and will make a grant application. Whether or not the grant is approved, every effort should be made to attract the funding necessary to hire a manager. There are too many actions for a volunteer force to undertake alone.
While professional management is required, volunteer assistance also is essential. Citizens need to become a part of the implementation program. Volunteerism is essential for several reasons:
* It will lower costs for many projects
* It leads to a stronger sense of ownership for the program
* It demonstrates to outside funding agencies that the program is a high community priority
* Enthusiasm is infectious; friends and neighbors will get involved when they learn of opportunities from participants
* It will provide people from different walks of life opportunities to meet and get to know each other. Understanding and cross-cultural communication are needed to improve the region's sense of community
The volunteer movement should have a name that can become connected to the program: something like "Boundary Brigade." Participants should wear Boundary Brigade t-shirts when working for the cause.
The new professional manager (hereafter, "Manager") should work with Panhandle Area Council and other specialists to host training workshops for volunteer groups. Training will improve efficiency, safety and productivity.
The business community needs to become more heavily and systematically engaged in business development. For this and other reasons, the Chamber of Commerce is an important part of the team. The manager should meet with Chamber leaders to identify projects it is willing to pursue, then help the organization attract both resources and new members.
Once the Chamber is fully engaged, the manager should collaborate with Chamber leaders and committees to create a Main Street program to guide Downtown revitalization efforts. Membership in the National Main Street Center and participation in annual National Main Street Town Meetings will be very beneficial to the team. Panhandle Area Council may also be able to assist in building a Main Street program.
For the Cultural Center to succeed, its advocates will need nonprofit 501(c)3 corporate status. This will enable the community to seek grants from a broad range of entities in the public and private sectors. In addition, local contributions will be tax deductible for most donors. It is important to know that there are two primary kinds of grants: grants for construction ; grants for programming. There are fewer grants for the former; competition will be intense. The nonprofit's leaders will need to be able to demonstrate several assets if it is to succeed in fundraising, including:
* Broad support for the Cultural Center
* Broad citizen participation in the planning of the facilities
* Extensive local fundraising activities, leading to…
* Local match for grants from outside grantors
* Sound business plan and budget, demonstrating long-term feasibility of the project
* Phased approach, with clear targets for each phase