COME & JOIN THE FUN!
Neoga area citizens of all ages are joining together to make Neoga's future bright! With the help of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, approximately 45 people have already joined together to brainstorm and set goals (BHAG'S) they would like to see transpire in the next 10 to 20 years. There is always room for more, so if you are interested please join us! Contact Diana at the City of Neoga 895-3237 for details.
The first of the five sessions started out by asking the question, "Where are we now?" The program coordinators handed out information about the Neoga area such as demographic and economic information, a retail trade summary, and a community profile. Participants were then asked to complete two statements: I love my community, but __________. This statement was followed by: I love my community because________.
The second thought provoking session brought up the question, "Where do we want to be?" Participants once again brainstormed and listed goals that could be implemented to achieve the vision for Neoga's future. These ideas were discussed, and not surprisingly, many people shared common concerns about their beloved town.
During the third session attendees were asked, "How do we get there?" The ideas from the prior sessions were consolidated and listed for people to ponder. Participants then voted for the top five goals they would like to see. Although every "BHAG" was worthy of a second thought, the group narrowed them down to five.
In session four, attendees were asked to vote on how important they thought each strategy was to get to the goal. The top three ideas were noted and will be given priority in project planning. Participants were invited to join one or more groups to work on individual goals. These groups touched on ideas for short term as well as long term projects.
Session five included a wealth of information from several area resources. Representatives from IDOT, CCDC, The Tourism Bureau, Rural Cooperative Ec. Dev. Center, DCEO, Rural Development, Peace Corps, Southeastern IL. Community Foundation, and Illinois Small Business Development Center gave brief overviews of their programs and how they can help us to reach our goals. Goal groups further brainstormed their projects.
There will be a follow up session on May 23rd at the Municipal Building at 6:00 p.m. All community members are invited and encouraged to attend.