Should the Village of Marshall try to build its residential base to support downtown businesses? Or should the village work towards downtown development to build residential growth?

These are questions that the board officials, the planning commission and the community development authority will most likely start thinking about in the future. At the July 9 board meeting, the board looked at the village’s 2019-2020 Community Economic Development Strategic Plan.

Since January, the three groups of village leaders met four times to do a strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis, discuss village goals and incorporate the Highway 19 corridor and tax increment financing (TIF) district plans to create one plan for village growth.

According to the 2019-2020 Village of Marshall Community Economic Development Strategic Plan, the village selected downtown development as its first priority with 27 votes and housing, with an emphasis on seniors with 20 votes.

“I was not surprised with that,” Village Administrator Adam Ruechel said.

“It (downtown or housing goals) is really interconnected,” Ruechel said. “This (the plan) puts everything down for a better roadmap (for Marshall). Now it is up for the village board to work on it.”

Ruechel said next is work metrics, which gives direction to the board and various committees ways to work on the plan.

“As a village, we need to look at attacking the metrics step by step,” Ruechel said. “We need land (to build houses). We need to look at different kinds of housing. Then we need land to make it happen or work on selling land to a developer.”

He said that one of the goals is to look at the kinds of housing that is affordable, rentable and if seniors want to move into an assisted living facility or an apartment. He said that there are people wanting to move to the village, especially with the Meadows of Marshall subdivision that Ruechel said is averaging 10 new homes a year.

“It is a little daunting,” he said. “A lot of things bridge with each other.”

Also according to the community economic development strategic plan, the residents indicated that the parks in the village were one of the village’s strengths. Ruechel said that village leaders and residents indicated they would like to see more trails connecting the parks or to have a pavilion that can be rented out for events.

He said the village leaders will need to think about making the village more accessible by walking.

Other goals the village leaders identified were to encourage appropriate industrial development and tourism.

“Now, we need to look at what specific things to tackle,” Ruechel said.

Ruechel also reported the campground is doing as projected for the season and is well ahead of schedule. He said that the main complaint is the shade structures, which will be installed by the end of the month.

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