New ‘vision’ for DeKalb progresses


New ‘vision’ for DeKalb progresses

By Northern Star staff

The city’s goal of improving its bond rating has been categorized as “at risk” in its quarterly update of the DeKalb 2025 Strategic Plan.

The DeKalb Strategic Plan was adopted Feb. 22, 2016, and serves as a 10-year guide for the operation of the city to achieve five visions for the community: vision of sense of place, vision of community vitality and a vibrant downtown, vision of inclusiveness, vision of accessibility and vision of efficient, quality, responsive services.

Information to be presented to the committee at 6 p.m. Monday at the DeKalb Municipal Building, 200 S. Fourth St. was collected between July 1 and Sept. 30.

Of the 82 action items, 10 have been achieved, 69 are on track, two are off-track and one is at risk, according to the Fiscal Year 2017 Strategic Plan Update.

At risk is the attempt to improve the city’s Aa2 bond rating, which falls under the vision of efficient, quality, responsive services. Bond ratings are disseminated by independent agencies that conduct a financial analysis of the city and determine its ability to cover its expenses, according to Investopedia. The highest rating given by credit rating agencies is AAA; the city sits two steps below that rating.

Falling under the vision of community vitality and a vibrant downtown, “establishing a physical space to provide business co-working opportunities” has fallen into the off-track category and is without any updates. Environmental assessments and remediation programs were also off-track in the city’s pursuit of upgrading building stock.

Park 88

The Committee of the Whole will discuss key points regarding Park 88, commercial land annexed by the city several years ago.

City officials have been working with Venture One, the owner of the development, to amend its agreement in an effort to attract and secure industrial tenants. Negotiations between the city and Venture One have occurred over the past 18 months.

Some of the agreements the city is seeking include relaxing stipulations regarding building appearance and landscape standard, donating 3.3 acres for a future fire station and contributing to the improvement of Peace Road.

The city is recommending the committee continues discussion with Park 88 and intends to have the negotiations considered at future meetings.