The recommendations from the The My Future Cottage Grove initiative resulted in these projects. Updates will be provided from each group as they move forward in turning the recommendations into reality.
Establish a Community Center Task Force
- The Community Center Task Force has narrowed its’ focus on design options. Six options with site criteria and financial implications will be brought back to the group in June for refinement. A final report to Council is expected fall of 2018.
- The recommendation "Launch a Food and Fun Festival to intentionally celebrate the community's diversity and next generation" is the result of input from the teens in the community.
- The Celebrating Diversity Committee meets at 7 p.m., the second Tuesday of every month.
Ambitiously Program Settler's Island
- The Mississippi River Task Force is working closely with the Park, Recreation, and Natural Resources Commission to look at programing options for Settler's Island.
Develop a Housing Plan
This group met several times to discuss the City’s housing plan, including:
- A joint open house between the Housing Focus Group, the 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update Steering Committee, Bike/Pedestrian Transportation Forum and Planning Commission.
- A Housing and Builders Panel with three panelists to discuss housing trends and market for Metro area.
- A joint meeting between the Bike and Pedestrian Safety Task Force, 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update Steering Committee, Planning Commission and Parks Commission to learn about transportation, recreation trails, and sidewalk corridors. Participants participated in a polling exercise and mapping activity for existing and missing pedestrian links.
At this time, this initiative is complete and feedback has been incorporated into the draft 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update.
Improve Pedestrian Safety and Connection to Parks
The focus group met in February and March with the 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update Steering Committee, Planning Commission, and Parks Commission to discuss how to improve pedestrian safety and connections to parks. Many of the comments from the forum and online interactive map survey recommended adding additional trail segments and sidewalks in developed sections of the City to improve connectivity. Several of the recommendations were for connections in areas outside of the City’s jurisdiction (County, State, and neighboring city limits). The areas within the City’s jurisdiction are in developed areas where the projects would require significant design and construction, taking considerable more time to properly design and implement. This will be address through the City’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).
To move forward with connectivity and pedestrian safety improvements, City Staff developed a pilot pedestrian safety initiative that will include education and outreach along with engineered solutions.
Test and Use Digital Engagement Tools
Engage Residents to Attract and Launch Retail and Restaurants
The Retail and Restaurants Committee met in March with Ben Gathje the owner of Culver’s, Jason Fleig the co-owner of Junction 70 Grill and Tom Leighton a retail market specialist with Tangible Consulting Services. The meeting focused on the current restaurant sector in Cottage Grove, the decisions restaurants make when they choose a location, and some of the challenges/strengths of the Cottage Grove restaurant market.
Key points from the meeting:
- Daytime populations, specifically Monday through Thursday, need to increase for restaurants to take the next step in Cottage Grove.
- Financing for businesses is getting harder to access as construction costs continue to increase and contractors are more difficult to access.
At this time there are no plans for the group to meet until further topics of discussion are determined
Background on the My Future Cottage Grove Iniative
What will Cottage Grove’s future look like?
In 2016, a community visioning project called My Future Cottage Grove was begun to answer that question. More than 3,700 comments were received from residents. They wrote their wishes for the community on large chalkboards placed around town. They answered #FutureFriday questions on the City’s social media sites. They provided thoughts and ideas at community visioning sessions, both face-to-face and through Facebook Live. They gave input and comments through the online survey. They participated in focus groups at the middle school, high school, and senior center.
In September 2017, the Cottage Grove City Council unanimously accepted the findings and recommendations of the The My Future Cottage Grove report.
Read the full report: My Future Cottage Grove Report (PDF). The My Future Cottage Grove Report was presented to City Council at their Sept. 20 meeting.
Read the 7 recommendations: The Seven My Future Cottage Grove Recommendations (PDF)
Check out the video of the Launch Party: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FDtCyednDo