Several residents and business owners stepped up to the task of joining the newly formed Afton Old Village Task Force, which held its first meeting on Feb. 17.
Not everyone who signed up to be on the task force attended the first meeting, and not everyone who attended will remain through the end.
"The group will kind of grow and shrink from meeting to meeting," Afton City Council Bill Palmquist said.
The people on the task force include:
- Gordy and Kathy Jarvis of the Afton House Inn
- Marj and Oliver Weir of the Sail Away Cafe
- former mayor and council member Kenn Kopitzke
- council members Bill Palmquist and Peg Nolz
- Glen Bowman of Afton Marina
- Baglio’s owner Bill Baglio
- former mayoral candidate Bob Dickie
- Squire House Gardens owner Martin Stern
- Jim Gasperini of the Afton Law Office
- Afton residents Jane Pahl, Jim Sasperim, Leslie Thomas, Gary Anderson, Clint Elston, Bobbi Elston, Valerie Stoehr, Jim Bougie, Nathan Shaw, David Schmidt, Jill Lucas, Don Lacho, Mark Gjerde and Jean Heartman.
Task force members stated they joined the task force for a variety of reasons:
"I want to help with the economic development of the area and provide patrons for the village," Bowman said.
"Even though I’m not a resident, I have a huge investement in the town," Baglio said.
"I’m thrilled to see anything that can proactive in developing a healthy business community," Stoehr said.
"I’m just wetting my feet in the community," Shaw said.
"I’m very interested in what the old town becomes," Anderson said.
"This is my third crack at this topic in the last 26 years and I think it might be our last shot at it," Dickie said. "We need to Mmake it a destination and keep the village a livable residential community – and I hope we’re sucessful."
"I know we have a lot of challenges, but there’s a lot of positive things here," Stern said. "We need to highlight the positives and make them better."
"I’ve always loved downtown, and I want to make sure it doesn’t change a whole lot and look like Stillwater," Pahl said.
During the task force meeting, the task force members compiled a list of concerns they have and their visions for the old village. The list included:
- fixing road alignment
- flooding concerns
- wastewater and stormwater concerns
- pedestrian access concerns
- drawing people into the city
- creating a better economic climate
- maintain the historical feel of Afton
- maintain the connection to the river
- take care of the environment
The Afton Old Village Task Force will meet again in March