In my last article, I shared information about the tools that the City’s economic development team uses to attract and retain businesses to our community. Now, I want to empower the people of our community to utilize City staff and our resources to see if we can help put ideas into motion. Here are some examples of where a simple conversation has led to positive results.
A couple of years ago, a constituent reached out to me about her idea to build a tiny home community in Sioux City. I had always felt that the city needed to expand our housing stock to include more affordable “starter type” homes. I was excited to help get things rolling. She and I exchanged messages and began conversations with Neighborhood Services Manager, Jill Wanderscheid, to advance the idea. Jill helped us brainstorm potential funding options, identify lots where it would be appropriate, and what the RFP process could resemble. A partnership with Kelly Construction began, and now three smaller homes are nearly completed on Center Street, with hopes to build more. They may not be as “tiny“or as “affordable“ as I had hoped; however, they are a great start, and I’m anxious to see what more we can do with this effort in the future.
After traveling to various cities across the United States with her husband, John Keoasa, Hong Kong Supermarket Owner Peggy La wanted to develop a community space for food trucks on West 7th Street. After visiting with me about the proposal, I recommended that she speak with Community Development Operations Manager Jeff Hanson and other city staff to see what would be possible. After learning about various permits and incentives, they developed Yummi Blox, a new food truck hub opening this summer on West 7th that will bring more diversity while helping small businesses in the community.
Parks and Recreation
Several quality-of-life amenities have been proposed by local groups and citizens that have been pursued and completed to create a more vibrant city. A couple of these projects can be enjoyed at Bacon Creek Park. The mountain biking trail and recent kayak launch were both originally proposed by community members and pursued by City staff. Additionally, some disc golf courses throughout Sioux City have been proposed and supported by the Mayor’s Youth Commission.
As you can see, these are three very different examples where members of our community had an idea and worked with City staff to bring it to reality! I understand that not every idea can be implemented, but it’s important to start the conversation and explore possibilities. If you are feeling inspired or have an idea, don’t be afraid to share it! I would love to hear from you and direct you to the appropriate member of our staff. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com.
By Alex Watters