When the City of St. Cloud  invited city residents, businesses and community leader to a “vision discussion” about what St. Cloud should look like in 25 years, it did as renowned writer and leadership mentor John C. Maxwell would suggest. They did did so understanding the “law of the buy in.” The City presented the Envision St. Cloud project May 3 to a large crowd at the Marina Building in the Banquet Hall. This was the first step in the Discovery Phase of the Growth Management Services (GMS) project that focuses on what St. Cloud will look like in the next 25 years with the community’s input.

“The public kickoff event was a great success,” said GMS Administrator Veronica Miller. “Almost 200 people attended to learn about the project and offer their input. The GAI Consultants, Inc., team offered a great presentation and they are working with the municipality, residents and business owners in balancing our desires with the challenges that come with growth and change.”

During the kickoff event, attendees were able to provide their thoughts on what they value most about St. Cloud and where they live and/or own a business, and they also participated in a table exercise to identify the St. Cloud areas they would like to preserve and/or transform.

“Our job is to help maintain the feel of our community, but enhance it to have the community that we all want to have in the future, which includes a safe, healthy and prosperous environment,” said City of St. Cloud Planning and Zoning Manager and Envision St. Cloud Project Manager Andre Anderson. “Our kickoff event was just the beginning. We have several more opportunities to receive input from everyone within our community and we look forward to learning more about what is of interest to those who live in, work in and visit St. Cloud.”

The Envision St. Cloud project will be completed in four phases to help the municipality in exploring the city’s potential. The next step in the Discovery Phase is a Community Walking Audit. The first walking tour is scheduled for May 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m., in the downtown area (starting at City Hall) and the second walking tour is scheduled for May 13, 9-11 a.m., at the lakefront (starting at the Marina Building). Everyone is invited to the guided walking tours that will help determine the character and desired vision for these two areas.

“This project is based on citizen input from everyone within our community,” said City Manager Joe Helfenberger. “This is the time to establish our vision for the future by determining our assets and building upon them. In the end, our goal is to have a great city that provides a safe environment with a great quality of life. We all have to plan now for the future of the city we love.”

The kickoff event will be available on www.stcloud.org (Media Center), the municipality’s StCloudProud YouTube Channel and on SCTV 499.