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Local Community Groups Looking to Work Together

An item on the agenda at both Mahaska County Board of Supervisors and City Council meeting yesterday included the discussion of the business plan for the Mahaska Development Partnership. The Chamber of Commerce, the Mahaska County Agricultural and Rural Development (MCARD), the Mahaska Community Development Group (MCDG) and Main Street Oskaloosa are four separate entities that have a desire to begin an appropriate partnership.

As the Board of Supervisors discussed this intended economic partnership for Oskaloosa and Mahaska County, it was a swift approval and acceptance of the memorandum.

Beth Danowsky, MCDG, approached the podium to speak about the organizations.

“The way we work right now, as economic development groups each group sets its own strategic plan, its own vision. And the idea behind this is, if we don’t take this first step to begin to work together then we’re going to continue to work in silos,” stated Danowsky. “And we don’t want to do that anymore, we want to begin to plan together; begin work together; begin to allocate our resources.”

A chair of each organization and a designee of the respective organization board would meet quarterly. There would be 8 members total on the board. After very little discussion, it was approved by the Board of Supervisors. The City Council, later in the day, discussed the business plan and the desire to work together

At-Large City Council member, Tom Walling, sat through the presentation of this plan.

“I strongly support the [plan] but there were several of us there that felt they still got a long way to go. I mean there’s some things to be worked out in our community about this and how we share and don’t duplicate, but grow it together,” Walling said. “They seem willing to work on that.”

With approval from both the City Council and Board of Supervisors, the partnership can now begin to move forward.

 

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