Back in August The Northland News was invited to hear a presentation about the Kearney Downtown Revitalization Group (KDRG) at the Kearney Missouri Chamber of Commerce. The KDRG is a team of community volunteers committed to revitalizing historic downtown Kearney. Last Thursday we stopped in to the Kearney Rotary Club to attend breakout sessions and see how the plan has evolved.
Standing before a white board in the Kearney Firehouse Center, KDRG President Lee Meyer and Executive Director Jenny Hayes explained to the group where the KDRG was in the process. Currently the group is getting feedback from members of the community on four overarching topics: destination living, entertainment/culture, youth/family amenities, and signature elements. The feedback will be incorporated into a master plan in February.
Meyer, who draws greatly on his business experience from his years in leadership at Ply Gem Window Group, spoke about the importance of the Kearney community in the work of the KDRG.
“Our objective is not to end up in a little crucible, we want to have complete community engagement.”
The breakout sessions held on Thursday looked at entertainment/culture and youth/family amenities. We floated between the two groups during the hour long meeting.
Hayes led the youth and family amenities group. They spoke of biking/walking trails, better ways to physically connect the pools, a swimming pool, or maybe even a splash park. Much of their discussion was on a potential youth center.
Steve McDonald led the entertainment/culture group. They talked a lot about the future while Meyer listened and added his input. What does business look like in Kearney in the future? What do millennials want? Is Kearney still a bedroom community in 20 years?
Many in the group felt the future of business in the Kearney community was about experience and customer service from local vendors, not cookie cutter box stores. A possible bowling alley, an upscale small screen movie theater, and boutique stores were all suggested as possible ideas.
After the breakout sessions, the group met back together to debrief. Jennifer Grossl, director of marketing for Platte-Clay Cooperative brought back information from the entertainment/culture. Grossl told the group that she was pleased with the results of the discussion.
“One thing that I appreciated is that the discussion really reiterated and solidified a lot of the things that the KDRG is working on. It made me feel like we’re on the right path and I’d really like to continue to get input from everybody here and everybody that you know. Tell people what we’re doing, and if someone has good feedback we want to hear it.”
For more information about the KDRG click HERE.