On Wednesday, June 27, 2018, Niobrara County Community members were encouraged to attend the Community Workshop held by the Niobrara County Joint Powers Board to hear the results of the April round-table meetings and the overall project results, as far as they are completed. On hand again were consultants from Orion Planning and Design, Allison Mouch and Joanne Garnett, both of which have been with the project from the start. Many may remember the two trips prior, wherein on the first trip, Mouch and Garnett were visiting various businesses, holding meetings with local officials. The second trip was comprised of the April Community Meeting where community members were asked to come and participate in a series of activities to decipher what was needed in the community, what people liked about the community, and where they wanted the community to be, progressively, within the next twenty years. For the April meeting, there were roughly thirty-three participants. Following their departure, Mouch and Garnett went back and began completing the results of their studies. Following multiple responses from the April meeting on the topic, Mouch and Garnett comprised a housing questionnaire distributed to local residents. In total, they received eighty-four responses.
At the June meeting, Mouch and Garnett delivered the results of their previous trips and the housing survey through a PowerPoint presentation to a room full of community members. After a brief oversight of the project, Mouch took participants through a series of findings, including a vision statement devised by the Orion team for Lusk and Niobrara County; along with a Matrix that detailed the various projects that Mouch and Garnett had pinpointed as pivotal in accomplishing the Lusk and Niobrara County that community members wish to see. Projects included, but were not limited to, possible re-zoning in Lusk, Main Street Revitalization, and municipalities and individuals working together to come up with the various projects’ funding.
Following the presentation and the important break down of the Matrix and what exactly it could mean to the community, participants were encouraged to look at the new land maps that had been created as an example of what Lusk and Niobrara County could look like, a table requiring further participant answers, and a display that showed AI photos of Lusk downtown both in its current state and altered from its current state to what it could be with a few improvements.
The overall study and project by Mouch and Garnett will be concluded by July 17, 2018, after which time it will be up to The Joint Powers’ Board and community members to continue on and complete the projects.