Local community leaders and residents took part in the first of a series of community planning meetings held at Izatys and hosted by Century 21 Atwood Mille Lacs on New Year’s Eve. The event was advertised to the public on social media and by personal invite.

Branch manager and realtor/associate broker at Century 21 Ronda Bjornson welcomed the attendees and introduced speaker Jack Schumacher, a realtor with Century 21 Atwood-Mille Lacs.

Schumacher said that they wanted to start a conversation with people in the local area to put together a plan that would promote growth in the Mille Lacs area. “We would like to join you all in creating a 2020 vision for the future of the Mille Lacs area and surrounding communities,” he said.

He challenged attendees to think about what could be done to improve the community to be able to survive and thrive in the 21st century. He asked participants to write down ideas or suggestions to area problems and to place them in the box they had set up at the meeting.

“We need help, so we’re going to take all the slips we get and compile them and host another event to go over results,” said Schumacher, “and put them into a focused plan of action.”

Bjornson concluded the meeting saying, “We’re going to need a lot of community organizing.”

Bjornson later said that some of the ideas that came from the meeting include creating a dog park, creating groomed cross country ski trails, improving the skating rink, movies in the park, worship in the park, garbage cans in the city, more public docks, constructing a senior living community on the lake, continuing the fireworks, creating more shopping opportunities, improving the public beach, and more.

“It was a great success,” said Bjornson of the turnout on New Year’s Eve. “We would like to focus on bringing people together for ideas and finding funding options. First you need an idea or dream, and then you need the financing.”

Bjornson said their plan is to host another event in a location to be determined. More details will be available in the Messenger.

If you have any ideas for the area or would like to be involved, please contact Ronda Bjornson at rbjornson@c21atwood.com.

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