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Your Opinion: Get involved in "greening' project

Your Opinion: Get involved in "greening' project

March 8th, 2011 by Tony Smith, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

The Greening of America's Capitols project was a coup for Jefferson City. Only five capitals were chosen to participate in the EPA project to grow a sustainable environment that will breed economic development. We were chosen because the potential for real change exists. Thank assistant city administrator Melva Fast for initiating the grant. This is a chance for the city to move forward towards meaningful growth.

Give credit to the News Tribune for publicizing the events and writing about the results. I assure you that you have no idea of the scope of the issues discussed from the paper's coverage. That is not their fault.

My wife and I were among about 20 citizens who attended the first two public forums. The second public meeting we brought two friends. I believe public interest is greater than this.

Many cannot visualize the bike and pedestrian lane over the Missouri River and who will possibly use it. Similar criticism once was aimed at the Katy Trail. The bike and walking lane will be part of the Katy Trail and the Greenway projects. Tied together our recreation potential grows exponentially. Creating destination spots will bring people to our community.

One of the Chamber of Commerce's redevelopment action teams is the Millbottom Redevelopment team. They provided the Greening consultants much input. The Chamber's team has an impressive array of professionals who have given years of thought and study to development of the area around the Capitol. Just the study and work on development of Adrian Island is amazing. The city has devoted much time to this and has defined a great plan. The sticking point now is Union Pacific and its bureaucracy.

I asked a number of people to attend the sessions and received limited success. One response was we are tired of all the planning and no results. Another response was, criticism of the Chamber. Nationally and even statewide, the Chamber has a negative image for some citizens.

Locally our Chamber and our city government are doing great work in bringing together this community's resources to improve our city. Citizen involvement will help assure community satisfaction. The Greening team will be back.

You should consider attending a future meeting and participate in community growth. These can be exciting times for Jefferson City.