Community works together to discuss Stevens Point’s future
By Joe Bachman
STEVENS POINT — At last night’s Community Conversation the message was clear: “Let’s work together”.
Over 100 residents piled into the Community Engagement room at Mid-State Technical College to take part in discussing the future of the downtown and Division Street corridors. Guiding the discussion were members of Vandewalle & Associates, who simply wanted nothing more than to hear from Stevens Point’s very own on how to improve the place they live.
“I’m very excited to see this much in attendance to really have a conversation about what directions does downtown take in the future, and how do we help that happen?” said Vandewalle & Associates Principal Urban Designer Brian Munson.
All in attendance were given special remotes for voting on answers to best gauge the room, and potentially grab a small portion of why resident are, or aren’t using certain services in the downtown and Division Street areas. Vandewalle & Associates released data pertaining to the area, as follows:
- Over 50 percent of Stevens Point residents are 27 and under
- There is a growing diversity of races in the city
- There is a close 1:1 ratio of available city jobs to residents
- Downtown parking is plentiful, with parking in the areas of Centerpoint Drive and Shopko not utilized as much as other areas
- There exists a need for additional parking for Division Street residents
- Brownfield developments need further discussion
Live Voting Results
- Over 60 percent live elsewhere other than the downtown area or Division Street
- The majority worked in other areas aside from Division Street and downtown
- Nearly 77 percent visited these areas daily, or multiple times a week
- The majority, 71 percent, get there by driving
- The top reason for visiting downtown is food and drink with 42 percent of the votes. Only 20 percent voted that they are downtown for work
- Top reason for not being downtown includes personal services or banking. (Over 75 percent)
- The top reason for why residents aren’t using downtown for these services include ‘better selection elsewhere in Stevens Point’ at 55 percent, and ‘elsewhere outside of Stevens Point’ at 30 percent
- Downtown would benefit from additional retail at 42 percent, and entertainment at 38 percent
- Nearly 71 percent visited Division Street daily
- 88 percent gets to Division Street by driving
- The top reason for visiting the Division Street area was for food and drink with 41 percent
- The top reason for not being on Division Street is recreational activities with 51 percent
- The top reason for why residents aren’t using Division Street for this include ‘better selection elsewhere in Stevens Point’ by 64 percent, and elsewhere outside of Stevens Point by 21 percent
- Division Street would benefit from more retail with 52 percent
Mayor Mike Wiza stressed to the audience that the city and Redevelopment Authority want to hear from residents, and to help guide the future of Stevens Point.
“We won’t be doing a lot of the talking; you will,” said Mayor Mike Wiza to the many in attendance. “We’re hoping for some good ideas, some good input — this process is going to take us a couple of months, there will be at least one more of these types of community meetings — we’re trying to get input from all stakeholders so we see what that vision is in the community going forward for the next 20-plus years.”
After voting, many filled out an individual survey with four questions. Results of these surveys will be released at a later date. Afterwards, they split into groups for further discussion.
- Downtown Stevens Point should be the place in the community where:
- My big ideas to help Downtown accomplish this are:
- The North Division Street Corridor should be the place in the community where:
- My big ideas to help the North Division Street Corridor are:
Stay tuned for future announcements on additional community conversation meetings so you can take part.