Frisco’s economic plan almost done |

Frisco’s economic plan almost done

FRISCO – As Frisco’s economic development plan approaches completion, several of town business owners are voicing a common concern – will the town council take action on the new plan, or will it land on a shelf to gather dust with past plans?

“We’re doing another document – so what?” said Dr. James Bachman, a Frisco resident who has an office at the Frisco Medical Center.

Last summer, Frisco officials hired Leland Consulting to develop an economic development plan for the town. Since then, consultants have met with focus groups from the community and the town council to gather input.

Leland representatives have recommended five economic development goals for Frisco as part of the plan: economic diversification, public-private partnerships, creating a year-round community, implementing development standards and incentives, and policies, programs and projects.

On Tuesday, Anne Ricker and Bill Cunningham of Leland Consultants met with council members and about 15 members of the focus groups to discuss the 40 programs, policies and projects Frisco could consider as it works to make the town more economically viable.

“There’s not one answer to an economic solution,” Ricker said. “It is multifaceted, and there are many, many moving parts.”

According to Ricker, there is no one – or simple – solution to the equation. Rather, it’s important to realize the various factors are interrelated and must be considered together to ensure success.

The focus of Tuesday’s meeting was to get a sense of how council members, citizens and business owners would prioritize the recommended programs, policies and projects. Each person was given 10 dots to place on the various options for Frisco’s economic development.

Among the priorities selected were:

n Improving the visual appearance of the community, including the establishment of an urban design and maintenance plan for Summit Boulevard and completing physical improvements (such as signs and pedestrian crosswalks) along west Main Street.

n Promoting an initiative to institute a lodging tax and studying the impacts of increasing the mill levy in an effort to expand the town’s economic development resources.

n Establishing an urban renewal authority to identify future urban renewal areas.

n Participating in a

community-wide circulator shuttle that links the community’s gateways.

n Developing the coordination of conference business and supportive infrastructure.

n Establishing a capital program to fund the construction of pedestrian enhancements and sidewalks linking targeted locations.

Prioritizing items in the economic plan should help the transition to making them action items, Cunningham said.

Still, Jim Rodkey, who owns Rocky Mountain Coffee Roasters, echoed Bachman’s earlier concerns. He asked the town council to share its short-term plans for implementation.

Bachman added that he would like the council to revisit the economic plan and update the citizens and business owners again around election time.

“I think we all want to be proactive,” said Councilmember David Amli.

“We’re looking for answers so we can move forward,” said Councilmember Dede Dighero-Tuso.

Before the council can take action, however, Leland Consultants must complete its report. The final report – which should wrap up within a few weeks – will include both recommendations for the town as well as the input gathered Tuesday, Ricker said.

Lu Snyder can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or

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