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|Council Recommends City Propose Changes
|The Galesburg City Council held their fourth budget work session of the year with the intent to review the development process, Monday night.
Community Development Director Roy Parkin discussed ongoing efforts within his department to make City planning, and their employees, easier to work with for business.
Improving use of the website, providing educating materials, and improving communication with businesses and residents was included in the presentation.
City Manager Todd Thompson says that the challenge is finding what's right for the community.
"I've worked in a number of different communities," says Thompson. "Some were very fast growing metro communities, some were more slower growth rural communities and what's appropriate with respect to your codes and policies in each one of those is different."
Licensing, requirements, and codes used in the development process were all mentioned in the two-hour presentation. Some requirements are mandated by the state - while others, it was explained, could be changed as the council sees fit.
Sixth Ward Alderman Wayne Allen says the City has work to do in it's development process.
"What we're trying to get to is be a more friendly perceived City to work in," says Allen. "We can say 'we do this, we do that, we do this,' but we aren't there."
The Council was asked to consider 12 different directional recommendations, but was stopped short. Mayor John Pritchard says that he wants to push the recommendations for making dealing with the City, well, back onto the City.
"I think we need to be competitive, and if we're going to be competitive in economic development, it can't be more difficult," says Pritchard. "I don't think we need to be at a status to where are exceptionally easy to deal with, we just need to be average."
A majority of those in attendance agreed with the sentiment that the City needs to be easier to work with, although recommendations were short. Second Ward Alderman Wayne Dennis says he has people in his office all the time discussing the difficult nature of the development codes.
"I get an awful lot of business people come in and their biggest gripe is the attitude of the City," says Dennis. "This is the way it's got to be and they'll come in telling me that they don't tell them why and that's it. I think the attitude has got to change for the business people."
Thompson says they would have more specific recommendations at the next council meeting.
|05 13 13 by Newsroom
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