Frankfort's economic development plan progressing

Mar 13, 2013

Economic development efforts in Frankfort will take on a more focused approach soon. The city is completing a document for strengthening current businesses and industries, and encouraging more to set-up shop.

Mayor Chris McBarnes says job creation is one goal, but so is providing a stable environment for the downtown and neighborhoods.

“We hope to have a plan that’s been voted on, approved and in the mayor’s office as a tool we can use no matter what retail store approaches us, what industry approaches us. We have some solid policy guidelines to direct us in making decisions.”

A first draft of the document is circulating through city boards and commissions for initial approval. The Redevelopment Commission signed off on it earlier this month, but McBarnes wants more work done on the plan before it’s finalized.

“I hope changes are made as we go through every board, because the more devils’ advocates, the better. The more we can combat group think, the better, before it finally gets to our elected officials.”

The city held four public hearings in late January and early February, but officials continue to accept more citizen input.

McBarnes says another aspect of the plan is the city’s fiber optic network.

“How do we recoup our dollars as far as what we invested to hang those fiber strands throughout our city? How do we invest in that fiber optic network that’s not only going to have an effect on small business and industry, but every single resident.”

The draft document goes to the city’s Plan Commission later this month and then to the Frankfort Council.

The creation of the economic development plan is being funded by a $40,000 Community Development Block Grant.