The Garden City Telegram
5/22/2013
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

One roof

Groups can make progress regardless of locations.

A number of economic development entities are busy at work in Garden City and Finney County.

They're on separate missions, but share a common goal in trying to better position the community as a destination.

With that in mind, there would be some advantages for Downtown Vision, the Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce, Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau and Finney County Economic Development Corp. to set up shop in one location.

Having a one-stop venue for people and business prospects seeking services and information about Garden City and Finney County could have advantages in enhanced communication and cooperation among the local groups.

Three of the four currently operate at Fulton Terrace, with Downtown Vision naturally located downtown.

But with Downtown Vision set to move from its Main Street spot due to pending work at the former Windsor Hotel, Downtown Vision Executive Director Beverly Schmitz Glass and her husband, architect Bruce Glass, purchased property on Laurel Street downtown, and saw space for the FCEDC and Chamber, along with the Finney County United Way, to join Downtown Vision in the new location.

Such a move reportedly wouldn't be cost-efficient for the FCEDC, however, and the Chamber also opted to pass.

While the Glasses' proposal fell through, the hope is the economic-development organizations find other ways to work together more effectively — especially in a community that's seen the various entities at odds with one another in recent years, usually due to funding issues.

The groups may never end up in the same building. And that's OK, so long as they work even harder toward better communication and cooperation, along with the kind of planning and execution that would result in more positive developments — be it in new businesses, events and attractions or efforts to improve those already here. The public expects no less from groups they back with their tax dollars and other financial support.

Each organization, after all, shares the goal of making the community an even better place to live, work and play — and can make more strides in that direction, regardless of whether they operate under one roof.