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Mastermind McPherson County Summit Reviews County Survey

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By Lucky Kidd

McPHERSON, Kan. — Some 100 people from across McPherson County gathered Thursday morning to discuss a variety of issues facing the county and ideas to address them. The Mastermind McPherson County Summit reviewed findings of an online survey that was conducted earlier this year by the McPherson County Community Foundation (MCCF).

MCCF Executive Director Becky Goss said a number of broad areas were identified in that survey, including child care and health care, economic development, placemaking, housing, community beautification, and leadership.

“We had some basic information about the economics and some graphs to show what our county looks like. We also added the perceptions of the individuals that took part in the survey,” Goss added.

A total of 660 McPherson County residents took part in the survey. 312 of those were from the city of McPherson, with 119 from Lindsborg, 80 from Moundridge, 53 from Inman, 27 each from Marquette and Windom, 21 from Galva, 19 from Canton, and two from Roxbury.

Within the survey the top five priority programs identified included renovation and removal of run-down properties, improvement of public infrastructure, expansion of quality and affordable housing, expansion of quality and affordable child care support services, and attraction of new businesses.

Among priority metrics identified through the survey are the number of new businesses launched throughout the community, average household income, community confidence and enthusiasm, childhood poverty rates, and food insecurity.

Another topic addressed in the survey looked at opportunities, and among participants in it there was an overall positive community confidence. This was strongest in citizen commitment, followed by collaborative leadership and community vision. On that latter topic, it was indicated more effort needs to be done to improve the planning process and communication of plans to residents.

There will be ongoing discussions on these subjects in the coming months. As part of this, MCCF is encouraging anyone who has an interest in these and other areas or who was not able to attend the summit to contact their office at 620-245-9070 or go to www.mcphersonfoundation.org. Plans are also being made for a follow-up survey next spring.

The Foundation also announced Thursday they are opening a grant opportunity to address issues identified in the survey. Organizations and groups can apply for funding that is generally expected to range from $500 to $10,000. Although Goss said if there are larger needs they will see what could be done. The deadline to apply for those grants is Sept. 15, and information on those can also be found on the MCCF website. 

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