QUINCY -- Quincy's Strategic Plan is vast with 100 different initiatives ranging from rehabbing downtown apartments to expanding biking and hiking trails near the John Wood Community College campus to adding computer science programs at Quincy University.
Maggie Strong, the consultant hired by the city to guide and implement the plan, knows firsthand that the plan may be overwhelmingly vast but says it can be summarized in one word: "People."
"We are wanting to create a place that people want to come to," Strong said. "Our population has not grown. We want to make sure that we retain our young people and that we attract more people to this community."
U.S. Census Bureau said the city's population has consistently been about 40,000 since the 1940s, including a peak population of 45,288 in 1970.
The Quincy Next Strategic Plan was adopted more than one year ago, and Strong said the commission has made "a lot of progress."
Of the 100 initiatives, about 65 are in progress, and five have been completed. The initiatives that have been completed are: solicit bids for new airline routes at Quincy Regional Airport, increase funding for downtown events and improvements and marketing efforts for downtown, update and install wayfinding signs downtown, update and refine downtown's branding and marketing and bring rideshare companies, such as Lyft, to Quincy.
"We have done what we can with the tools that we have at this point," Strong said. "It is important that a funding source comes into fruition because we have done what we can. We will continue to do things that don't need major investment, but at this point we need some kind of a major investment."
Members of the strategic plan commission agreed, including former Quincy Mayor C. David Nuessen, who said the group had reached the moment when "the rubber has got to hit the road and that means money."
"If you go through our progress list, I think you'll find that most things that could be done for free have been done," Nuessen said. "Now, it is going to take some revenue source to continue to make this plan a success."
City officials said that members of Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore's administration are formulating a funding proposal for the Quincy Next Strategic Plan proposals that will be released within the year. Moore, a member of the commission, was not present for Wednesday's meeting.
Director of Administrative Services Jeff Mays said he understood the urgency of the Quincy Next Strategic Plan Commission to secure a funding source, but the city's administration did not want to rush into releasing a proposal that was not fully developed.
"We don't want to hatch it out before it is ready," said Mays, who was not available after the meeting for additional comment.