Archive » September 17, 2009
SOLVANG EYES ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AS A GOAL
By Lauren Crecelius, Staff Writer
At its bimonthly meeting Sept. 14, the Solvang City Council directed staff to bring back options for an economic development goal to be added to its list of city goals.
Councilmember Hans Duus suggested the addition of a 12th goal of economic development for the list because, he said, he thinks it essential the city do everything it can to ensure success for new and existing businesses. He said he thought maybe the creation of an economic development group could be helpful as well.
“We work hard to bring tourists to town, but we have a lot of open spaces in town now that are kind of bothersome gaps,” Duus said. “I think we should look at some diversity.” He added that the council has the opportunity to satisfy tourists and local businesses, as well, and that with the current state of the economy, now is an important time to consider economic development.
Mayor Jim Richardson agreed and said they could look into incentives to bring in new businesses.
City Manager Brad Vidro said staff will come back later with some specific options and costs of economic development proposal. Then the council could take possible action and add to the city’s goals list.
Earlier in the evening, Vidro presented the council with an update to the progress list of city goals, which was originally established in June 2007. The current 11 goals are: to work toward water independence, improve traffic circulation, enhance the profitability and desirability of tourist-related commercialism, improve Valley-wide recreation and parks, maintain and improve inter-governmental and agency relations, update the emergency plan, support the tourism industry, enhance quality of life, maintain quality staff, evaluate capital needs and improve financial stability.
Solvang is making progress with each of the goals, Vidro said.
In other council news:
The council unanimously voted to authorize city staff to provide accounting services for the Solvang Centennial Celebration slated for 2011. People can make donations to the city for the event. How the event is to be completely funded is as yet undecided, but councilmember Ed Skytt said the Centennial Committee is looking into funding from corporations and foundations as well. Vidro said after the committee finalizes a budget for the celebration, it can be formally adopted by the council.