Officials in Starke County Take Some More Stellar Steps with Asset Mapping Workshop

The Starke County Economic Development Foundation hosted an asset mapping workshop in conjunction with representatives from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs Tuesday night.

Stellar Community Project Manager Michael Sinnet facilitated the exercise which was held at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center. Over the last few months, SCEDF officials have been working with town, city and county representatives about a local Stellar initiative.

Sinnet mentioned that it’s important to see who is already a part of the conversation and then to identify which portion’s of the community aren’t currently being represented. He emphasized that community coordination is fundamental during this process.

Sinnet told attendees, “Any development plan, any community plan that moves forward, you have to ask yourself one of two things; are you doing this TO a community or are you doing this WITH a community?”

Sinnet noted that the ideas raised during the workshop would eventually be expanded upon and incorporated into a regional development plan.

He said a regional development plan would need to be submitted to OCRA in the event that Starke County’s group is selected as a finalist in next year’s grant round.

However, he also mentioned that, regardless of whether a Stellar designation is received, developing this type of plan lays the groundwork for years of future development and continued collaboration.

More details from the asset mapping workshop will be covered in future stories on WKVI.