The Garden City Commission produced a new set of goals for 2018 leading into 2019, and those goals focus on some familiar themes with an opportunity for reflection on existing city codes.

The goals drafted for the coming year were oriented around seven categories, including economic development, airport expansion, a review of municipal codes, housing development, and water and electric utilities.

The commission’s annual daylong retreat is a routine by which city commissioners and department heads draft their yearly goals so that city staff can create a document for ratification at a later date. City Manager Matt Allen said he expects ratification of the city’s new goals to occur at the first commission meeting in April.

The commission’s goals are not finalized until then, and city staff will spend time fine-tuning the draft for its eventual review so that different ideas are included in each category.

According to Assistant City Manager Jennifer Cunningham, over the last 15 years, development has been featured in every commission’s annual set of goals, and eight of the past 15 years have seen goals that give priority to new housing in Garden City.

An emphasis on public facilities has factored into the goals in 10 of the last 15 years, and transportation in some form has played a role in eight of the last 15 years. Utilities have played a role in seven of those years, financial management in six, and water as a resource in five.

This year’s economic development goal might involve industrial developments, a review of incentives, a long-term plan for the Downtown Development Fund, as well as what might be done to finish off the Schulman Crossing development.

As for airport expansion, the city is nearing completion of a 2018 air service study, as well as completion of a plan for airport terminal renovations.

“Water” was an umbrella term intended to encompass carryover goals from previous years, including maintenance of the city’s water utility for quality and quantity with an emphasis on conservation measures.

“Electric” was another umbrella term used to categorize possible infrastructural improvements as they relate to the electric utility, renewable energies and the city’s effort to enhance its independence as an electric utility provider.

Another goal will involve assessment and potential alteration of municipal codes.

The city will be looking at strategies for providing more housing by fitting housing units into smaller spaces, whether that means smaller lots or vertical housing opportunities to maximize space, “which is expensive both from a land acquisition standpoint and from an extension of infrastructure standpoint,” Allen said after the meeting.

Lastly, the city will look at opportunities for branding and beautification that potentially could involve community art, city greenways, and ways to aesthetically differentiate Garden City from its peer communities.


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