What does the future hold for Clay County? Finding the answer is the goal of county leaders and citizens.
Thanks to a combined effort of many organizations led by the United Way of Clay County, Clay County residents will participate in a planning grant program called 4community.
The program, through a matching grant from the Lilly Endowment that is administered by the Indiana Association of United Ways, combines local partners, each of which has invested $1,000. The partners are the United Way of Clay County, Clay County Community Foundation, Clay County Chamber of Commerce, Delta Theta Tau, Brazil Rotary Club and the Clay County Redevelopment Commission. The match will generate $25,000 from the Lilly Endowment.
Public input will be developed through a team of citizens, focus groups, surveys, and individual interviews. Many issues will be examined by seeking ideas of the assets, challenges, and opportunities from the citizens of Clay County. Previous studies and plans will be examined to develop information and common concerns that can be addressed by various groups and lead toward an even greater result of the investment of those studies.
"As our community continues to change, we feel a strong need to develop a consensus about the future," said Cheryl Whitted, Vice President of the United Way of Clay County. "It is important to bring a variety of people together to identify and examine the issues we will be facing."
Information that will be derived from the various sources will be further developed by the full team to develop a draft of the vision, goal areas of opportunity, and measurable objectives. Whitted said, "After we create the goals and objectives, it is very important to put into place an action plan to accomplish the findings. This is not a study that will sit on the shelf. We will accomplish things!"
After the plan is developed, the community will focus upon one issue that will be the subject of another planning grant application for the implementation of an action plan to attain the identified objective. This grant is also offered by the Lilly Endowment through the IAUW.
Recommendation including a timetable, costs and resources needed, and the appropriate groups or organizations that will
be responsible will be made. A report will be made to the community. It is the intention that as many people will have as much input as possible into the process. It is anticipated that the endeavor will take four months.
The first meeting of the team of citizens representing many organizations in Clay County will be Sept. 28, 2004," said Whitted. She went on to say that the meetings are open to the public and all are encouraged to attend. The first meeting will last about an hour and one half and will be held at the YMCA of Clay County.
The facilitator will be Jim Dittoe of Winning Communities who has facilitated many successful planning processes.
For more information contact the United Way of Clay County at 446-2262 or Jim Dittoe at 317-846-9823.