As visionaries for the community, Wixom City Council members recently brainstormed community-minded goals to roll out over the course of 2011.
The City Council convened after compiling individual lists and discussed each initiative at a goal-setting session on Thursday, Feb. 17.
“Some are short-term goals to accomplish this year and some are tied to long-range planning,” said Mayor Kevin Hinkley.
The ideas were broken down categorically. While not a complete list, some of the key ideas address marketing the city to enhance and attract businesses and define the city.
The City Council plans on seeking more grants to spur economic development and retain businesses, and developing a master plan to attract residents and businesses to Wixom.
“By bringing in new business and maintaining business, the hope is that employees will purchases homes (in the city),” Hinkley said. “We will be doing more on (our) web site and at Showcase Wixom by holding a Wixom Business Day for retail and industry.”
Other ideas to stoke business growth include leveraging the new web site in more ways; branding the city; and strengthening Wixom’s position in the state and county as a valued local unit by increasing activities through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Automation Alley.
“We want to tap the MEDC as a resource to attract small to medium businesses within emerging sectors of the state and county,” Hinkley said. “As a standing member of Automation Alley for years, we want to possibly take part in trade shows to promote Oakland County and Wixom.”
Councilman John Lee suggested drafting a 2025 plan that defines the ideal mix of industrial and commercial businesses necessary to secure and sustain a viable tax base.
In moving forward, Hinkley said shared services and intergovernmental cooperation continues to be underscored as a means of saving money.
“We initiated collaboration here in the lakes area three years ago but some municipalities didn’t get on board,” he said. “Now we want to take it to the next level. I am suggesting to the CW3 (communities) that we elect a four-member board that meets and reports back on initiatives.”
The CW3 is comprised of representatives from Wixom, Walled Lake, Wolverine Lake and Commerce Township to put forth common-ground initiatives. It was conceptually conceived by Hinkley, who has taken on a quasi-leadership role.
As a means of improving parks and community services, council members suggested bringing back the “Light the Night” event and limiting larger venues.
Hinkley also suggested negotiating a sports park project with the purchaser of the Ford Motor Company’s former assembly plant property.
“One of our best revenue generators is our soccer program,” he said. “We don’t have enough space here and want a larger baseball complex.”
Council members and city administration have discussed the objective with potential buyers, asking them to donate some property to build an outdoor sports field for soccer, baseball and/or cricket.