Members of the Bruning community met last Wednesday evening at the Bruning Opera House to create a strategic plan for the next five to ten years in the future.
Bruning, along with Hebron, Chester and Deshler, is applying for County Wide Leadership Certification with the help of Jeremy Voss, Thayer County Economic Development Alliance director, who facilitated the meeting.
By obtaining Leadership Certification, the town will be eligible for financial assistance in order to further the long term betterment of the community.
In order to become certified, the community must provide a comprehensive plan which Bruning already has, a strategic plan, a community assessment which was done last year through a county wide survey, a write up of the services the community provides “and you need the will to go forward and do these things,” said Voss.
After discussing the needs of the village, the group decided that the top three priorities were housing, civil infrastructure and social infrastructure.
Under these three broad sections, more specific improvements were pointed out such as increase of day care capabilities, quality rental and housing properties, recreation opportunities such as a trail, water and sewage infrastructure, street improvement, better internet and cellular services, and business retention and attraction.
In order to get a different perspective of the community, an outside consultant created a SWOT analysis for Bruning.
“[SWOT stands for] strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your community,” said Voss. “It’s coming from the outside [but] from someone who is familiar with the area.”
Bruning’s strengths, according to the analysis, includes quality of life, low cost of living and excellent community leadership; weaknesses include lack of population, housing, and lack of younger leadership; opportunities include location near major highways, access to land and need for a workforce; threats include lack of business retention, inactivity instead of productivity toward change, and lack of capital.
The Bruning community members and TCEDA plan to utilize those strengths and opportunities and work through the weaknesses and threats in order to move forward in becoming certified.