Wednesday, May 24, 2000

Hamilton shown way into future

Vision 2000 committee gives report

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — Maximizing use of the Great Miami River, creating a “cutting edge” city and improving transportation are some of the recommendations in a report released Tuesday by a committee studying Hamilton's future.

        “Steering a Course to the Future” was unveiled by the Vision 2020 Steering Committee during a reception at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts.

        The report, the result of nearly two years of work by six focus groups, set goals in issues of lifestyle and lifestyle choices; economic vitality; community image and environment; community services; governmental and intergovernmental cooperation; and lifelong learning. It also includes physical improvements.

        “There's so many people that gave their time and energy. There's no way this project would have been done without them,” said City Planning Director James Boerke, who is a liaison to Parsons Harland Bartholomew & Associates Inc., urban planning consultants based in a St. Louis suburb.

        The report offers “a dynamic plan for progress and an aggressive agenda for addressing quality of life issues,” said Mayor Adolf Olivas, chairman of the Vision 2020 Steering Committee.

        “We've got this riverfront that is just prime for development. We have other cities tell us what an asset that would be to have,” said Mel L. Less, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

        Other goals in the report include creating more hotel space and a convention center, improving communication with citizens, focusing on Hamilton's history and uniqueness, preparing for a global economy, building a transportation loop around the city's west side and promoting tourism.

        Mr. Olivas said the report is a starting point.

        “The work of Vision 2020 now begins in earnest. If these goals, aspirations and hopes are to see the light of day, we must commit ourselves to the task ahead — philosophically and financially,” Mr. Olivas said.

        The next step will be to include the physical improvement suggestions in the city's comprehensive plan, said Mr. Boerke. The plan will be available in six to eight weeks, and ultimately has to be approved by City Council.


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