Harlan survey-takers want more dining, retail

Like safety, school, small-town; dislike limited retail, HMU, taxes

By Bob Bjoin, Editor
    HARLAN – Harlan residents want more/better retail options, restaurants and biking/walking trails, and point to the school system, safe, small-town living and sense of community/togetherness as key community strengths.
    Preliminary results from a community survey recently completed by hundreds of local residents as part of the city’s comprehensive plan effort shows many are very happy to live in the community, but would like some additional amenities.
    They also point to limited retail, the cost living and the Harlan Municipal Utilities, in particular, as things they like least about Harlan.
    Residents were invited last week to the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce & Industry atrium to review the survey results and offer additional feedback.  Coordinators said they had 10 people stop by on Wednesday, and were expecting a similar number on the final day, Thursday.
    “I’m going to take that feedback and factor it into the results and then it will be presented to the comprehensive plan steering committee,” said Danielle Briggs, Community Development Specialist, Planner II, Southwest Iowa Planning Council (SWIPCO).
    SWIPCO is coordinating the comprehensive plan efforts for the City of Harlan.
    “It will likely be a few weeks before that process gets done,” Briggs said.

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